Withdrawing a plea of guilty - getting harder and harder

Our recent review of current Ohio case-law on the issue of defendants who try to withdraw their guilty pleas leads us to one inescapable conclusion:  it is getting harder and harder to get courts to grant request to back out of pleas.   It use to be that almost any defendant could somewhat easily withdraw his or her plea prior to sentencing  - and sometimes in limited circumstances after sentencing.   The criminal  rules that apply to pleas basically say just that. Nevertheless, trial courts and courts of appeals are now issuing decisions that hold that a defendant must have a very good reason for withdrawing the plea - even if that request to withdraw the plea happens before sentencing.  Court's reject the idea of a plea withdrawal if they conclude that the defendant has just had a change of heart - they want more than that.   In our opinion, the courts are misapplying the criminal rule on pleas when they do this.   But they are the courts, and we are not.

So now it becomes ever more important for a defendant to have the benefit of full knowledge of what he or she is doing when they plea.  Too many folks come to us AFTER they have plead and want us to try to get them out of it - and this is becoming harder and harder to do each day.  Make sure you know what you are doing BEFORE you plea and assume that you can't get out of it unless there are rather extraordinary circumstances.

Call us anytime at 800-529-1966 to discuss this further.