Motion to Withdraw Plea Defense Attorneys

If you are innocent and entered a guilty or no-contest plea under pressure or pleaded with an unfavorable plea bargain, consult with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. regarding your options.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys - Group

We May Be Able to Give You a Second Chance.


We often receive calls from prospective clients concerned about their current legal representation. Criminal defense attorneys are frequently afraid to go to trial or are not zealous enough to find a viable defense for their clients. When someone pressures an innocent person into a plea or a defendant is forced to accept a plea bargain or sentence agreement that is not in their best interest, they should seek help from a more experienced, resourceful, and passionate criminal defense attorney. A Motion to Withdraw Plea might be in a person’s best interest in these cases.

It is fair to say that judges are very reluctant to allow a defendant to withdraw their plea. When a defendant has entered a plea to a crime for which they were not guilty or in cases where a defendant has pleaded guilty or no-contest to a misdemeanor or felony with an unfavorable plea or sentence bargain, filing a Motion to Withdraw Plea may be the only option.

A guilty plea is the most serious step a defendant can take in a criminal prosecution. Therefore, the plea “not only must be voluntary but must be knowing, intelligent act done with sufficient awareness of the relevant circumstances and likely consequences” (Brady v. United States). A motion to withdraw a plea should be granted in the interests of justice, although there is no absolute right to withdraw a plea once it is accepted (State of Michigan v. Gomer).

For a plea to be knowing and intelligent, the defendant must understand the potential consequences of a plea (State of Michigan v. Schluter). A guilty plea must be voluntary and a knowing and intelligent act with sufficient awareness of the relevant circumstances and likely consequences” (State of Michigan v. Thew).

Motion to Withdraw Plea Before Sentencing

When moving to withdraw a plea before sentencing, a defendant must show that withdrawal is in the interest of justice by articulating a fair and just reason for withdrawal of the plea (MCR 6.310(B); State of Michigan v. Wilhite). If the defendant carries his burden of showing that the plea withdrawal is in the interests of justice, the prosecution must establish that withdrawal of the plea would result in substantial prejudice by showing a hampered ability to prosecute the case.

Michigan law says that where a defendant claims innocence or has a valid defense to the charge he has pleaded to, the Court should strongly consider granting the motion to withdraw the plea (State of Michigan v. Wilhite). It is an abuse of discretion to deny the Defendant’s motion to withdraw a plea where the defendant had established that the interests of justice would be served thereby and the prosecution failed to show substantial prejudice would result from the withdrawal (State of Michigan v. Jackson).

Attorney - Michigan - Awards

Why would someone plead guilty when they are innocent?

Defendants plead guilty to charges even though they are innocent for various reasons. If witnesses are lying and there is no proof the defendant is innocent, they may agree to enter a plea to avoid jail or prison. Taking a case through a jury trial can be nerve-wracking and stressful. If a person charged with a crime cannot emotionally handle a trial, a plea may be the only way to avoid the trauma of a trial. Bargain and low-cost lawyers, court-appointed attorneys, and general practice retained lawyers notoriously take measures to manipulate clients into entering guilty and no-contest pleas. A conviction can be life-changing in an awful way, but these lawyers never expect to see the client again, so who cares? Right? This is NOT okay! At LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., we will never suggest you enter a plea when you are innocent. Our Defense Team is your best hope if you want lawyers who will fearlessly fight to protect and defend you.

Plea Resulting from Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

In some cases, a defendant enters a valid plea; however, the plea or sentence agreement is fundamentally unfair due to the defense lawyer’s inept or ineffective representation. A defendant, even one who might be guilty, is entitled to zealous, effective representation. When a court-appointed or inferior lawyer manipulates or pushes a client to accept a weak plea bargain or sentence agreement, a Motion to Set Aside Plea might be in the client’s best interest. Filing a motion to set aside a lawfully entered, valid plea for the sole purpose of trying to get a better deal is not generally not advisable. On the other hand, if a lawyer did such a poor job negotiating a resolution that the plea is subject to appellate review for ineffectiveness, a motion is appropriate. Suppose a defendant files a proper, legally supported, credible motion to set a plea aside. In that case, the judge and prosecutor might be willing to re-negotiate the resolution to avoid an expensive, time-consuming trial. Also, if a judge or prosecutor is presented with compelling facts previously not submitted on behalf of the defendant, a much better resolution might become possible.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

We Can Help You Withdraw Your Plea

A wealth of Michigan law supports a motion to withdraw a plea under the right circumstances. Although the law can be supportive, prosecutors will fight to prevent a conviction from unraveling, and judges will do everything in their power to support prosecutors. The plea withdrawal process is complicated, and succeeding takes an influential and respected defense attorney with great skill and experience. Withdrawing a plea is a significant step in a case, and there are always important advantages and disadvantages. You need a fighter to consult with you regarding the potential withdrawal of a plea. Do not hesitate to call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

Contact Us - Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys