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Can my 23 year old son appeal a conviction he received as a result of accepting a plea agreement?

Indianapolis, IN |

My son accepted a HORRIBLE plea agreement because he did not understand the severe nature of the consequence. In addition, he did not understand that the plea agreement would result in a habitual offender charge, jury trial and conviction the same day! He was charged with 2 A felonies for robbery & burglary (no weapon involved) involving some guy that lived in a trailer who was known to deal prescrip meds. My son was highly intoxicated when he did this and has little memory but was told by police (of course) what crimes he committed. His defense attorney told him he had nothing to defend him with and that he had to accept the plea of 2 A felonies or he'd get 90 years. Can my son appeal his decision to accept the plea agreement? This all took place in Indiana.

Attorney Answers 2


A very difficult situation if the court has accepted the plea and pronounced sentence. The plea language may even waive legally available appellate rights. Likely, he needs to consult a lawyer about post-conviction relief. The availability of relief is limited to very stringent standards such as actual innocence, lack of factual basis, etc. a very specialized area of practice.

I hate to hear these stories. There is always something you can do at the trial level. The arena he is in now is much more difficult.

Best Regards, Jeff

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Mr. Flores, Thank you so very much for answering my question. The information and direction you provided was extremely helpful and very appreciated.


He needs to discuss this first with his defense attorney. Generally, he should have been advised of the nature of the plea and the consequences. But, unless the plea agreement reserved the right to appeal he probably waived rights to a direct appeal. If his defense attorney does not adequately explain now, he may have to discuss with new counsel whether there was ineffective assistance. An ineffective assistance claim is extremely hard to establish, but that may be his only recourse at this point.

This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is advisable to consult with an attorney with full disclosure of relevant facts for a comprehensive leagl opinion.

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