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My 3 yr old niece touched me in my sleep. I was arrested and,10 months later, gave into a b. interest plea. How can I fix this?

Nashville, TN |

My sister had asked me if I could babysit overnight.I agreed. The next morning, my niece informs my mother that she had touched me. According to the discovery I received, my sister had given multiple versions of statements of the event. She also threw in there that all 6 of her brothers, myself included, raped and molested her resulting in various medicated mental illnesses.Nine months after the event, I was arrested and charged with 2 counts of Aggravated Sexual Battery of a Minor under 13.During my stay in jail, I discovered my sister was blackmailing my mother from giving a statement.My mother was the original witness.Ten months in jail,I tried to get a best interest plea calling for a Range 1 Class C Felony(3-6yr) but was blindsided on my signing day by the prosecution by Range 2 8yrs

(wasn't much room) The prosecution used a "take it or go to trial" and risk at least 8 years at 100% or the 8 years at 30% suspended with lifetime registry. The charge was lowered from Class B to Class C but the time was raised back up by a ruling case (cant remember which). My lawyer at the time was insistent that I had no case and would have lost, innocent or not. He claimed that the trial would have simply been a "swearing contest" and there was nothing that could be done but take the deal. I know I had a corroborating witness (though being blackmailed by prosecution's witness created a problem), possible expert witness to verify Forensic Interview was done correctly and also one to verify claims of coercion), "lack of intent", no Mens Rea, and many other little things that should have been acceptable. I am currently a week out of jail and forever know as a "Attempted" Child Molester which is classified as a "violent" crime in the registry. I need this fixed.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. You need to get a lawyer - see if you can withdraw your plea. But it's difficult.

    No legal advice is given here. My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must NOT be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions & Answers forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. I am only licensed in the States of California and New York and the District of Columbia


  2. There are motions that you can file to fix this problem. You need to discuss this with and atty asap as time is a factor. Not many attys handle sex crimes. How long ago was this?

    Claiborne H. Ferguson, Esq. is * Certified as a Specialist in Criminal Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. * Certified as a Specialist in Criminal Trial Advocacy by the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization.


  3. Time is of the essence. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney ASAP. There are Motions that need to be filed immediately asking the court to set aside your Best Interest plea.


  4. Did you have a public defender?

    ↓ Mark this answer as "Helpful" or "Best Answer" if you like it. For more information, contact us at www.SteakleyLawFirm.com or (404) 835-7595. The initial consultation is always free for Avvo users.

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