My husband plead guilty to drug charges and was sentenced to 4 years in prison. The lawyer received the discovery the same day of the plea but didnt review it throughly. Now that we have reviewed the discovery there are alot of discrepencies to the point where he can beat the case.
It is difficult to have a sentence withdrawn when the conviction is the result of a plea agreement. Of course, if the lawyer did not disclose important information that would have benefited your husband, there may be some room to challenge the plea. It would help him if his plea was given under the Alford case. Alford allows a person to enter a guilty plea without having to actually admit to the crime. Instead, under Alford the plea is made because the accused person believes it to be in his best interest to do so. Speak with his lawyer about what can be done. Understand, however, that any attempt to withdraw the plea might need to be done by a different lawyer if you believe the current lawyer might not be willing to "fess up to the mess up." He might not be willing to admit he blew it. Whatever you do, you must HURRY HURRY HURRY! You are on a very short deadline to take action. You might even want to go ahead and begin speaking with other lawyers so as not to waste any more time.
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First, talk to an attorney TODAY. Withdrawing a guilty plea is an extremely particular process. The motion to withdraw the plea must be filed in the same "term of court" as when the plea was entered. In some jurisdictions a term of court is a two-month window--in others, it could be up to six-months. Regardless, it is a hard deadline. Next, to "win" the motion to withdraw the guilty plea, your attorney must show that a manifest injustice occurred. What is a manifest injustice? This is where your lawyer will review the entire case to figure out the most convincing argument. Do not delay.
This answer is for informational purposes only and is an effort to clear what is often the "muck" of legal misunderstanding. Nothing in my response is intended as legal advice, and you should not rely on it without seeking your own counsel. I am not your attorney, and because we do not share an attorney-client relationship, hiring an attorney of your own is your best solution.
Why did he take a plea with an attorney that had not had an opportunity to review discovery?!?!?!? Depending on when he entered the plea he may be able to file a motion to withdraw the plea. He also has four years from the date of the plea to file a habeas corpus petition.
Those discrepancies are most likely not enough to beat the case. I recommend taking the discovery to a different lawyer, and ask his opinion. If something can be done the lawyer will know how to proceed.
James L. Yeargan, Jr. is licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia. All information given is based only on Georgia law, and is not directly applicable to any other jurisdictions, states, or districts. Any answer given assumes the person who asked the question holds a Georgia Drivers License, and this license is not a commercial drivers license (CDL). This response, or any response, is not legal advice. This response, or any response, does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information. Any state specific concerns should be directed to an attorney who is licensed to practice law in that respective state.
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