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downing

probation revoked on mentally ill

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My grandson is one of the countless street people with a mental illness. ADHD, low functioning adult, dis associative personality among other diagnosis. The past 3 years He is repeatedly arrested for misdemeaners booked and released has never remembered a court date so lots of FTA. He did get one felony charge of assault on an officer. My question, he has been kept in jail and is scheduled for sentencing on the 8th I was informed probation will not be re instated they are going to make him do the time for past offenses. Is it to late to change his plea regarding the assault? ( I am still confuse  about how an air driven door can be slammed on anyone as their function is to prevent slamming and it was working well) He cognately does not understand the court process or the concept of having to report weekly nor does he understand the consequences. How is it the court does not recognize this young man clearly has mental issues that prevent him from complying. He would make court dates if he had the ability to just remember them. When in jail an attorney can bring him any kind of offer and as long as the end of the sentence is, " and then you can get out of jail" he will agree. However, 15 mins later he cannot tell you what he agreed to. What alternatives do we have at this point? Why can't the court get him treatment? I fear after years of warehousing him they will release a much worse young man on society

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25 minutes ago, downing said:

Is it to late to change his plea regarding the assault?

We have no way of guessing the answer to this question since we know neither the timing nor the details of the bargain.  However, withdrawing the plea, if allowed, simply means he will be tried on the charge and may get a much worse sentence.  That is why people accept plea bargains.

 

His possible alternative to being tried and incarcerated repeatedly may be not very appetizing.  He could be determined not competent to stand trial and involuntarily committed to a mental institution. If he is being arrested and convicted of crimes, the consequence, repeated jail or penitentiary incarceration,  may be similar but with much less chance of recovery or improvement.

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On 12/30/2018 at 10:53 AM, RetiredinVA said:

We have no way of guessing the answer to this question since we know neither the timing nor the details of the bargain.  However, withdrawing the plea, if allowed, simply means he will be tried on the charge and may get a much worse sentence.  That is why people accept plea bargains.

 

His possible alternative to being tried and incarcerated repeatedly may be not very appetizing.  He could be determined not competent to stand trial and involuntarily committed to a mental institution. If he is being arrested and convicted of crimes, the consequence, repeated jail or penitentiary incarceration,  may be similar but with much less chance of recovery or improvement.

So, do I understand you to say if he were incarcerated he would stand a much less chance of coming out with any improvement than he would if sent to an institution?  I believe he would stand a very good chance of winning even with an attorney that graduated at the bottom of his class. Air controlled doors are by definition controlled by air to prevent closing on people. I went to this location and the door was working properly with no way I could hit or hurt anyone. I informed his attorney of this but nothing was done The DA would have the burden of proof and  since I am 6' 2" and weigh 200 lbs and I couldn't make it happen how would he prove it? I raised 4 children who today are all tax paying adults. Accountability is huge with me and always stressed but I perceive an injustice in this felony charge and it is what will get him years, about 3, of incarceration. Details were he was charged last winter plead guilty to assault was let out of jail on probation. Never reported to probation officer because he has no idea what day it is what time it is or probably what year which also explains why he has never made it to a court appearance causing many many many FTA's now probation was revoked and will not be reinstated so he has a court date for sentencing. Question, if probation is revoked, before going to jail, are people re-sentenced for past crimes and can they withdraw a plea given earlier.

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On 12/31/2018 at 8:16 AM, LegalwriterOne said:

Have you spoken to his attorney?

I am in the process of writing his attorney a letter explaining his disability that causes his inability to grasp the whole concept of the court process or the consequences of him not complying. At his last court appearance I asked his attorney, when is the last time you talked to him and what was it about?" He responded, " yesterday. I presented the deal the DA offered" I asked, " how can you present an offer that he cannot understand or even remember accepting" He asked, what do you mean? I said, "go back in that room and ask him to tell you what you two talked and agreed about yesterday and he will not be able to tell you any of it" He did and later when his named was called his attorney called for an assessment to be done. Assessment found that he understood his charges. That was it!! Big difference between understanding you were arrested and understanding  why and how to defend yourself

