DA did not disclose all details about the case to the judge when Defense Attorney asked for dismissal. Defendant could not afford to go to trial and is innocent. DA offered a plea for a much lesser time than if defendant would go to trial and lose. Defendant basically had no choice but to take the deal or go to trial without an Attorney.
It is not possible that the defendant would have gone to trial without an attorney if the charge was a felony or an A misdemeanor. It is difficult to vacate a plea after a defendant allocates to the crimes, admitting the facts, on the record.
If the defendant faced jail time, and could not afford to hire an attorney, then the defendant had a constitutional right to have an attorney assigned at public expense. So it is unlikely the defendant was actually facing having to try the case his or herself. Withdrawing a plea is extremely difficult; however, in the rare event that the record shows the defendant was improperly advised on his or her right to counsel, it might be possible.
Answers provided by attorney Matt Williams to questions on Avvo DO NOT form an attorney client relationship. Mr. Williams is available to represent persons charged with crimes in Ohio for a fee. Only after Mr. Williams is retained, or agrees to discuss a matter privately, shall Mr. Williams be deemed your attorney. Mr. Williams answers questions on Avvo only to provide general advice based upon the limited information in the question.
Make a motion to vacate the plea. Tell the court you are indigent, and ask the court to assign you a lawyer to assist you.
Unfortunately, the level of "force" required to be actionable or retractable would have to be something along the lines a gun to your head or a kidnapped loved one. If you knowingly and voluntarily entered into the plea it cannot be taken back. However, it is uncommon to go to a felony trial unrepresented. A public defender would have likely been available for a trial if the defendant couldn't afford private counsel.
What you describe is not being forced into a plea. You made a decision that taking he plea was better than the alternative. Being forced into a plea basically means that there is some kind of threat to you or a loved one if you don't take the plea. While your options were not ideal, you did have a choice and you made it.
Generally, when you plead guilty on a serious case you also waive your right to appeal the conviction. However, if the DA did not disclose things that he had a legal duty to disclose before the plea it may possible to get it overturned on appeal. In order to determine how likely this is, and if it's even worth pursuing, the defendant should consult with a criminal defense lawyer who specializes in appeals.
Mr. Reibstein is a former New York City prosecutor and second-generation criminal lawyer who handles all types of personal injury and criminal defense cases. Unless a formal letter of engagement or retainer agreement has been entered into by and between the reader and the attorney this answer shall not be construed as official legal advice on any specific facts or circumstances. Its contents are intended for general information purposes only. No attorney-client relationship has been created.
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