Pueblo, CO asked in Criminal Law for Colorado

Q: My judge at court said that I signed an illegal plea and pulled my plea and then charged me on an aggravated level. ??

Can my judge change my charges and is signing an illegal plea grounds for dismissal?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Sean Maye
Sean Maye
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Denver, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: In a Rule 11 advisement form (i.e., plea agreement contact), one of several paragraphs that a defendant has to initial is an acknowledgement that the judge does not have to accept the plea agreement if they find that it's not appropriate or illegal. If someone can be subjected to aggravated sentencing but their plea agreement does not contemplate sentencing in an aggravated range, and if the judge does not agree that is an appropriate concession, the judge is technically free to reject the plea agreement and require a plea agreement - provided it's consistent with the the law and circumstances.

In your case, requiring aggravated sentencing is not the judge necessarily changing your charges, so much as it is the judge requiring a sentencing range that theoretically, and legally, applies to your circumstances. For that reason, there are no grounds for dismissal based on what you've written here, and you will either have to re-negotiate with the District Attorney in light of the judge's rejection of your plea agreement or otherwise proceed to Trial. That is a decision you need to make after a long and thoughtful conversation with your lawyer.

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