Can a person get a charge dropped after they have gone to court and signed on it?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Brownwood, TX

My husband and i were charged with the same charge. Poss. of a cont. sub. in a drug free zone. I got probation and he got another felony. He has already gone to court and signed for 3 years on the poss. charge. Is there any way to have that charge dropped for him since i was already charged with it??

Attorney answers (4)

  1. David N. Smith

    Contributor Level 14

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If there is any way to get the charge against him dropped, it would not be because you were also charged with the same POCS. Texas law allows more than one person to be considered in possession of a thing. He should talk to an attorney about a Motion for New Trial, and there are some other (weak) possibilities. I would say his chances of getting out of a deal that he has already signed are very slim.

    This answer is intended to be taken as general information and not as specific legal advice. You should always... more
  2. Stephen A. Gustitis

    Contributor Level 13

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with Mr. Smith. A motion for new trial, if filed within 30 days of sentencing, would be your husband's best hope. But he will be facing many serious obstacles to success. His criminal defense lawyer would be in the best position to advise him on this issue. Remember that strict time limits apply. Please act quickly.

  3. Nathaniel Lewis Miller

    Contributor Level 9

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Both attorneys above are correct. The likelihood that he will be allowed to even reopen the case is slim... the Judge has complete discretion whether to grant a motion for a new trial - and will usually only do so in extreme circumstances. Even if the motion is granted he will still face the same charge - not a reduced charge, unless a reduction is a part of a new plea agreement.

  4. Ralph U. Whitten

    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . Yes, it is possible. Consider the following:

    On application of the defendant at any time before judgment or within six months after an order granting probation is made if entry of judgment is suspended, the court may . . . , for a good cause shown, permit the plea of guilty to be withdrawn and a plea of not guilty substituted. . . . This section shall be liberally construed to effect these objects and to promote justice. In a motion to withdraw a plea, the defendant carries the burden of proof and must show by clear and convincing evidence there is good cause to withdraw the plea. (People v. Wharton (1991) 53 Cal.3d 522, 585; People v. Nance (1991) 1 Cal.App.4th 1453, 1456, citing People v. Cruz (1974) 12 Cal.3d 562, 566.)

    Good cause exists when the defendant was operating under mistake, ignorance, or inadvertence, when the exercise of free judgment was overcome, or when other factors acted to deprive the defendant unlawfully of the right to a trial on the merits. (Nance, at p. 1456, citing Cruz, at p. 566, and People v. Barteau (1970) 10 Cal.App.3d 483, 486; People v. Goodrum (1991) 228 Cal.App.3d 397, 400-401.)

    Something that would allow a plea to be withdrawn and a new plea entered would be if something occurred or was omitted that resulted in a violation of due process. This could be an attorney not representing you effectively, or if you were read the charges but there was an important detail left out.

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