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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Can You Overturn a Plea Bargain By Claiming Bad Representation, Scared Into Taking It

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Kentucky

    The defendant in this case has 4 co-defendants. Court appointed attorney met with defendant at jail and told her if she took case to trial she would get 3 times more than the one and only offer that she had received.(5 yrs pretrial diversion), and would be released from jail that day. She was told she had no other choice in the matter but to accep this one offer and go on with it. She did. 2 weeks later while hanging with some friends, cops pulled up, ask her what she was doing around a felon. She was not aware of this, the boy had just gotten there and was going to leave before police arrived. That messed her up on 5 year pre-trial, then she gets drug court. That lasts 6 days, she was put back in jail for not being to urinate enough. She had pneumonia and spent 2 days in local hospital, while in the hospital she supposedly missed meeting with drug court and they absconded her. She gave up and went on the run. That lasted approximately 4 months until she was caught. She went back in front of Judge and he gave her her original 5 years. She has stayed the required time and she applied for parole. They gave it to her but she has to complete a SAP program at a different facility and it could take up to 12 months. I personally think this is an overkill on punishment. In the meantime, her co-defendants are still awaiting trial for November. What if they are all found not guilty and here she is with a forced guilty plea and a felony record? What can be done about this? I know there has to be someting to untangled the web of deception. Everything about this is WRONG! Please any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Can You Overturn a Plea Bargain By Claiming Bad Representation, Scared Into Takin

    What you forgot to tell us, anywhere in there, is that she's innocent.

    A lawyer has an ethical duty to inform a client of plea offers, including any representation by the prosecutor that they won't remain available after specific deadline. Nothing in the lawyer's carrying out that duty left your friend with "no other choice" but to take the deal - she quite obviously had the choice to refuse the deal and take her case to trial. She preferred to minimize her risk and get out of jail? Understandable, but not even close to coercion.

    Had you been telling us about your innocent friend who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, got accused of misconduct due to her miscreant friends, got scared into taking a deal and, even though it could potentially increase her charge and punishment, wanted to set aside the deal even before her sentencing so that she could prove her innocence in court, that would still not be a given but it would be a set of facts that a defense lawyer could potentially work with. Instead you appear to be stating that your friend was involved in a serious crime with four other criminals, likely has a prior history of criminal activity and drug use, violated the terms of her pretrial release even before her sentencing date, chose to flee instead of taking responsibility for her mistakes and documenting to the court her claimed reasons for failing to cooperate with a drug test and missing court dates, was resentenced to incarceration, and is now upset that she's being punished for her crimes. (Or maybe she's not upset, and it's only you who thinks that the outcome is unfair?) If she believes that her sentence is inappropriate, and she has not missed the deadline for filing an appeal, she can consider appealing her sentence.

    You do understand that if by some miracle she were able to get her guilty plea set aside, the charges would not go away. She would be again be facing the original charges, with the same potential for serious punishment that supposedly scared her into taking the plea bargain. If convicted, she could get a more severe punishment and lengthier term of incarceration than the one she's presently serving.

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