Q: The police searched my house refusing to show me the warrant for over an hour and the arrested me for possession of CP and dissemination (which the Pere to peer did on its own). They also stole my son’s firearms which were in my house (he had nowhere to store them yet). My initial lawyer said I would get the evidence to review but he never showed it to me, even when I demanded it. I then got picked up on a dubious violation and was renditioned in jail. By that I mean that I was not given the hearing in 72 or so hours or they would have to release me. The lawyer did not even make sure the hearing happened. Basically, as soon as he knew I was picked up he dropped his involvement and held on to the retainer I had already paid him for doing nothing. The 2nd lawyer (really my 4th) did basically the same thing. (never saw the evidence) As a matter of fact, I think he never looked at the evidence because he said the first lawyer wasn’t sending it to him. He delayed my trial saying his office flooded but the truth was that he did not have the evidence. I was in jail with no way to assist in a defense that my lawyer never intended to provide. I ended up having to plead guilty to everything. No due process. (Versailles, PA)
A: If you pleaded guilty but were not sentenced, you can file a motion to withdraw your guilty plea. It will likely be granted. You can then seek new counsel. If you have been sentenced, you have 10 days to file post sentencing motions and 30 days to appeal to the Superior Court. I don’t know what happened to you and why, but you should have been able to see discovery (evidence provided by the Commonwealth) and review it with your counsel. That is pretty basic. Although you may be able to withdraw your guilty plea, remember, you answered questions in the affirmative from the judge and in writing when you entered your plea. Among these questions, you answered yes to whether you were satisfied with your counsel, has your counsel gone over all the elements of the crime and the penalties you are facing, are you pleading guilty because you are guilty. Sound familiar?