How to Overturn a Jailhouse Plea Within 10 Days
A Dire Situation
Most people who are put in jail are desperate to get out. Jail keeps you from fulfilling your normal responsibilities like going to work and taking care of your family. It’s easy to make hasty decisions when your freedom is on the line. Many defendants plead guilty to crimes prematurely in order to secure their freedom. But many quickly regret the mistake they made. Fortunately, Texas law provides defendants a way to withdraw their plea in certain situations.
The Jailhouse Plea
Defendants who are put in jail for a Class C misdemeanor, or on warrant for a Class C offense, are typically brought before a magistrate and asked to enter a plea. In many cases, these defendants will be told if they plead guilty or no-contest (nolo contendere), they will receive credit for their time in jail and will be quickly released.
The alternative to entering a plea of guilty or no-contest is, in many cases, scrambling to arrange a bail bond. This can take time, and many people don’t know where to start when faced with a high bail amount. As a result, some defendants feel pressured into pleading guilty or no-contest so they can return to their normal life. The problem is, once they make that plea, the reality of a criminal conviction sinks in. They may receive “credit” for their time in jail, but could also face fines, probation and a criminal record.
Securing a Second Chance
Fortunately, someone in this situation can file a Motion for New Trial and ask the court to set aside his or her conviction. When filed, the judge must overturn the conviction and set a new trial date. This essentially brings the defendant back to square one but provides them the time needed to consult with legal counsel and explore all defense possibilities. They also are able to use this time to fully consider the consequences of a conviction.
But time is of the essence. The defendant must file the Motion for New Trial within ten days of entering the original plea. For this reason, you should speak with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney immediately if you think you want to pursue this option.
If you’re facing DWI charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.