Withdrawing a Plea in Orange County
Have you or someone you know pled guilty to a criminal charge because it seemed like the right thing to do at the time? If you have since felt like it was the wrong decision or if new evidence has come to light in your case, our OC criminal lawyers at Law Office of Michael L. Guisti can help you withdraw your plea.
Many people think once you plead guilty "that is it" and there is no going back, but that is not case. Withdrawal of plea can be made within six months of the entry of judgment, but the sooner the better. In fact, it's highly advisable to contact us before you've been sentenced, because if you show "good cause" why your plea should be withdrawn before, the judge will often grant the motion.
If you have already been sentenced, then withdrawing your plea is not as easy. In fact, it is highly complex, which is why you need to contact an Orange County defense lawyer about appeals immediately. While it is not impossible to withdraw your plea after you've been sentenced or after the 6-month deadline, the process is much more difficult. You may just have to submit a petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
"Good cause" is generally shown if when you pled guilty you were unaware of the consequences. Perhaps you pled guilty to a crime thinking you were only going to pay a fine, but it turns out your driver's license will be suspended and you have to perform community service. Or, to use a more dramatic example, perhaps you pled guilty to a crime thinking the maximum sentence is three months in county jail, but you find out after entering the plea the maximum sentence for the said crime is really five years in prison. The bottom line is that when you entered your guilty plea, you did not fully understand the consequences.
It's important to note that if you entered a guilty plea as an immigrant, we urge you to withdraw your plea. Perhaps you thought pleading guilty to a minor crime would not affect your immigration status, but turns out it will. By withdrawing your plea, you may be able to hold off immigration hearings until a new trial.
Once the court grants the motion to withdraw your guilty plea, your case is essentially set to reset, which means you could have a new trial or work out a possible plea bargain. It is important to note that any possible plea deals the DA offered will not stand. In fact, the DA may offer the same plea deal or a different one. If the DA or court dismissed certain crimes or reduced them prior to when you pled guilty, you are setting everything on reset by withdrawing your plea; those charges could be brought back.
While you may have received a good plea deal, or if the crime you pled guilty to does not carry any jail time, consider this: Yes, you are out of jail, but you now have a criminal record that may cause problems with employment, housing, and even financial aid. It could also be the case that you really are not guilty of the crime and were railroaded by either your attorney or the DA.
Whether you entered a plea of guilty not understanding the full consequences, the DA isn't keeping up its end of the plea bargain, or your lawyer gave you bad advice, you must call the Orange County appeals attorneys at Law Office of Michael L. Guisti at (714) 530-9690 now. We will see to it that you get a fair trial.
Whether you're facing a felony or a misdemeanor, don't risk a conviction. Act quickly to redeem your reputation and protect your record by consulting with our Orange County criminal defense lawyer. Call today to schedule your free consultation.