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Can an investigation be re-opened after a no-contest plea?

Tampa, FL |

I accepted a plea of no-contest and received probation. This was for an misdemeanor incident that I was not involved in and would have taken to trial but was offered a plea with the threat that if I did not accept, the charges would be re-filed as a felony.

It has been over a year and there is now clear evidence of who committed the offence. Can the police re-open the case and file charges or at least show that I was falsely accused? How can I encourage them to do so?

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

Sorry, but I agree that there is nothing you can do at this stage unless you can show that you were coerced. The State threatening to file enhanced charges does not qualify for this requirement. I am very sure the official record of your change of plea reflects that you told the judge you were NOT threatened or coerced and that you knew exactly what you were getting in exchange for you plea. As the saying goes,
"act in haste, regret in leisure"...sounds like this case has been put behind you. Keep it there and move on with your life.

Good Luck,

Robert E. Heyman, Esq.


I have never heard or been part of a case in which the police re-open a case after somebody has pleaded no contest. It is futile and just silly to tell you you shouldn't plead guilty to a crime when you're not guilty, and technically if you entered the plea because you were threatened or coerced to do so, you might be able to get the plea withdrawn. So there's a lot going on here that seems crazy to me.


You'd have to file a motion to vacate your plea. However, you have not given good legal grounds to do so and are way outside of the time window to modify the sentence. You'd have to somehow argue it was an illegal sentence which has no time bar.

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While it may be difficult to pursuit a remedy through a modification of sentence as the other attorney's mentioned below there may be some alternatives. One you could filed a motion to vacate although it is outside the timeline required by law and ask the Office of the State Attorney if they would concede to it. Two, you could take your issue before the Governor and ask for a pardon. There also other possible solutions that would be better answered in a less public forum. I'll leave you with this, our system, though not perfect, and overburdened does leaves ways to ensure those not guilty are not unfairly punished.