CanI go back to court and change my “no contest” plea?

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CanI go back to court and change my “no contest” plea?

I was charged for marijuana poss under an ounce it was only like a gram. The court gave me community service and I am supposed to complete a diversion program. Unfortunately I don’t have the time or money to do this. I know that the laws have changed though and marijuana possession under an ounce is only a $100 fine. I want that instead. Can I do that?

Asked on October 20, 2010 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I think that you should speak with a criminal attorney in your area on the matter.  Generally speaking you can not go back to court and change your plea to get a better sentence because you believe that the laws have become more lenient.  The justice system would never clear its calendars.  And really, do you want a guilty plea on your record?  In many states with the agreement you have you can expunge the arrest and you won't have a record (I am not saying that that applies to you here; you would have to check).  That would be a much better ending to the matter.  If you do not have the money then ask to make an application to waive the fees.  But I urge you to make the time.  Good luck.


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