In order for your “guilty” plea to be recognized by the court, you must have knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily entered your plea. This is a requirement under California criminal law to protect your rights. However, if that didn’t happen because of any type of misrepresentation or poor instruction on behalf of your attorney, you may be able to file a motion to vacate.
Our West Covina criminal defense attorneys at Coimbra Law Firm can guide you and represent you in this type of post-conviction action. If you are successful, this motion affords you the ability to withdraw your plea of “guilty” or “no contest,” so that you can alternatively enter a plea of "not guilty" to the offense. Essentially, the court “erases” your criminal conviction. Consequently, your case (for all intents and purposes) starts back from the beginning as though no conviction had ever occurred.
In order to prevail on a Motion to Vacate judgment, you must provide proof that demonstrates that it is more likely than not that you would not have entered a plea of guilty or no contest if had you known all the facts at the time you made the plea. Our firm can help guide you so that you understand exactly what a motion to vacate judgment does, the legal grounds required to do so, and how we can help.
Your other alternative is to attempt expungement of your criminal conviction. The drawback to doing this is that you can only apply for an expungement after you have fully complied with your probation obligations and served out your probationary period. However, our West Covina criminal defense attorneys can seek early termination of your probation so that you immediately qualify for expungement.