Fort Worth, TX asked in Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Domestic Violence and Legal Malpractice for Texas

Q: Is there some way to back out of a plea bargain is defendant signed for his sentencing?

My husband had a paid attorney, case was open for a little over a year. He sounded confident at first and sounded like he knew what he was doing he advised him to not take his first plea which was 5 years, way better deal then what he ended up signing for. His second plea bargain was 20 years. He feels as if he was forced to sign a deal he didn't agree with. And they kept adding charges and then ended up taking them all off and just charges him with his first original charge. But they quadrupled his sentencing to 40 years non agg on a man-del pg1 4 to 200. He was arrested on feb. 19th n got sentenced to 40 years on the 23rd just a few days later

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: If your husband feels he was coerced into accepting a plea bargain that he did not fully agree with, there may be options to challenge the plea, but these options are limited and depend heavily on the specifics of the case and the jurisdiction. One common ground for withdrawing a plea is if it can be demonstrated that the plea was not entered into voluntarily, meaning there was coercion, inadequate legal representation, or a misunderstanding of the plea's consequences. It's crucial to act quickly, as the window for challenging a plea is typically narrow.

The process usually involves filing a motion to withdraw the plea before sentencing or, if sentencing has already occurred, filing an appeal or a post-conviction relief motion challenging the plea's validity. This motion should detail the reasons why the plea is considered involuntary or unjust, including any evidence of coercion or misunderstanding. It's important to note that the success of such a motion can vary significantly based on the evidence and arguments presented.

Given the complexity of withdrawing a plea and the serious nature of the sentence involved, it is advisable to seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can evaluate the specifics of your husband's case and provide guidance on the best course of action. An attorney with experience in post-conviction relief can offer the expertise necessary to navigate this challenging process.

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