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Can my husband change his plea from guilty to not guilty?

Lubbock, TX |

My husband was diagnosed with schizophrenia and he has been in relapse. He went to a store to get something to eat...sat down and he said he blanked out, then decided to get up and go home, totally forgetting to pay. A security guard observed his behavior and stopped him while he was leaving the store. My husband told him he totally forgot about paying for the $7 food and asked if he could pay but they refused and the cops were called. He has never been arrested and never been to jail. This is his first ever offense due to his condition. He pleads guilty, saying he doesn't want to fight for it and it's easier that way but I would like to fight for his case and have it dismissed. Can he change his plea?

Thank you for all the answers. I just got to know that he hasn't plead yet. He received a citation with a court date, and I am assuming that is when he has to enter a plea or pay a fine (which i know will go on his record). I have no clue about how all these court procedures go. I don't think I can afford to hire an attorney but I will try to consult an attorney regarding this and hopefully be able to work out a payment plan with them.

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Attorney answers 5


Once someone pleads guilty they can only withdraw their plea with the permission of the judges. Most judges aren't inclined to allow defendants to withdraw their. If he hasn't been sentenced its more likely the judge would let him.
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From the sound remarks of my TX colleague I would recommend that you at least consult with qualified TX criminal defense attorneys to see what the prospects for changing his plea may be. Most of us offer free, if limited, consultations. Take advantage of that and start talking to some lawyers. Better to know and understand at this point when something maybe can be done rather than spend a long time second guessing. Good luck.


Has he already entered a plea and been sentenced? If so, this is difficult to undo but sometimes possible. You would need to consult a criminal defense attorney in your area to look at the specifics of his case. If he hasn't pled yet, he can enter whatever plea he wants and needs to discuss this with his attorney before returning to court.

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The short answer is likely not. Once plea entered and accepted by court and sentence imposed, difficult to withdraw plea.
Given amount of loss, this is likely a Justice court or municipal court matter (unless there are prior instances of similar conduct related or unrelated to medical issues) and likely subject to fine only punishment and for which a deferred adjudication probation should have been available (probation, the successful completion of which results in dismissal). If a fine was paid and case closed, withdrawal of plea not possible.
HOWEVER, depending on time elapsed since sentence imposed, the same net effect may be accomplished by filing a motion for new trial alleging the medical/psychological issues and challenging voluntariness of plea based on his inability to make a knowing and intelligent waiver of right owing to these medical/psychological infirmities. If granted, This would put the case back in exactly same position it was in before plea.
But you should move quickly. Time limits for filing such motions are short.
CAVEAT: not all such medical/psychological issues automatically affect voluntariness or competence to enter such a plea.

There are some great criminal defense lawyers in Lubbock. Find one quickly and inquire. Good luck.

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Harold Christopher Waller

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Justin Kiechler. Call him. He is out of Lubbock.


That's good that he hasn't pled yet. Do your best to retain an attorney and I'm confident they can put him in a position to get this case dismissed, especially with his lack of criminal history.

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