Joiner, AR asked in Criminal Law, Civil Rights and Domestic Violence for Arkansas

Q: Never read rights, never offered attorney, told plead guilty or go to jail. Plead guilty.. can I fix this.

It was years back, abusive ex husband I left showed up where I was staying and assaulted me. I had no job and was pregnant. I had no idea the consequences of pleading guilty. I was out on bail. At plea hearing the judge said if I plead not guilty he was going to put me in jail even after my alcoholic ex admitted he was on my back choking me when I tried to open the door to escape so, I hit him over my shoulder with my mother's door jammer. But now I can't even buy a 22 rifle to hunt I find out years later. Is there any way to go about fixing my guilty plea. I was jobless 6 months pregnant and never offered help to get an attorney or read my rights. It was self defense, but he said guilty or jail.

1 Lawyer Answer
Richard Lane Hughes
Richard Lane Hughes
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Little Rock, AR
  • Licensed in Arkansas

A: "It was years back" is a real problem with your case. An overbearing judge may have unintentionally misled you. You were probably not in a state of mind to appreciate what was happening to you at that time as well. What you describe is fraught with problems from a legal perspective. However, even violations of your rights that may rise to the level of a Constitutional deprivation must be timely challenged. Based on your statement only, I suspect that it is too late to pursue a remedy in the courts. You might be a good candidate for executive pardon or clemency. That process is an appeal to the Governor to review your case and determine if justice will be served by granting you this extra judicial relief. You may hire an attorney for that purpose or pursue that course yourself. The process can be tedious and it must be done correctly to have a chance at getting this extraordinary relief. You really need an attorney to assist you.

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