Can My Guilty Plea Be Withdrawn After the Fact?

by | Aug 15, 2021 | Criminal Attorney

Guilty Plea Withdrawls

Many criminal defendants enter a guilty plea during the arraignment stage of the legal process, potentially not fully understanding what this means or what will happen afterward. If you find that you regret your initial guilty plea, you’re one of many defendants in the same proverbial boat. 

It may be possible to withdraw your plea, however, a court will only allow this if you meet certain criteria. That said, if you do, it may be in your best interests to withdraw your guilty plea. In some cases, it’s the most legally ethical path forward. 

Here’s what you should understand about plea withdrawals, whether you qualify, if you should withdraw your plea or not given your circumstances, and what steps to take to get the experienced legal advocacy you need after being arrested for a crime. 

What It Means to Withdraw Your Initial Plea 

The withdrawal of a guilty plea basically deletes the plea from your criminal records as though you did not enter a guilty plea at all. While this is difficult, it is sometimes necessary under unique circumstances, such as: 

  • The defendant’s lawyer put undue pressure on them to enter a guilty plea 
  • The lawyer entered a guilty plea without the defendant’s consent 
  • The defendant was under the influence or otherwise incapacitated and unable to intelligently plead guilty 
  • There is new evidence available in the case 

Before Sentencing 

If the judge presiding over your case has yet to accept your guilty plea, you can usually withdraw it. Prosecutors may also sometimes choose to withdraw a plea deal after a case is presented in court but prior to sentencing. 

After You Are Sentenced 

It’s generally much harder to get a plea withdrawn after sentencing has occurred. That said, the judge presiding over your criminal case may be willing to allow you to do so if you can show clear evidence of one of the above-mentioned injustices. For example, if you can prove that you were not of sound mind when you were pressured to enter a guilty plea, the judge may allow you to withdraw it. 

Get Help from an Experienced Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer Today  

Because how you plead occurs at your arraignment, which is one of the first hearings in your criminal case, it’s crucial that you contact an attorney prior to this. Michael T. Rabideau has the skills and expertise to help you navigate Florida’s complex legal system. 

Call now for your comprehensive initial consultation by dialing (561) 820-4848.