If a defendant wants to claim that he took a plea deal based on faulty advice or what are called affirmative misrepresentations by their plea attorney, they can file what is called a 2255 motion within one year of the plea being entered. The motion would more or less say that the plea was not voluntary because it was based on bad or incorrect advice given by the attorney. 2255's are tricky and, even for the lawyers who handle them all the time, low percentage as far as success. This guy really needs to talk to an attorney who regularly handles appeals and post-conviction work if he wishes to go down this road. Most likely he had a written plea agreement that may further complicate the situation, but with the right attorney he can get it before a judge and at least make his case that the plea was not voluntary and/or that the sentence was too harsh.
If the defendant entered into a plea agreement that ultimately proved unfavorable, based on his attorney's erroneous advice, the conviction and sentence may be vacated if the defendant can demonstrate that the attorney's meets the legal standard for ineffective assistance of counsel.
Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq.
NATIONAL FEDERAL DEFENSE GROUP
I agree with my colleague. Ineffective assistance in a situation like that is a complex legal matter and will require consultation with an attorney who may be able to challenge the plea through a habeas petition. You should contact a federal attorney to look into your options.
I am a CA layer and this is just meant to get you started in looking for the right lawyer! This is not legal advice. No Attorney/Client relationship has been formed. I may or may not be licensed in your jurisdiction. Please consult an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction for state specific advice.
Much more information is required in order for a lawyer to form any opinion as to what might be done to address the situation. Firstly, when did this conviction take place (i.e. does the defendant still have his appeal rights)? Secondly, I would need to know much more about the communication between the defendant and the lawyer. The U.S. Supreme Court recently held that it can be ineffective assistance of counsel for a lawyer to give inaccurate or misleading information about proposed plea agreements. You should contact an experienced federal defense lawyer immediately.
This answer is for informational purposes only. By answering this question, no attorney/client relationship is created. Although the legal information is accurate, it may not be appropriate for your situation. The best way to handle any legal problem is to seek the advice of an attorney.