What am I supposed to do if my public defender misinformed me and had me sign for deal that was not what he had explained to me?

Asked 4 months ago - Fresno, CA

My public defender told me I would be taking a deal for the outstanding charges against me which was robbery. He said all I would be getting was a misdemeanor but once I signed the paper and we went before the judge, the judge gave me a misdemeanor for burglary and 3 years probation. I was not aware of this and was to afraid to speak up and honestly I really didn't know what was going on. He scared me saying that if I didn't take the deal, I would have to go to trial and more then likely I would lose and receive 5 years in prison. So I thought only getting a misdemeanor (petty theft) was okay not a big deal but I was unaware I would be getting a misdemeanor for burglary and 3 years probation.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Greg Hagopian


    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree


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    Answered . Pretty much every misdemeanor comes with three years (sometimes five) probation. California defines commercial burglary as going into a building (such as a store) with the intent to steal. It is very much what most people think of as a "petty theft." It sounds to me like you may have settled for good terms, but only you and your lawyer know that. If you are convinced that your lawyer got you a raw deal and you want to withdraw your plea, you may be able to do so if you convince the judge you misunderstood some important part the deal. You should really think twice though. You may not want to do a robbery trial.

  2. Jennifer J Wirsching

    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The plea you were given outlined the deal - including the term of probation. The judge detailed the terms in court before he accepted your plea, you said you understood everything and that you weren't coerced into it. What did you think a plea was? There really is no such thing as "plea to this and then there is no jail, no probation, no anything." You said to the judge you read the plea and understood it. So, you could I guess try to withdraw the plea, head to trial and then try to explain why you lied to the court, or you could just try to comply by the terms of your probation.

  3. Kelvin P. Green

    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In my mind what is the difference between misdemeanor burglary and misdemeanor petty theft? They are both misdemeanors. As the old Baretta TV show theme (does that date me?) if your gonna do the crime you gotta do the time...

    Here's the question and yes it's rhetorical... did you do it? Were you guilty? If so, you could be in Prison. If they had enough to charge you, they could get a conviction... You really want to risk prison time and a felony conviction instead of three years probation. I almost want to guess and say that the reason you are so worried about thus is you have not changed your ways and you figure you will be in jail before your three years is up and you'll gave violated probation...

    If you want to withdraw your plea, you starting over.

    This is for general information only. Nothing in this information should be construed as creating an attorney-... more

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