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If someone's indictment lists the crime dates incorrectly,

Customer Question
If someone's indictment lists...

If someone's indictment lists the crime dates incorrectly, can anything be done?

Lawyer's Assistant: What were they charged with exactly? Are there any upcoming court dates?

The were charged with two counts of Sexual Battery. They're currently serving time and have already served a year. We just recently saw the indictment. It says that the crimes happened on or between 11-15-13 and 12-25-13 but thats evidence to support that nothing happened between those two dates

Lawyer's Assistant: In what state did the Battery occur?

Mississippi

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I don't think so

Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Criminal Law
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Answered in 4 hours by:
3/29/2018
Criminal Lawyer: Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor replied 3 months ago
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 31,295
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Verified

Hi,

I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. Is the defendant serving time for this case? Did he take a plea or get convicted at trial?

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Criminal Lawyer: Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor replied 3 months ago

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
They are currently serving time. They have already served over 1 year. They said they took a plea but don't actually know what it was for.
Criminal Lawyer: Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor replied 3 months ago

Typically, an indictment doesn't say that a crime happened at a particular time and place. Instead it says "On or about" . . thus and such a time and place. In that way if there are gaps in the complainant's recollection as to the exact time, date and place, a case can still go forward. So if this indictment was written like most, to give the state its wiggle room, the defendant would just get told that the indictment didn't say the crime did take place on or between those dates but on or about or between those dates.

Here, you have an additional situation, and that is that the person admitted to committing the crime in open court and on the record as part of a negotiated plea agreement. It is practically impossible to get a plea back once the defendant has been sentenced. That's because judges take precautions to make a plea airtight. They all ask a series of questions either on the record or on papers, whereby a defendant has to acknowledge that he or she knows that he is voluntarily and of his own free will giving up his right to hearings and trial and is pleading guilty because he is actually guilty, among other questions. If the defendant doesn't give the right answers, the judge will not accept the plea.

If the defendant DOES give the right answers and at some point down the road wants his plea back, his admissions in court made at the time of his plea can be used against him to deny him the opportunity to get his plea back. At that time, and at other points earlier during the case, the dates on the indictment, would have been read out loud into the court record in front of the defendant. This would not be newly discovered evidence for purposes of getting his plea back.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I'm sorry if it's hard to see. This is the page that I was talking about. Like I said originally, we know for a fact that the crime was not committed on or between 11-15-2013 and 12-25-13, which is the exact wording used. The two people involved in the case were in the same place on December 18, 2013 for 4-6 hours but were never alone together and no crime took place. There is absolutely nothing that can be done considering the dates are wrong?
Criminal Lawyer: Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor replied 3 months ago

He had to have been arraigned on that indictment, meaning that whole indictment had to be read to him in court. Those dates would have also been read into the record as part of the plea he took. And he admitted to being guilty to the facts alleged. So he can't now turn around and claim he never knew of this. The record would prove otherwise.

There are grounds on which one can get a plea back. Most of them are technical such as a lack of jurisdiction, an unconstitutional statute. There is such a thing as newly discovered evidence which can sometimes be grounds for a reversal, but this isn't new. These dates have always been part of the case, which the record will show.

He may have other grounds on which to try to get his plea back. I'm in no position to know that, and you can speak to a local criminal defense lawyer who does post-conviction work and see. But I don't see grounds to take his plea back because now he says the date was wrong, when he had notice of those dates from the beginning.

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