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Tampa Criminal Attorneys – What is a motion to withdraw plea?

Tampa criminal attorneys are often asked by folks about withdrawing their previously entered guilty plea after their case is resolved, often once they have either been sentenced to their prison/jail sentence or have begun probation.  While discussing withdrawing a plea is easy, it is incredibly difficult to actually do so and the risks are significant, once the plea is successfully withdrawn.  In order to withdraw a plea, several factors must be met; we will outline these issues below.

First, the motion must be filed within a set deadline of the entering of the plea and/or prior to your actual sentence being delivered.  This is somewhat difficult, if the individual is being shipped away from county jail to a Florida state prison, since in the days immediately following the plea, they can literally be whisked away from the jail and taken to the Central Florida Reception Center almost overnight.  This is a “hard” deadline, so it is absolutely critical, if you have interest in withdrawing your plea, you contact a Tampa criminal attorney immediately.

Secondly, there must be an allegation that the plea was involuntary in some sense.  Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.140 provides an outline of the circumstances with which a plea may be deemed involuntary.  Whether or not a plea is deemed involuntary involves a fact specific analysis of the circumstances and situations surrounding the plea.  Ultimately, it is difficult to attempt to predict or determine what will constitute involuntary without analyzing the entire situation, but in our experience, alleging pleas were involuntary is challenging.  The court system intentionally tries to avoid these situations by conducting lengthy, fact specific inquiries and colloquies of defendants, when they are entering pleas.

Lastly, it is critical to remember that if a plea is successfully withdrawn, the Court in the overwhelming majority of situations will simply set the case for trial.  Again, the idea being that if someone does not wish to enter a plea, they wish to have a trial on the matter and have it decided on its merits.  Further, many State Attorney’s Offices will not negotiate with individuals, once they have withdrawn their plea, so the case essentially must be tried or resolved through some sort of dispositive motion.

If you or someone you know has questions concerning the withdrawing of a plea, contact the Tampa criminal attorneys of Hackworth Law for a free case consultation.  We have handled a wide variety of criminal appeal situations across the Tampa Bay Area.   If you would like to contact one of our Tampa criminal attorneys immediately, please use the “contact us now” tab in the upper right hand corner of our website.  We appreciate your time in checking out our Tampa criminal attorney blog and we look forward to working with you in the future.