Can I re-open a case I pleaded guilty to?

UPDATED: Nov 15, 2017

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Can I re-open a case I pleaded guilty to?

I pleaded guilty on a drug case almost 2 years ago. When I pleaded I wasn’t on my meds. Also, I know who my informant is on the case. Can I get him on the stand if I reopen the case

Asked on November 15, 2017 under Criminal Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

POSSIBLY, if you can show with medical evidence that you were mentally incompetent at the time you pled and could not understand what you were pleading to. It will take more than your testiminony: you will need a qualified physician who had been treating you to testify. Even then, it is not guaranteed, but at least if you can prove incompetence, there are grounds for it: otherwise, you are held to what you pled to, since you agreed freely that you committed the offense.  So if you think you might be able to establish your then-incompetence, you can try appealing on that basis, but are strongly urged to retain an attorney to help you.
Note that even if you can re-open the case, all that will happen is that you'll now go on trial--you could be convicted, and could get a worse sentenc than the current one.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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