Motions to Withdraw Plea

There are two separate time periods to file a Motion to Withdraw Plea.  The first time period is prior to the sentence being imposed.  Typically, this happens when a person enters a plea but the sentencing is set off to a later date.  The defendant may wish to file a Motion to Withdraw Plea prior to the day of sentencing.  Alternatively, a defendant may file a Motion to Withdraw Plea within 30 days after sentencing.  The standard to meet to achieve the withdrawal of a plea is lower before sentencing than after, but in both situations, it is possible to withdraw the plea through the correct means.  Before the judge imposes the sentence, the defendant must show good cause, which means to show that you have adequate reasons to withdraw the plea. The court can either deny this motion for insufficient grounds or have a hearing to look over the reasoning for the withdrawal. In this case, the law favors a trial on the merits. 

It is also possible to file a motion to withdraw plea after the sentence is imposed, but it is a higher standard to meet to have the judge approve this type of motion.  If the request to withdraw the plea is after the sentence is imposed, then the Defendant has to establish manifest injustice, which is showing that something was directly unfair and unjust.  Usually this involves a showing that the Defendant was unaware of some major consequence of his plea.   

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