Imagine a disorderly charge for a first-time offender who pleaded guilty.

The defendant appealed the case and was granted a remand.The defendant now has a charge on his record for disorderly conduct, and has paid high court costs and fines.

Could the defendant file a motion to vacate, withdraw plea or what?

  • 1
    I would suggest you get a lawyer instead of asking strangers on the internet, who cannot give you the help you need anyway.
    – user4657
    Jun 6, 2019 at 9:41
  • Edits that serve no purpose except disguising a clearly off-topic question without changing the actual question or generalising it in any way are inappropriate and unhelpful.
    – user4657
    Jun 7, 2019 at 1:54
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    @Nij What makes that inappropriate? At least at Meta, restating as a hypothetical appears to be the preferred approach: law.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/302/…
    – bdb484
    Jun 7, 2019 at 6:29
  • Restating as a hypothetical requires actually restating, not putting a flimsy "here is a very specific situation identical to my specific situation requiring legal advice, but someone else has claimed is hypothetical" banner on it.
    – user4657
    Jun 7, 2019 at 7:59
  • Where can I read more about this requirement?
    – bdb484
    Jun 7, 2019 at 19:10

2 Answers 2


You may want to consider redrafting your question. Your explanation has a lot of irrelevant details and opinions, and not a clear enough explanation of how the case has unfolded or what the courts have ruled and why.

It sounds like you're saying the court remanded as a result of a violation of the statute of limitations, but it's hard to understand why that would happen. If the original prosecution came after the SOL expired, I don't know how they expect to change that on remand.

In any event, an appeals court typically remands with instructions to do something specific. They may want the trial court to resentence a defendant, conduct a new trial, or maybe just dismiss the case.

The first option suggests that the court of appeals didn't find any reason to reject the guilty plea and simply wants to revisit the question of sentencing. In that case, a defendant would typically move to withdraw his plea. The rules and standards surrounding such motions can vary from one jurisdiction to the next.

The second option seems unlikely, as there doesn't appear to have been a trial the first time around. If this were the case, there would probably not be any need for a motion to vacate the conviction (a new trial means that the conviction was not valid) or withdraw the plea (a new trial necessarily implies a plea of not guilty).

The third option is obviously the most favorable for most defendants. If that's the case, there's probably nothing the defendant needs to do except sit back and wait for the trial judge to dismiss the case.

If I'm misreading the scenario and the remand has already resulted in a conviction, there's probably less that can be done to reopen the case, unless there's some amazing new evidence that was truly not available the first time around. In that case, though, there may be a possibility of seeking to have the conviction sealed or expunged. The relative triviality of the offense, the time passed, and the lack of any other criminal record suggest that this might be a good candidate for expungement.

In any event, anyone in this position should consult a lawyer to figure out what's actually going on and how best to proceed.

  • Hello wow thank you for taking the time to give me insight. I sincerely appreciate you!!! The charges were brought by a Prosecutor who knew they SOL expired but completely disregarded that and coerced def into pleading guilty, by scaring DEF a first time offender with no criminal history. The Judge on the case did not know about the expiration of the SOL as the matter was over and done with within minutes.
    – Taylor
    Jun 7, 2019 at 14:54
  • It was only AFTER the DEF was contacted by a person investigating said prosecutor did DEF learn said prosecutor (now removed) should have never tried my case knowing the SOL was well over the one year period. The remand was granted on the Mun Appl and a court date has been scheduled. I was hoping to be able to file a motion to dismiss the entire matter before said court date. The Mun Appeal Judge ordered my original guilty plea be WITHDRAWN & for a remand.
    – Taylor
    Jun 7, 2019 at 14:55

Normally the motion to vacate and withdrawal of plea go hand in hand. The judgement would not be vacated if your plea was still in affect.

  • Thank you so much for your input. I have no information other than a date was scheduled back at the municipal court. Could I file a motion to vacate and withdrawal before court date or must I wait? TYSM
    – Taylor
    Jun 5, 2019 at 20:39
  • What is the date for if you already plead guilty?
    – Putvi
    Jun 6, 2019 at 17:18

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