ABC News: "Craig Must Show 'MANIFEST INJUSTICE' to Withdraw a Guilty Plea"
Though Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct earlier this month, he said Tuesday that he had done nothing wrong and suggested that he may try to withdraw his plea.
But Craig will have a tough time getting out of that guilty plea, Minnesota criminal lawyers and law professors told ABC News. Unless he can show some serious flaw in the plea, Craig will probably be stuck with a criminal record.
"It's a final thing. If you put in a plea, that's that," said Jeff Mohr, a criminal defense lawyer in Minneapolis. "Unless there are really unusual circumstances, he wouldn't be able to withdraw."
Stephen Simon, a professor at University of Minnesota Law School, said Craig would have to prove a "manifest injustice" to get out of his guilty plea. That standard is so difficult to meet, he said, that motions to withdraw pleas are seldom made in Minnesota, and even less frequently granted.
19. Aside from the publicity and political factors,
why would he want to?
Disorderly Conduct is a trivial misdemeanor, barely more serious than a speeding ticket. IIRC, his punishment is to pay roughly $500 in fines (which I'm sure doesn't even count as pocket change for Craig) and he's done.
Certainly, there are the political factors that pushed him to resign from the Senate, but most people charged with disorderly conduct would just pay the fine and move on.
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