Small v. CommonwealthAnnotate this Case
Defendant pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm after conviction of a felony. Prior to sentencing, defendant filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea, arguing that he made a material mistake of fact in pleading guilty in that he had a reasonable basis for asserting the defense of necessity. The trial court denied the motion. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) prejudice to the Commonwealth is a relevant factor that should be considered when reviewing a motion to withdraw a guilty plea, and, in this case, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that the prejudice to the Commonwealth outweighed any equities that favored granting Defendant’s motion; and (2) the Court of Appeals did not err in finding that Defendant did not have a reasonable defense to the charge of possession of a firearm after conviction of a felony.