Asked in Car Accidents and Criminal Law for Florida

Q: I was arrested for leaving the scene of accident and resisting arrest without violence.

I plead no contest, and took the plea deal of time served (18 days).

Before the arrest, during the time in jail, and for 5 years afterwards, I was severely mentally ill (scrizophernia, bipolar disorder medications). Now I that my medication have been updated, I feel sane enough to be a productive member of the society.

I read the police report and it is completely not how it happened. I hadn't read it before I took the plea deal.

As per the law, can I get the case reopened? I have proof of all the mental rehabs, doctors notes, and how I wasn't able to protect my legal rights due to mental illness.


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1 Lawyer Answer
Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Sorry to hear about your ordeal. It is possible to file a motion to withdraw a plea due to the plea being involuntary because of mental incompetence. However, due to the number of years going by and the (I assume) availability of the police report at all times, I believe you'd be facing very long odds for getting the motion granted. Don't rely on any online commentary (such as mine), though; schedule a consultation with a criminal defense attorney for evaluation of the issue.

Another issue is whether you can get the record EXPUNGED or SEALED. If you can accomplish that, there's no need to try to get the case re-opened (which could still result in conviction if you were to miraculously succeed on a motion to withdraw the plea). If the arrest resulted in conviction, you cannot get the record expunged or sealed, but if it instead resulted in a WITHHOLD OF ADJUDICATION, and you have no convictions at all in your record, you might be eligible for an expungement (also called expunction) or sealing of the record.

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