Can you appeal a case in which a plea agreement was signed?

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Can you appeal a case in which a plea agreement was signed?

If so, how long do you have to do so? I was not mentally competent at the time I signed a plea agreement and my attorney failed to bring it to the judge’s attention. My exact words to him had been that I didn’t care what I signed because I wasn’t going to live to deal with it anyway and my fiance told him I had made recent attempts on my life. Honestly, I did not become competent enough to even fully understand what I had agreed to or what the charge was until almost a year later. I suffer from extremely rapid cycling bi-polar disorder and was unaware of it at the time.

Asked on February 19, 2011 under Criminal Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You will need to speak with a Criminal Defense attorney in your area on this matter.  Every state has a set of criminal procedure law that should have in it a option that allows a defendant to request that the court set aside something - a guilty plea, a plea agreement, whatever - based upon sometimes ineffective counsel and sometimes a lack of competency on the part of the defendant to understand his or her rights, what they are agreeing to and the charges against him or her.  In New York it is known as a 440 motion. You will need you medical documentation and probably a doctor's affirmation to back you up. Seek help.  Good luck.


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