Carlito Brigante is released from jail after serving five years of a much longer stretch. He vows to go straight and to live life as a fine, upstanding citizen. He even rekindles a romance with his ex-lover. However, Carlito's associates cannot seem to leave him in peace...his nephew involves him a pool-room gunfight, his lawyer asks him for "favours" which spiral out of control, and even an old friend (now a wheelchair bound paraplegic) tries to get him into trouble with the law. Carlito decides to make a run for Florida and the promise of a new life, but has one final dramatic escape to make from some hoods who believe (wrongly) that he was behind the murder of their boss.