My public defender advised me to plead guilty because I was arrested and charged with a new crime while he was defending me.
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The PD is warning you of a very real threat. Some judges will take you into custody if you were released and picked up a new charge while the case is pending. A PD working in that courtroom knows what the judge tends to do or not, so, I'd listen to what the PD say. In my opinion, the PD did his job in warning you and I'd think any judge would agree with that.
He should have informed you of probation, however, in the end, it wouldn't have changed anything because formal probation is very common in many WA jurisdictions so you don't have much of a choice in the matter. If you don't wish to be on probation, you can go to jail for the maximum sentence. -- That's the ONLY way to avoid probation.
With that said,
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I’m not a real fan of the question “have you been threatened or coerced into entering a plea?” There is always a threat of the prosecutor asking for more time or additional sanctions and nobody really ever enters a plea of guilty of their own free will. The question should be more like “has anybody threatened bodily harm or other illegal action in order to get you to enter a plea?”
If you had answered that you felt coerced the judge would have simply refused to take the guilty plea. Then you would have been right back in the spot you were trying to avoid; facing the choice of possibly sitting in jail while awaiting trial or pleading guilty to something you are not comfortable with.
An Alford plea is a guilty plea. In some ways it’s harder to withdraw an Alford plea than a regular guilty plea.
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