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While waiting for the jury to decide on her innocence in a murder trial, Mary Martin recalls her past to the court clerk: As a teenager, the orphaned Mary is falsely accused of theft and is sent to a house of corrections for three years. After her release, Mary and her friend Bunny fall in with Leo Darcy and his gang of thieves and become their unwitting accomplices in a robbery. When Mary realizes how Leo used her, she leaves him but is unable to find legitimate work. Broke and desperate, Mary eventually returns to Leo and, within two years, becomes his mistress and partner in crime. Then, one night while she and Bunny are setting up a robbery at a private gambling house, Mary is spotted by Tom Mannering, Jr., a "blue-blood" lawyer. Tom falls instantly in love with Mary and, when Leo and the gang become involved in a shootout with the police, helps her to escape. Although fully aware of Mary's involvement with Leo, Tom takes her to his nearby house and hides her from the police. Overwhelmed by Tom's kindness, Mary finally asks him to help her "go straight" and find honest work. With Tom's help, Mary enrolls in a secretarial school and is hired as a stenographer in his law firm. Determined to make her own way, Mary avoids Tom at work but, when Tom catches Tindle, the head clerk, accosting her after hours, she breaks down and confesses her love. Later that night, while she and Tom plan their future at a Chinese restaurant, Mary is recognized by a policeman who was present at the gambling house robbery. To save Tom's reputation, Mary tells him that she has been "playing him for a sucker," and then gives herself up to the policeman. After refusing to implicate Leo, Mary is sent to prison, and a year later, Tom marries a socialite. Once free, Mary begins another fruitless search for work and is approached by Leo, who again offers her a place in his prospering gang. Mary returns to Leo and accepts his lavish gifts but is stunned when she runs into Tom in a nightclub. Suspicious of Mary's feelings for Tom, Leo threatens the unhappily married lawyer and, after a fight in the club, sends his henchmen to kill Tom. While Mary rushes to warn Tom about Leo, the henchmen mistakenly murder Tom's best friend. Although Mary pretends to be indifferent about Tom, Leo persists in his demand that he be killed and prepares to do the deed himself. To save Tom, Mary finally shoots and kills Leo and is arrested for murder. Back at the courthouse, Mary, who has said nothing about Tom during the trial, is found guilty. Just as the verdict is read, however, Tom bursts into the court and, after confessing his relationship to Mary, demands an immediate retrial. After Tom's wife sues him for divorce, Tom prepares to defend his beloved Mary in her new trial.