Can A Defendant Withdraw A Guilty Plea?

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Many defendants to a criminal case and their lawyers accept a plea-bargaining agreement because of the lighter sentence. A plea-bargaining agreement usually results in lesser time in jail. The case is resolved more quickly to avoid the time and expense of a court trial. The best advice will usually come from an experienced criminal defence lawyer.

However, there are instances wherein the accused regrets pleading guilty to the crime because he believes that he got a raw deal. The question here is whether the courts will allow the withdrawal of the plea.

A guilty plea can be withdrawn when it has not yet been accepted by the judge. Defendants who have pleaded guilty can get out of the deal if they have not yet been sentenced particularly when the judge rejects the negotiated agreement that the defendant has pleaded to.

There are also some plea deals where the defendant has to waive the right to make an appeal. Undoing a plea in these circumstances can be quite difficult. Once the judge has sentenced the defendant, the odds of withdrawing from the plea deal can be tough even if a waiver is made. The trial judge will only set aside the conviction and allow a defendant to withdraw his plea if there is an obvious injustice.

There are common scenarios where the judge approves a withdrawal of a plea.

  • The defendant is psychologically challenged, intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol so that he cannot intelligently decide to plead guilty.
  • The defendant’s legal counsel failed to advice his client as to the serious ramifications of the guilty plea like deportation for an immigrant.
  • The defendant did not consent to the guilty plea that his lawyer entered on his behalf
  • There appears to be a viable chance if the case goes to trial
  • The defendant was denied one of his constitutional rights which is the right to legal counsel

It is important for a defendant to call Donich Law before pleading guilty to a crime. An experienced criminal defence lawyer will analyse the pros and cons of the plea-bargaining agreement so that the defendant will understand the ramifications of his decision.

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Texas Supreme Court Cancels The Bar Exam In July, Schedules October Online Test

Texas Supreme Court Cancels The Bar Exam In July, Schedules October Online Test

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of countries into the wringer, and the US is no exception. Texas, in particular, got hit hard, with a surge in cases early in June. In response, the Texas Supreme Court canceled the bar exam scheduled for July and scheduled an online test on October.

The announcement, visible at their website, was due to an emergency order, did allow for the scheduling of an in-person bar exam to be available, should the government and public health officials consider it safe, at Sept. 9-10.

The Supreme Court recently reduced the regularly scheduled bar exam in July from 3 days to just 2, on top of adding a 2-day September test and safety requirements, which include, among other things, mandatory face masks, in order to cut down on the odds of COVID-19 transmission.

The in-person testing was cancelled, however, due to deans from 10 Texan law schools, including the dean of the University of Texas, petitioning the Supreme Court. The 10 deans stated that in-person testing would be too dangerous, even with safety precautions, with Texas seeing increasing COVID-19 cases throughout the state.

Their sentiments were even backed up by law students across the state.

The Supreme Court held a debate on the matter, with the order coming out with four concurring opinions against one dissent.

Justices Eva Guzman and Debra Lehrmann stated that they were against the removal of the tests as a licensing requirement because it would attract a lot of flak, primarily questions about consumer protection on their rights.

They did, however, state that an online bar exam on their website is a reasonable and safe alternative for the Supreme Court and future lawyers, one that works nicely with their longstanding requirements for licensing.

Justices Brett Busby and Jane Bland suggesting an apprenticeship program in place of the in-person test, while Justice Jimmy Blacklock wanted the ones who signed up for the July test to be able to take it as planned.

In contrast, Chief Justice Nathan Hecht and Justice Paul Green dissented, saying that the law students who were registered for the in-person test in July, as well as the online test in September, basically had the ability to practice law without actually taking the exam.

 

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When To Contact A Lawyer

When dealing with problems, at some point, you might have thought of calling an attorney. It may be too soon to make it a legal issue, but more often than not, consulting an attorney is beneficial. Not only does it reduce your stress, it also saves time and money over a long period into the future. Here are some example situations where an attorney can help.

  • Suspension of driver’s license – If you violate any of the traffic or driving rules, your license can automatically be suspended. But before your license can be taken away, you can set a hearing with an auto bureau officer. This requires your preparation and consulting with a lawyer can be helpful. He/she can either assist you in giving the strongest argument or he/she can represent you.
  • Driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated – Majority of states allow drivers to call an attorney before they are brought to the police station and take any tests. If you do not have a lawyer at that moment, you may visit MyDefence.ca and hire one once you are released.
  • Expulsion of your child from school – Schools should follow a process before they can expel a student. There should be a hearing so that the student can present a defense to fight the act of expulsion. In order to make the strongest defense, it is best to consult with an attorney before your child goes to the hearing. In case your child is already expelled, the attorney can give you options to deal with the expulsion. This is important because it can affect the records of your child.
  • Divorce or legal separation from spouse – A lot of husbands and wives choose to not to contact an attorney while they have not decided to get a divorce. However, it is always better to seek help from an attorney so you will be guided with options that will avoid mistakes in the future. If you are considering a divorce, you can go to MyDefence.ca, a reliable law firm that has a team of hard working lawyers with professional work ethics.
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