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I plea bargained- Not sentenced yet. What are fair and just reasons for requesting withdrawal of my plea that the court accepts?

Los Angeles, CA |
Attorney answers 8


These are very, very serious considerations and you will not be able to correctly form an educated decision based on the case details on Avvo.
Another considerably vital thing would be that only a competent legal counsel could evaluate plausible legal grounds for that action.

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I suggest you sit down with an attorney who practices federal defense and go though in detail the circumstances surrounding your initial plea in order for the attorney to determine if there is a "fair and just reason" to withdraw it. Generally speaking, Rule 11 applies to plea withdrawals in federal court:

(d) Withdrawing a Guilty or Nolo Contendere Plea. A defendant may withdraw a plea of guilty or nolo contendere:
(1) before the court accepts the plea, for any reason or no reason; or
(2) after the court accepts the plea, but before it imposes sentence if:
(A) the court rejects a plea agreement under 11(c)(5); or
(B) the defendant can show a fair and just reason for requesting the withdrawal

Good luck!


There too many things to consider before you can make that decision. You need to speak with an attorney who can go over your specific situation confidentially. Contact an attorney flr help--many of us in Avvo provide a free consultation.


Your plea should have been reviewed and explained fully to you. Note since you are not sentenced, then there is an opportunity for you to re-review to make sure that your plea is in your best interest. Withdrawal of a plea after time limitation passes, is not an easy task.


I routinely practice in federal court in Los Angeles and I will tell you that it is difficult to withdraw your plea. The reasons are not set out by statute, so there are many reasons. You need to speak with the lawyer on your case and tell him or her you want to withdraw your plea and the reason. Buyer's remorse or cold feet are generally not good reasons.

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There are very few reasons under Rule 11(d)(2)(B) such as fraud or new evidence. Please discuss this with your attorney.


It doesn't matter because you don't get to choose your reason. You have to tell the truth about why you want to withdraw the plea and your reason will either succeed or fail, but you don't get to make something up just because you think it may give you a better shot. That is number one. Number two, you had better sit down with your lawyer and think long and hard about moving for leave to withdraw a plea. If your motion is denied you might find yourself stuck with a guilty plea but losing your "acceptance of responsibility" and "early guilty plea" reductions. If, on the other hand, your motion is granted then you are back to square one facing the original indictment and not only losing those points but possibly getting hit a lot harder after you go to trial and, as is likely in federal court, get convicted. I am not saying you should not ask leave to withdraw your plea, because I know nothing about your case. I am just reminding you that firemen always warn us never to re-enter a burning building, which is what you want to do. Have a serious review with your attorney before you make a decision about this.


I concur with my Avvo colleagues. Consult and retain an experienced federal criminal defense attorney ASAP.

Of course, every answer is based on the question asked and requires a complete context. This answer should NOT be relied upon to make any legal decisions. Seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney in YOUR JURISDICTION -BEFORE you do or say anything. Law Offices of Raymond G. Wigell, Ltd. Admitted in Illinois and Federal District Courts in Illinois(Northern, Central and Southern Districts) and Indiana(Northern District), Defenders of the Constitution since 1975; Aggressive Creative Defense Strategies. Website: Email: Available - 24/7 Office (708)481-4800 Cell. (708)218-0923

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