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How do i reopen a case

Hornell, NY |

in 2002 i was convicted of a sex crime that i didnt comit i was pulled from class in 2001 when i was 17 held for over an hour in the princapals office until i told the cop i did it i gave a false statement that i did it when i know i didnt. after questioning i was arrested went to court & recieved a public defender that either didnt show for court or just kept delaying the case & was in no way helping i think almost 6 months went by befor my lawyer tried making a bargin with the DA. i was offerd lvl 1 10 year registration & 60 days of jail another thing i dont understand is how a judge can base a conviction on his own personal opinion hes stated in court & on record that a 12 year old is incapable of telling lies, & she stalked me for a year with pics & letters i took to the police b4hand

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Attorney answers 3


You say you were offered a plea bargain but you don't say if you accepted it or lost after a trial. If you plead guilty, it would be very hard to re-open the case. You would need to make a motion to set aside the conviction under Criminal Procedure Law section 440.10. The possible grounds are listed in the statute. The most common claim is that the defense lawyer coerced you or you were under duress. The problem is that most judges ask detailed questions at the time of the guilty plea that show a person was acting freely. I suggest you consult with a criminal defense attorney if you want to proceed.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 385-8015 or via email at The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


Yes it is very difficult to reopen a case especially if you plead guilty voluntarily. The other problem is that even if you can reopen the case, you have likely made sworn statements under oath admitting your guilt (also known as the allocution) which will be used against you if you testify at a new trial.

This response is for general information purposes only and does not constitute the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Past results do not guarantee future results.


There is a concept in the law called finality of judgments. Unfortunately, you are probably not going to be able to re-open the case. The reason is because I inferred from your answer that you plead guilty. The only exception will be if you have evidence that will prove that you are actually innocent. However, absent that, I am afraid that you are stuck with the situation. Your unfortunate situation is a perfect example of why it's import to not be wise to the penny and foolish to the pound when it comes to hiring a lawyer. Hiring good legal counsel in a difficult situation is an investment in your future. Good luck and I am sorry not to have better news for you.

The answer contained here is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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