Withdrawal of guilty DUI plea

September 20, 2015

Withdrawal of guilty DUI pleaYou can petition the court for a withdrawal of guilty DUI plea when there are really good reasons.  One such good reason is found in California Penal Code section 1018.  Los Angeles drunk driving attorneys, such as lawyers in our offices, will help you decide if you can file a motion for withdrawal of guilty DUI plea.  California Penal Code section 1018 is used for cases that are not sentenced yet or for cases where you were given probation less then 6 month ago.  If you are within 6 month since being placed on probation by the Superior Court and think that your guilty plea was a result of mistake, please call our Los Angeles DUI attorneys for a free consultation.  We often can provide quality defense of your Los Angeles DUI charges even after DUI guilty plea.  California Penal Code section 1018 may require withdrawal of guilty DUI plea when defendants were not represented by counsel.  Some DUI cases in Los Angeles Superior Court are accepted without defendant having an opportunity to talk to a counsel.  For example, many defendants in the Metropolitan Branch of Los Angeles Superior Court, located on 1945 S. Hill Street, plead guilty without talking to an attorney.  Los Angeles DUI lawyer can study your DUI case and decide if there are any defenses to an accusation of a impaired driving or driving with a blood alcohol level of above .08%.  A motion for withdrawal of guilty DUI plea must be granted if a California Penal Code section 1018 motion is filed within 6 month of sentencing (on cases where probation was granted).  But even for cases where a defense counsel was present during a guilty plea and you feel that your plea was result of a mistake, ignorance, or inadvertence, the withdrawal, the motion for withdrawal of guilty DUI plea can be granted with court’s permission.

Motion for a withdrawal of guilty DUI plea under Penal Code section 1018 can be filed by Los Angeles DUI attorney with a declaration explaining the reasons for “mistake or other grounds that overcame defendants free judgment” .  In addition to the declaration, Los Angeles DUI lawyer need to file a memorandum of points and authorities which would spell our to the Superior Court, the case law that help arguing for a withdrawal of the plea.  The courts must give “liberal construction” to Penal Code section 1018.  That mean that the court where the case was sentenced must resolve any factual disputes in defendant’s favor.  For example, a Court of Appeals decision in People v. Mitchell concludes that courts need to be “liberal” in permitting defendants to withdraw plea, especially in cases where there is doubt of defendant’s guilt (see People v. Mitchell (Super. 1955) 134 Cal.App.2d Supp. 912).  The reasons for withdraw of guilty DUI plea under Penal Code section 1018 must be some factor that overcomes “exercise of free judgement”.  For example, a declaration in support of the motion have to say that someone influence the defendant to plead guilty.  The courts usually focus on mistake, ignorance, fraud or inadvertence; but these reasons are not exclusive and a DUI guilty plea can be reversed when you plead guilty because you believed that a guilty plea would benefit your co-defendant.

The standard of proof in Penal Code section 1018 motions is “clear and convincing” evidence.  The burden of proof is on you to show that your “free will” was overcame and you pleaded guilty because of “mistake, ignorance” or other similar grounds.  For example, attorney’s failure to investigate the defenses in a case or failure to advise of some immigration consequences can be a good reason to file a motion for withdrawal of guilty DUI plea.   For example, fraud, inadvertence or duress are other good reasons to file a motion for withdrawal of guilty DUI plea.

The last requirement for withdrawal of guilty DUI plea under Penal Code section 1018 is prejudice.  You have to show that you are affected by the guilty plea.  This can be shown if you are losing your job, being deported from the United States or having some other bad consequences happen to you.  In the case of People v. Hunt, the court said that denial of a motion to withdraw plea when there is evidence that defense counsel was ignorant of law or facts or being incompetent, is an abuse of discretion.  When court says something is abuse of discretion, they will usually reverse.

If you were recently convicted of drunk driving in Los Angeles and have second thoughts about your case, please give our Los Angeles drunk driving attorneys a call (818) 921 7744 .  We accept all forms of payments and will provide quality defense at affordable price.

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