It is difficult to have a plea of guilty set aside because the Court asks a number of questions to make sure that the plea was freely, knowingly, and understandingly made. The Court usually inquires of the Defendant if there were any threats or promises that induced the Defendant to plead guilty. Also, with a guilty plea there is a factual basis given by the Defendant before the Court accepts the plea.
At this point he can pursue his appellate remedies. If that fails he can file a motion for relief from judgment with the trial court.
The fact that the crime was committed with another person does not necessarily equate to duress. For duress he is going to have to establish, if given the opportunity, that the only reason that he committed the crime because he was under fear of death or serious physical harm if he did not commit the crime.
It is exceedingly difficult to have a plea set aside, especially after sentencing. The entire plea taking process is designed to make sure that a guilty plea is being made knowingly and voluntarily.
Lastly your brother is not serving someone elses sentence. He is serving his own. His only real chance at this point is to try to appeal.
You should hire an attorney to visit with your brother and discuss with him his options. He may have plead guilty under duress but at the same time, he may have gotten more time if he had gone to trial. It is impossible for an attorney over the internet with no knowledge of the facts of your brother's case to give any credible advice. If you want to help him, get him a criminal defense lawyer.
Mr. Loren Dickstein, Esq.
LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.
2000 Town Center, Ste. 2350
Southfield, MI 48075
(248) 263-6800 - Fax: (248) 357-1371
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