Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Even if there was a decent criminal defense lawyer in this backwards little town and even if I could afford to him/her ....it's too late probation has already submitted their recommendation so as a hail Mary I will try to get a letter to the judge explaining that when she was put on probation she did not have a stable environment but now she does as my parents have offered us a small house they own to live in for as long as we need and that I would make sure she adhered to the conditions of probation if he would just give her a second chance. Sentencing is tomorrow at 8am

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not lookin for handouts ....well....maybe I am but really are there any key phrases or certain things I should or shouldn't put in a letter to the judge in you guys professional opinion or would I truly be wasting my time or more importantly the courts time with a hastily penned letter?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi @Helpmywifeplease

 

Welcome and thanks for posting. So sorry to hear about your wife's situation. As others have mentioned, your best bet would be to have a good criminal attorney in your corner, even if you had to hire one in another town. If that is not possible, then you can attempt to write a letter to the judge (and include the sort of details you included in your original post), but unfortunately it's possible that the judge will not consider it.

 

Best of luck and keep us posted!

The FindLaw.com Team

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you I wrote the judge and basically just said there has been a change of circumstances and that if he would give her one more chance at probation that I would see to it she completed it . I tried to get the public defender to look at it before court but she just blew on by looking down her nose at me.  They put off sentencing yet again as somehow the last report from mental health Dept was not in the file so...... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never been in trouble with the law or not in a very long time anyways .Back then it seemed like the public defender was basically there for the defendant. Now it seems like they work for the prosecuter with the ultimate goal of getting the defendant to plead guilty of something whether they are or not just to make it less work. Is it like this everywhere? Or just here or just these guys? Or am I way off base? Cause I gotta say man this is wrong on so many levels it's wrong. Whilst it may lighten the work load it sidesteps something very important .I am not a lawyer so I can't really say exactly what it is but something about the process does not function properly like this case in point when the defendant is actually the victim.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is true that public defenders and court appointed lawyers arrange plea bargains for well in excess of ninety percent of their clients.  (I was never a public defender but I was court appointed in a few hundred cases before our jurisdiction went the public defender route.)   There are two main reasons why plea bargains are so common.

 

First, although the defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty, in over 99 percent of cases the defendant did commit the criminal act of which s/he is charged.  Every defense lawyer and prosecutor knows this.  So the goal is to minimize the penalty resulting from the action.  That is the case in your wife's situation.  In California, the minimum sentence for arson of an occupied building is three years.  Your wife's defender was able to get the sentence reduced to 17 months, all of which was apparently suspended.  That is remarkable.  Your wife's response to this act of mercy was to totally blow off the probation office.

 

Second, without plea bargains the criminal and civil law system would come to a total stop.  Criminal cases have priority over civil cases because of the constitution's guarantee of a speedy trial.  If every defendnat required a trial the entire docket of every court in the country would have nothing but criminal cases.  Of course, essentially every trial would result in a conviction and the imposition of greater penalties than those that could have bargained for.

 

Anyway.  Your wife had the option of not spending a single day in jail because of her clearly criminal action.  She rejected that possibility.  The system did not fail her, she failed the system.

 

BTW, your claim that you could make your wife comply with the probation conditions if she is released is belied by history, isn't it?  What would be different the second time around?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, RetiredinVA said:

It is true that public defenders and court appointed lawyers arrange plea bargains for well in excess of ninety percent of their clients.  (I was never a public defender but I was court appointed in a few hundred cases before our jurisdiction went the public defender route.)   There are two main reasons why plea bargains are so common.

 

First, although the defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty, in over 99 percent of cases the defendant did commit the criminal act of which s/he is charged.  Every defense lawyer and prosecutor knows this.  So the goal is to minimize the penalty resulting from the action.  That is the case in your wife's situation.  In California, the minimum sentence for arson of an occupied building is three years.  Your wife's defender was able to get the sentence reduced to 17 months, all of which was apparently suspended.  That is remarkable.  Your wife's response to this act of mercy was to totally blow off the probation office.

 

Second, without plea bargains the criminal and civil law system would come to a total stop.  Criminal cases have priority over civil cases because of the constitution's guarantee of a speedy trial.  If every defendnat required a trial the entire docket of every court in the country would have nothing but criminal cases.  Of course, essentially every trial would result in a conviction and the imposition of greater penalties than those that could have bargained for.

 

Anyway.  Your wife had the option of not spending a single day in jail because of her clearly criminal action.  She rejected that possibility.  The system did not fail her, she failed the system.

 

BTW, your claim that you could make your wife comply with the probation conditions if she is released is belied by history, isn't it?  What would be different the second time around?

Her options have been systematicly stripped from her since the start of this mess. whatever  rights she did have left she was not made aware of till she was to mentally exhausted to even make an informed decision....in her mind at the time had she not lit the blanket on fire she may of bled to death. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All this because she needed her medication to be given back to her by the sheriff Dept. Yes she should not of made a threat of suicide but this is someone with mental issues that they knew had issues that they knew needed the medication that they were withholding. They could of handled this in a completely different way as could of she,however who is the one with the issues again?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems like now all of them the sheriff s Dept, mental health,probation,even the judge him self are just trying to keep her put away not because of the "crime" but because they screwed up and they know it . I mean where was her civil rights? Or do people with mental health issues not have the same rights? There has been more than several cases of homeless,transients,ect. Killed in this jail . There is even the real possibility that just by me discussing it here on an open forum that I put my self at risk and her at even more risk. So if for some reason I don't update this with some kind of conclusion I would hope some curious soul would have the balls to investigate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems to me that local law enforcement and the hospital are complicate in this situation .

This woman had a history of mental illness which both law enforcement and the hospital were aware of. 

     1.  Local law enforcement left her unattended in the hospital knowing she was there on a 5150 hold, this allowed her to WALK out of the hospital. The transporting officer then "tackled" her in the parking lot which seems to me he was more concerned about his mistake then about his charge,

     2. The hospital put her in a suicide watch cell without even a full body search ! ... aka the lighter she used to start the fire.

     IMHO law enforcement and the hospital are more at fault then their charge. They may very well be expediting this so all their mistakes go unnoticed.

 

Get her a criminal defense lawyer.  once her case is resolved find a pro-bono civil rights lawyer and sue local law enforcement and the hospital. They are as much at fault as she is.

Good Luck

Edited by Hunter4all
added "Good Luck"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/31/2016 at 2:17 PM, Helpmywifeplease said:

I tried to get the public defender to look at it before court but she just blew on by looking down her nose at me.  They put off sentencing yet again as somehow the last report from mental health Dept was not in the file so...

If your letter makes it to the court file, the judge's clerk should be instructed to provide a copy to her attorney and the prosecutor.  There's no point is discussing anything without all the reports, especially the mental health report. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One more question. here in our county we have what's called "family court" they deal with custody issues ECT. .We also have criminal/civil crimes,lawsuites ECT..My question is this how is it that the same judge does both? I mean it doesn't seem right. She has a custody battle going on in one case with the same judge that's putting her prison on this case . Is that just the way it goes?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update....the letter made it into court and was read aloud to the judge it was the final deciding factor that tipped the scales in our favor. It was a very stressful and taxing ordeal. which could of been handled so much better by a good lawyer. It isn't over yet but she is out of jail . Thank-you everybody for everything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They just piled it on her NA meetings, mental health appointmens, probation check ins ,on line check ins ,community service hours, fines, restitution ,drug testing, and reg as arsonist. This is a girl that doesn't handle stress well mind you.Despite my best efforts to maintain the support she needs its only a matter of time before she gets violated.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...