Involuntary Plea ''Upon Lawyers Advice'' Claim on Appeal In Texas

A plea is not involuntary simply because the sentence exceeded what the appellant expected, even if that expectation was raised by his attorney. West v. State, 702 S.W.2d 629, 633 (Tex. Crim. App. 1986). At the hearing on the motion for new trial, the trial judge sat as the trier of fact and his findings will not be disturbed unless abuse of discretion has been demonstrated. Reissig v. State, 929 S.W.2d 109, 113 (Tex. App.--Houston [14th Dist.] 1996, pet. ref'd). Furthermore, the trial judge was not required to accept as true the testimony of the accused or any other witness simply because it was not contradicted. Id. "When a defendant challenges the voluntariness of a plea entered upon the advice of counsel, contending that his counsel was ineffective, 'the voluntariness of the plea depends on (1) whether counsel's advice was within the range of competence demanded of attorneys in criminal cases and if not, (2) whether there is a reasonable probability that, but for counsel's errors, he would not have pleaded guilty and would have insisted on going to trial.'" Ex parte Moody, 991 S.W.2d 856, 857-58 (Tex. Crim. App. 1999) (quoting Ex parte Morrow, 952 S.W.2d 530, 536 (Tex. Crim. App. 1997)). In considering the voluntariness of a guilty plea, we examine the record as a whole. Martinez v. State, 981 S.W.2d 195, 197 (Tex. Crim. App. 1998).