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Withdrawing a guilty plea is possible in some cases

It's not usually advisable to plead guilty to a crime or to admit that you did something wrong, but some people believe that saying they are guilty will help them protect themselves against serious penalties. The reality could not be further from that. In fact, pleading guilty could make it easier for the prosecution to get a conviction and to ask for more significant penalties.

Generally speaking, pleading guilty is only something you should do after you speak with your criminal defense attorney and determine if doing so will be beneficial to you. If you have already admitted to a crime, then you may want to withdraw your plea.

Can you withdraw a guilty plea?

If you've pleaded guilty to a crime, you're going to need a good reason to withdraw that plea. If you have changed your mind, your attorney will help you write up a motion to withdraw that explains why you chose to plead guilty and why you'd like to change your mind.

For example, perhaps you plead guilty because you felt threatened or that you had no choice. Alternatively, maybe you didn't realize how serious the crimes you were accused of really were or how a guilty plea would actually affect you.

If you can show a good cause for withdrawing your plea, then a judge may accept and allow you to do so. Our website has more information on criminal defense and what you should do if you have pleaded guilty to a crime but changed your mind about doing so.

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