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I want to file a motion to vacate my guilty plea while on furlough. i have been mistreated and misrepresent by the judicial sys

Robinson, IL |

court appointed attorney would not use the defense strategy of my choosing. can anyone help

Attorney Answers 3


  1. The law commits strategic decisions to the judgment of the attorney. Your attorney was under no obligation to follow your suggestions. On the other hand, the decision whether to plead guilty or not was yours, not your attorney's, and you were under no obligation to follow your attorney's suggestion. But you did and it may be too late to change your mind now. If you are within thirty days of sentencing you can ask the judge for leave to withdraw your guilty plea and go to trial. My guess is that your motion for leave to withdraw the plea will be denied, but maybe not. If you are beyond the thirty days you will probably not be able to withdraw the plea at all, and any remedy you have available will be hard, expensive, and unlikely to succeed.


  2. Although decisions regarding what legal strategy to follow are left up to the attorney, it is important to remember that the attorney has an obligation to thoroughly investigate your case before advising you to plead guilty. If the differences you had with your attorney about "strategy" decisions actually involved failure to interview potential witnesses or otherwise investigate your case, that may be a basis for attacking your plea of guilty. The amount of time that has passed since the plea was entered will determine whether you can file a simple motion to withdraw the plea (within 30 days) or you have to pursue some more complicated procedure such as a post-conviction petition.


  3. You have 30 days to file a motion to withdraw your plea, unless there are special circumstances that exist. Usually a claim that you didn't like your attorney's strategy is not sufficient to allow you to withdraw a plea.

    Answers posted here are suggestions only, and are not intended to replace advice given by an attorney that you hire.