Motion To Withdraw The Plea (Penal Code 1018)

Motion to withdraw the plea

You can make this motion up to 6 months after you enter a plea. If you were unrepresented at the time of the plea the court must allow the plea to be withdrawn. The relief is statutory and covered in Penal Code § 1018.

In order to prevail on the motion the defendant must show ‘good cause’ for the court to allow the withdrawal. Good cause has been interpreted as a showing that the defendant was operating under mistake, ignorance, or any other factor overcoming the exercise of his or her free judgment, including inadvertence, fraud or duress. 

The withdrawal of a plea has been granted where the prosecutor withheld evidence from the defendant. Or where the defendant was not advised or the direct consequences of his plea. Lack of advisal about immigration consequences has been held as good cause to grant the motion.

Withdrawal of the guilty plea resets the case to the state before the plea was entered. The prosecutor would be allowed to recharge any charges that were dismissed. Any motions that were made by the defendant would also be revived.

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