Q: Can I appeal a charge from 1996 in Tempe, AZ where coercion played a role in my plea?
I was 18 and homeless in 1996, cutting across an open parking lot (privately owned). A policeman said he couldn't stand us homeless (today I hold degrees in biotech, microbiology, and teaching) and I needed to leave town. He arrested me for criminal trespass. I was fed rotten green baloney and expired milk twice a day, had no shirt when arrested and was denied a blanket, and was moved cells every 4-6 hours in order to disrupt sleep (this was from Friday-Monday). For court I was given a jumpsuit finally, and in court I was told that if I wanted a trial that I would remain in jail for several weeks, or I could plea guilty and be released that day. The criminal trespass interferes with certain jobs I apply for today, even with four college degrees. Can I appeal based on coercion, expunge, or file charges for inhumane practices?
A: It sounds like what you are probably seeking to do is set aside your conviction. While this is not entirely what you are asking, it may accomplish your objectives. A set aside if granted will set aside the judgment of guilt and dismiss the complaint. You should consult an attorney to discuss your options. Many firms, including mine, offer free consultations.
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