The Alford plea is still a guilty plea, it just doesn't necessarily admit any wrongdoing, but rather it's an understanding that there is enough evidence that if you went to trial, the jury would likely find you guilty, and you don't want to risk it.
If the charges were dropped from rape to some lower DV related charge in exchange for your Alford plea, then you're guilty only of whatever you actually plead to. If the court ordering visitation is misinformed, you need to contact the court and ask for another hearing to set the record straight. At the hearing, bring this misinformation to the judge's attention and bring whatever supporting documents you have.
You were convicted of what you were convicted of. If the rape charge was dismissed or reduced you were not convicted of it. Was it "read in?"
An Alford plea means that you did not agree that you committed the crime for which you were convicted, but did agree to be convicted of that crime, usually to take advantage of a plea agreement.
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A person does not have to be convicted of any crime in order for the court to restrict that person's time with a child. RCW 26.09.191 (Restrictions in temporary or permanent parenting plans) provides most of the basis a court can find to restrict a person's parenting time.
The statutes are at http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=26.09 .
Apparently, you are in jail/prison for a charge involving DV. The original charge involved allegations of sex crimes.
The facts likely are sufficient under "(3) A parent's involvement or conduct may have an adverse effect on the child's best interests, and the court may preclude or limit any provisions of the parenting plan, if any of the following factors exist: ... (g) Such other factors or conduct as the court expressly finds adverse to the best interests of the child."
You should review the specific facts with your attorney to find out your legal options.
Yes. An Alford plea requires you to acknowledge that, though while you do not feel you are guilty, you are pleading guilty to avoid the hazards of trial and to take advantage of plea bargain offer.. Thus, there is very little practical difference between a guilty plea and an Alford plea.
Scott W Lawrence
Law Office of Scott Lawrence, PLLC
An "Alford" plea even to a lessor charge is a "best interst" plea but still a guilty plea. contact a criminal defense lawyer in your area.
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