According to The Boston Globe, former state senator Dianne Wilkerson pleaded guilty to eight counts of attempted extortion in the federal court. The disgraced senator from the 2nd Suffolk District was the target of an FBI sting that led to her arrest amidst charges that she accepted cash payments in exchange for a liquor license. It is expected that the prosecutor will request four years in prison followed by a probationary period. The defense team of Harvard Law professor Charles J. Ogletree and Max Stern are hoping for a sentence with less incarceration. The judge made it clear that he is not bound by the prosecutor's recommendation however, the federal sentencing guidelines recommend that a defendant in her position receive 37 to 46 months in prison.
In Massachusetts, defendants often plead guilty in order to receive, what they believe will be a more favorable disposition than they would have received if they went to trial and were found guilty. An experienced Boston criminal lawyer can evaluate a case and determine whether a case is triable or whether accepting a plea offer is the best course. Obviously, the decision of whether to plead guilty is up to the defendant. In the event that a defendant has "buyer's remorse" and feels that his or plea was not appropriate there are ways to withdraw a guilty plea. In Massachusetts, a defendant can file a motion for a new trial/motion to withdraw a guilty plea pursuant to Massachusetts Rules of Criminal Procedure 30. Depending on the facts of the case the grounds include arguing that the defendant's plea was not knowingly, voluntarily or understandingly entered and must be vacated.