Can a person withdraw a guilty plea on a plea bargin and then request a jury trial?

UPDATED: Jun 29, 2009

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Can a person withdraw a guilty plea on a plea bargin and then request a jury trial?

I plead guilty to a Felony Theft charge because i knew of a crime and didn’t report it. But i am not the one who committed the crime. The person who actually committed the crime still hasn’t been arrested and it’s been almost two years now that I have been going to court.

Asked on June 29, 2009 under Criminal Law, Montana


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

I'm not a Montana attorney, and criminal procedure can vary from one state to another;  more importantly, I'm not familiar with the details of your case.  If you haven't been sentenced yet, though, I would say it's possible, although there's a major problem that I think is likely here.

When you entered the guilty plea, if it's been put on the record in court (as opposed to signing the plea agreement papers, which in many states is the first step), you almost certainly were asked to say, on the record and under oath, what it was you did that amounted to felony theft.  If you now want to say that you didn't tell the truth then, the question becomes whether you were lying then, or whether you'd be lying when you said that.  This is something you need to talk about with your attorney.

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