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Okay so he was assessed for competency by county mental health and it was determined that he was competent.  That means he understands.  That he can't remember or doesn't keep track isn't going to undo anything.   He's facing a violation of probation on a charge he pled to a while back.  It's too late to withdraw the plea now.  The court can impose a sentence on every probation case that is still open with time left to serve.  For example, if he was on probation for a 6-month misdemeanor and had credit for a 4 days, the court can impose the rest of the six months.  If he is sentenced on the felony in addition to the misdemeanors, the court has the option to order those sentences run concurrent and I would expect his attorney to ask for that.  They do have mental health services in the custody facilities. 

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If your grandson is so totally unable to manage his own affairs and keep track of what day it is, and not constantly break the law, then he really needs to be better supervised by family or committed to some sort of appropriate facility. Why no one in the family has stepped in to at the very least remind him to show up to court if not accompany him is unclear. The bar for competency is pretty low and he won't get off the hook by simply not being able or willing to pay attention to important dates. Technology is a wonderful thing and makes keeping track of dates and appointments so much easier, though a good old fashioned calendar on the wall and a marker to cross of the dates works just fine too.

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23 minutes ago, ElleMD said:

If your grandson is so totally unable to manage his own affairs and keep track of what day it is, and not constantly break the law, then he really needs to be better supervised by family or committed to some sort of appropriate facility. Why no one in the family has stepped in to at the very least remind him to show up to court if not accompany him is unclear. The bar for competency is pretty low and he won't get off the hook by simply not being able or willing to pay attention to important dates. Technology is a wonderful thing and makes keeping track of dates and appointments so much easier, though a good old fashioned calendar on the wall and a marker to cross of the dates works just fine too.

I can tell by your answer your family hasn't had to deal with a young mentally ill member. Starting with the most basic solution a calendar he has no wall for it he is one of thousands with a mental illness living on the streets all unsupervised. Yes technology is wonderful and I am locked into a 2 year contract with Verizon and have provided countless phones to him that he has been beaten up for and taken from him. So, no more phones He doesn't even have a food stamp card anymore because he gets beat up for it and he says it isn't worth it. I have no idea how or where he eats We have tried staying informed of his court dates but he gets picked up booked and released (we are not aware of) this changes his court dates every time and we are not even aware of the change because they don't update the court calendar on line. Have you ever tried to find a homeless person in a city of 100,000 people.to remind him of a court date? Many family members have. The young man we are talking about is a most loved family member and this illness breaks our hearts.  Every solution you suggest has been thought of and tried except committing him but trust when I say I have looked into it to find it is a very difficult process. Thank you anyway  for your input it would have been good advice if we were dealing with someone who fell within the range of normal

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Unfortunately, the problems your grandson is having are not actually legal problems - they are mental health problems.  If he is unable to understand and conform to his basic legal obligations, such as when to show up for court hearings or probation reporting, there is little or nothing any lawyer can do.

 

Inpatient or outpatient mental health treatment, including medication, may help.  But people like your son invariably cease taking the medication and get rearrested and live on the street where they are robbed, beat up, etc.  Because of their affliction they are incapable of ever holding a job and will remain homeless or in jail until they die.  At one time, such patients were committed to mental health facilities.  Their rights are now protected to the point that they are regularly rearrested, incarcerated in inappropriate facilities, like the typical county jail, released to the street, and incarcerated again.

 

I'm sorry but there is actually no answer to your queestions.

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Downing, let me ask you a question, and for the record I am asking it because it is not clear to me. I'm not trying to be a smartass and I'm  not making any kind of rebuttal of anything you're saying; I just can't tell from your posts and I genuinely want to know.

 

What, in your mind, would be the ideal solution? What do you believe the legal system should do to, for, or with your grandson? What would be justice in your mind?

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On 1/3/2019 at 5:07 AM, cbg said:

Downing, let me ask you a question, and for the record I am asking it because it is not clear to me. I'm not trying to be a smartass and I'm  not making any kind of rebuttal of anything you're saying; I just can't tell from your posts and I genuinely want to know.

