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Can I appeal a sentence if I took a plea deal and agreed to the sentence at the sentencing hearing?

Dade City, FL |

I was charged with grand theft in the 2nd degree in 2004. I was due to go to trial this week but accepted a plea bargain last week and had my sentencing and restitution hearing today. Originally my lawyer said that they were not going to be able to prove an amount due but today he acted like he didn't want to go forward so the state offered me a deal. 15 years probation and $20,000 restitution w/ early term and a withhold. I was scared and took the deal and didn't go through with the restitution hearing. Now that I think about it I shouldn't of took such a harsh sentence being that I did not take any money from my previous employer. Am I able to appeal my sentence? If so I will need a lawyer that handles this. I am in Pasco County. The only reason I plead is because I have a newborn now.

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Attorney answers 3


Generally, once you are sentenced it is very difficult to undo a plea. But if you want to pursue this you should contact an attorney right away. You may want to ask your attorney first. The problem with attempting to undo to a plea is that you tell the court you lied when you plead guilty.


Unfortunately, you are long past the time in which to attempt to have the court reconsider the sentence and your entry of a plea. Many individuals harbor regrets for decisions which seemed (back then) to have been, and perhaps still are, the right move.

Derek Brett, Esq.
The Brett Law Firm, P.A.
Orlando, Florida


It will be tough to undo the plea bargain (just as you wouldn't want the State of Florida to undo their part of the plea agreement and say, "We change our mind and we now want ten years in prison instead of probation").

You have thirty (30) days to appeal the legality of your sentence, but I would be very careful what you wish for. While your sentence may not seem appropriate to you, receiveing a "withhold of adjudication" and no jail or prison time on a large Grand Theft can be (in many times) a very favorable sentence. Not only is your sentence a "legal" sentence (that you would have a hard time appealing), but it is also a "low" sentence and if your plea was withdrawn you would be looking at the original 5, 15, or 30 years in prison (depending on the value of the theft).

No Judge is going to care about the fact that "the only reason [you] plead [was] because you have a newborn son."

Good luck,

Aaron J. Slavin, Esq.