When Can I Withdraw a Guilty Plea? 

 May 7, 2015

By  LMW Attorneys

In many cases, someone who has been accused of a crime will plead guilty only to wish they could retract their guilty plea later. While this happens for a variety of reasons and ultimately differs on a case-by-case basis, there are certain scenarios when a guilty plea can still be withdrawn.

Withdrawing a Guilty Plea: Before Sentencing

Whether or not a defendant can withdraw his or her guilty plea depends on the specifics surrounding their case. However, these are scenarios where a defendant will likely be able to withdraw their guilty plea:

– If the guilty plea has not yet been accepted by a judge.

– If the defendant has pled guilty but has not yet been sentenced.

– If the judge has rejected the negotiated agreement.

Withdrawing a Guilty Plea: After Sentencing

Withdrawing a guilty plea after sentencing is much more difficult than attempting a withdrawal prior to sentencing. If a defendant wishes to withdraw their guilty plea, they may be required to waive the right to appeal. In this situation, it is very difficult to withdraw the guilty plea. In most cases, after a judge has sentenced the defendant, he or she will be unable to withdraw a guilty plea unless it was an obvious injustice.

When Can a Guilty Plea Be Withdrawn?

These are certain situations where a judge must withdraw a guilty plea:

– A defendant was proven not guilty.

– The defendant did not fully understand his or her charges.

– The defendant did not fully understand the effects of pleading guilty.

What Happens If I Successfully Withdraw My Guilty Plea?

If a defendant successfully withdraws his or her guilty plea, then the case essentially begins again. The defendant will typically negotiate a new deal with his or her attorney and then go to trial. It is important to note that successfully withdrawing a guilty plea does not always guarantee a favorable outcome.

Contact the Attorneys at Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins

If you or a loved one is facing any legal issues, it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side. The legal team at Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins has the necessary experience to defend your rights and can guide you through this trying time. For more information, call our offices at (727)478-4125 or schedule a free consultation today.