 

What, in your mind, would be the ideal solution? What do you believe the legal system should do to, for, or with your grandson? What would be justice in your mind? 

 

 

 

On 1/3/2019 at 5:07 AM, cbg said:

Downing, let me ask you a question, and for the record I am asking it because it is not clear to me. I'm not trying to be a smartass and I'm  not making any kind of rebuttal of anything you're saying; I just can't tell from your posts and I genuinely want to know.

 

What, in your mind, would be the ideal solution? What do you believe the legal system should do to, for, or with your grandson? What would be justice in your mind?

 

What I was hoping for was that the court would recognize he was not missing his court dates on purpose. How do you hold someone accountable who is unable to be so? He has so many FTAs and those would be included in his sentencing. His mental illness doesn't allow him to help in his own defense because he cannot remember or recall events. He cannot tell you any of his charges let alone details and court dates. The court has had him assessed, for what I am not sure, but they get the report and resume court as usual. We went to court on the 8th and I wrote my concerns to them. Sentencing was postponed and the court has now ordered an evaluation be done. Grandson has never been medicated for his illness so it is my hopes if the county has him they put him where treatment is available because with out it they will be releasing a much worse more ill young man and nothing good is going to come from that. How would we go about getting a copy of that evaluation?

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On 1/2/2019 at 5:33 PM, RetiredinVA said:

Unfortunately, the problems your grandson is having are not actually legal problems - they are mental health problems.  If he is unable to understand and conform to his basic legal obligations, such as when to show up for court hearings or probation reporting, there is little or nothing any lawyer can do.

 

Inpatient or outpatient mental health treatment, including medication, may help.  But people like your son invariably cease taking the medication and get rearrested and live on the street where they are robbed, beat up, etc.  Because of their affliction they are incapable of ever holding a job and will remain homeless or in jail until they die.  At one time, such patients were committed to mental health facilities.  Their rights are now protected to the point that they are regularly rearrested, incarcerated in inappropriate facilities, like the typical county jail, released to the street, and incarcerated again.

 

I'm sorry but there is actually no answer to your queestions.

We went to court and the court has ordered an evaluation this time. How can we get a copy of that eval when it is available?

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1 hour ago, downing said:

We went to court and the court has ordered an evaluation this time. How can we get a copy of that eval when it is available?

You cannot get a copy of the evaluation unless your grandson signs a medical release form .  Even then, the report is for the use by the court and may only be availablethrough your grandson's attorney.

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So instead the court should be doing...what? Again, I'm not being a smartass; I'm trying to understand actions the court should be doing or not doing. Allow him to miss court dates with no penalty? Commit misdemeanors (and assaults) but not have to take any consequences?

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On 1/2/2019 at 7:58 PM, downing said:

I can tell by your answer your family hasn't had to deal with a young mentally ill member. Starting with the most basic solution a calendar he has no wall for it he is one of thousands with a mental illness living on the streets all unsupervised. Yes technology is wonderful and I am locked into a 2 year contract with Verizon and have provided countless phones to him that he has been beaten up for and taken from him. So, no more phones He doesn't even have a food stamp card anymore because he gets beat up for it and he says it isn't worth it. I have no idea how or where he eats We have tried staying informed of his court dates but he gets picked up booked and released (we are not aware of) this changes his court dates every time and we are not even aware of the change because they don't update the court calendar on line. Have you ever tried to find a homeless person in a city of 100,000 people.to remind him of a court date? Many family members have. The young man we are talking about is a most loved family member and this illness breaks our hearts.  Every solution you suggest has been thought of and tried except committing him but trust when I say I have looked into it to find it is a very difficult process. Thank you anyway  for your input it would have been good advice if we were dealing with someone who fell within the range of normal

You assume incorrectly. Unfortunately interventions become more difficult once the person reaches their majority. Early interventions when the person is still a minor are key. Not all conditions manifest that young, though it sounds like this young man has always had challenges. It is unclear where his parents are and if anyone has ever sought guardianship of him. It is NOT an easy or even cheap process but if this guy is totally incapable of managing his own affairs and not continually breaking the law, it may be warranted.

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