What is a Motion to Withdraw a Plea?
Simply put, if you plead guilty to a crime and did not have an attorney present or did not know the expected penalty, you may file a motion to withdraw your plea. For the motion to withdraw a plea to be granted, you must demonstrate “good cause”.
A motion to withdraw a plea must be filed before you are sentenced or within six months of a probationary sentence, as opposed to a jail or prison sentence.
Good cause for withdrawing a plea can include:
- Not having an attorney present at the time of your plea; you cannot withdraw a plea if you knowingly and unequivocally waived your right to counsel. You may be able to withdraw your plea if you represented yourself and the judge did not confirm your right to counsel.
- Not being aware of all the consequences of the plea; this can include not being aware of mandatory jail or prison sentence, as well as, not being aware of professional licensing suspension/revocation.
- Coercion into a plea; if you were lured, threatened or coerced in any way into accepting a plea, you may file a motion to withdraw the plea. This includes those not associated with the trial. If you can prove that someone threatened you into taking the plea agreement, you may demonstrate good cause to motion for a plea withdrawal.
- Representation by an incompetent lawyer; this includes ineffective assistance of counsel. If your attorney fails to properly investigate your case, present enough evidence to obtain a less severe sentence, or fails to file and argue the appropriate motions, you may have good cause to motion for a plea withdrawal.
The South Carolina Criminal Defense Attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC will fight on your behalf to withdraw a plea you may have previously made. Due to the limited time, it is important that you contact us as soon as you feel you have “good cause” to file a motion for a plea withdrawal. Our South Carolina Criminal Defense Attorneys have experience in both state and federal courtrooms. At the Strom Law Firm, we know what it takes to secure you a beneficial verdict. Call us today for a free case evaluation. 803.252.4800.