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How long after can you Withdraw a Plea?

Union City, CA |

My sister had a translator accepted the plea because he understood something. Then she found out she was doing more jail time than was said. There was a language barrier under those circumstances I know they can withdraw a plea. The question is, how long after do you have to do that ?

there was an misinterpretation when the translator interpreted the offer to my sister that's why she accepted. otherwise she wouldn't have accepted.

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Attorney answers 5


Was she represented by counsel? There are some provisions under your state's laws that allow for an unrepresented defendant to withdraw their plea up to several months (I think 6 months) after the conviction. The fact that she was misinformed about a material fact also helps her case.

She needs to speak with a local attorney about her facts and circumstances. She should not delay to ensure she doesn't act outside the appropriate time period.

Responding to questions on AVVO does not establish an attorney-client relationship between the questioner and any attorney associated with Garrett Law Group, PLC. Responses should be considered and used for informational purposes only. Every case is unique in its facts, and all legal matters should be discussed with a licensed attorney prior to making any decisions or taking any actions.


Why did she not understand, what did she think the time was, what was the time she pled to and what is her exposure. You need to get her to an experienced criminal attorney such as one on Avvo and make sure when she withdraws her plea (if allowed) that she has a good chance of not spending much more time. Do it NOW

My name is Stephen R. Cohen and I have practiced over 38 years and can be reached at 213-819-1171. I practiced mainly in Los Angeles and Orange County, California. I am not seeking clients from existing relationships with other attorneys, and give only limited advise over the phone (the phone is primarily used to set appointments), these services do not create an attorney client relationship. I apologize for mispelling< as I am a lousy typist, My answers may offend as I do not believe in pulling punches or sugar coating the truth. Further regarding courts in other states my opinions are largely based on logic and what I think is the modern trend which is to consider the needs of the child.


It is not easy to withdraw a plea, you're not simply entitled to withdraw a plea as a matter of right. There must be some legal basis for withdrawing the plea. Not having a translation for a non-English speaking person is certainly a basis but there was a translator here. It really would depend a lot on the factual issues involved with the translator; is the translator state certified, is he/she willing to sign a declaration saying that she provided inadequate translation; was the correct language being translation (sometimes there are dialects of languages which are not sufficiently related to provide adequate translation from one language to the other). There may be other legal basis to withdraw the plea. You should consult an attorney as soon as possible to look into the possibility of withdrawing the plea. I'm not sure if your sister is an immigrant or if this offense has immigration consequences but if it does have immigration consequences, it may well be in her interest to attempt to withdraw the plea. Most attorneys, like myself, offer a free initial consultation. Good luck.


Six months with good cause


California Penal Code §1018 says you can move to withdraw a plea "at any time before judgment or within six months after an order granting probation. Usually 6 Months...and GOOD CAUSE defined below-->

People v. Nance (1991) 1 Cal.App.4th 1453, 1457. Good cause can be that the defendant was “operating under mistake, ignorance or any other factor overcoming the exercise of his or her free will, including inadvertence, fraud, or duress.”

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