In most cases, a person may ask permission to withdraw their guilty plea prior to sentencing. However, once a judgment of guilt and sentence is entered, it is much more difficult to return to court and request a withdrawal of the plea. It is possible with diligent and timely efforts. We are required to file a motion or petition to withdraw your guilty plea within that jurisdiction’s “term of court.” A “term of court” is a period of time that the court is in session for business. Terms of court are found in the Georgia Code at O.C.G.A. § 15-6-3 or here.
This motion must be timely and set forth facts that would justify the withdrawal of the guilty plea. We must show the court that there is a fair and just reason supporting the withdrawal of the plea. Examples of grounds that may justify a withdrawal are:
You did not understand the consequences of your guilty plea.
Counsel was ineffective in violation of the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
The prosecution failed to abide by the terms of a plea bargain agreement.
The court failed to inform the accused of the minimum and maximum penalties associated with entering a guilty plea.