Did you plead guilty to a crime? You might have thought that was the best option for you at the time. You may not have understood the consequences of your guilty plea when you entered it. Well, it may not be too late to withdraw your plea.
How to Attempt to Withdraw Your Plea
There are many reasons why you may want to withdraw a plea you made in court. Maybe you were not aware of all of the consequences you’d face for your crime when you entered a guilty plea. Perhaps you entered a guilty plea because your attorney recommended you do so, but you now realize your lawyer was wrong.
These are all reasons why you may wish to withdraw your plea. Under California Penal Code Section 1018, you may be able to withdraw your guilty or no contest plea after demonstrating “good cause” to be allowed to do so.
So, what does “good cause” mean?
Understanding Good Cause When Withdrawing Your Plea
“Good cause” is when you entered a plea as a result of a mistake, out of ignorance, or another reason. Simply wanting a better outcome in your case is not considered good cause to withdraw your plea.
What qualifies as “good cause”? There are several circumstances that are typically considered good cause for withdrawing your plea in California. Some valid reasons that may convince the court to allow you to withdraw your plea include:
- You were not represented by an attorney when entering the plea
- You were represented by an incompetent attorney
- You were unaware of any mandatory sentences, fines, immigration consequences, or license suspensions you would face as a consequence of pleading guilty or no contest
- The prosecution did not follow through on the terms of a plea agreement
- You were coerced into making the plea
Changing Your Plea in California
If you are granted a motion to withdraw your plea, it means your case is back to where it was before you entered the plea. Since this process usually occurs before or within six months of sentencing, you will likely be arraigned again and any previously offered plea deals will no longer be available to you.
At this point, you will be able to enter any plea that you choose. You could accept a new plea bargain or you could enter a not guilty plea and possibly go to trial. Your attorney will help you determine what is best for your case.
Contact the Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
Attempting to withdraw your plea is not easy, and you must show specific legal grounds involved in your case in order to be allowed to withdraw your plea. This process is strict and confusing, which is why you should seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney if you want to attempt to change your plea in California.
At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys have more than 35 years of experience successfully defending our clients and helping them withdraw their plea. Let us help you with your case today.
With offices in Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino, Torrance, Victorville, and West Covina you can find a dedicated Wallin & Klarich attorney available near you no matter where you work or live.
Call us now at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.