Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
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Why is your friend in prison now?
Is he almost ready to be released?
Who filed the writ of habeus corpus?
Who is the victim in the assault 1st degree?
What does the unlawful detention refer to?
First, all that a writ does is request that a person be brought before a court. The burden then lies on the person requesting the writ to persuade the court to do what s/he is requesting.
The fact that your friend has a hearing is a good thing. Even if a writ is granted, everyone goes back to jail/prison after the hearing---even if it is just to be processed to be released.
I would like some more information, please.
Did your friend plead guilty or was he found guilty by a jury? Or, did he waive his right to a jury and ask to have the case heard before a judge?
Was there ever an appeal of the final outcome of the case?
Did your friend ever tell the court that he was unsatisfied with the attorney? If it was a public defender, did he ever ask that the lawyer be removed from the case?
So, your friend hired an attorney. At any time, he could have fired the attorney and sought the services of another one. Although, if the matter was at the trial stage, the court may not allowed him to withdraw from the case.
Whenever an attorney gives his/her recommendation, or "professional" opinion, it is only that. It is up to the client to decide whether or not to take the plea. Maybe the plea offer was good and in your friend's best interests, or maybe it wasn't. It was up to your friend to decide. It is not uncommon for prosecutors to offer a "last minute" plea bargain. Unfortunately, sometimes, it doesn't give a person a whole lot of time to decide whether to enter the plea or not.
Your friend's attorney should have been advising him all along the way about possible plea offers and their consequences....and his absolute right to go to trial. Nothing should have been such a suprise that your friend felt should have felt terrified.
If your friend did plea guilty, the judge would have gone over all of your friend's constitutional rights, including his right to a trial. The judge would have asked him if the plea was "freely, knowingly and voluntarily" made. Also, the judge would have asked your friend if anything was promised, or he was threatened or coerced into taking the plea. And, your friend had to place facts on the record that would support the plea that he entered into. If at any time, the judge was uncomfortable with the answers, or your friend would have spoken up, the plea would not have been accepted, and your friend would have gone to trial on the original charge(s).
However, if all of the questions asked by the judge and answered by your friend that I outlined above were satisfactory, it may be harder to prove ineffective assistance of counsel. In order to be able to withdraw the plea, your friend may have to claim that he was "coerced" by the attorney to take the plea, and was afraid not to tell the judge because if he did, the judge might hold it against him. Again, there are no guarantees.
It is sometimes hard to withdraw a plea once all of the above factors have been placed on the record. However, if your friend is claiming "ineffective assistance" of counsel, and it is shown that the attorney did provide "ineffective service", your friend has a shot at being able to withdraw his plea and go to trial.
I understand that your friend pled "not contest." This meant that he didn't admit nor did he deny the facts set forth in the police report or other agreed upon facts, but that for purpose of sentencing the "no contest" was like a guilty plea. The prosecutor and defense attorney would have had to either allow the judge to review the police report or other documentation so that the judge could accept the accept the no contest plea. Also, there may have been "just enough facts" placed on the record to allow the judge to be satisfied that all of the elements of the crime occured and that your friend did the crime. Either way, the judge had to have enough information before him/her so as to legally accept the plea.
" No Contest" pleas are usually entered because the defendant had no recollection of the events due to drugs, alcohol or some type of medical issue OR because the defendant is concerned with civil liability as a result of his plea. For example, if a no contest plea was put on the record and your friend was sued civilly as a result of the incident, the plaintiff (victim) would have to prove that your friend was responsible for damages. The facts put on the record because of a guilty plea could not be used to support the plaintiff's claims.
If your friend pled "no contest" because his attorney said, "you don't have to say anything on the record about what happened", that would be wrong. Remember, however, the judge would go over the consequences of a "no contest" plea before allowing it to be accepted by the court. If your friend agreed and understood the consequences, again it would be hard to withdraw the plea.
Believe it or not, there have been cases where the attorney has been deemed to have provided "ineffective" assistance. It can be hard to prove, as the attorney will claim that everything he did, he did as a "strategy" to help your friend, and that is shown by the reduced plea or dismissal of some of the charges, or some type of sentence agreement. This is NOT an exhaustive list.
Given the long reaching effects of this matter, and the fact that your friend's liberty has been taken away, he really should contact an attorney who specializes in criminal appeals so that he can discuss the specific facts of his situation with him/her. If he is having a hard time doing so from in prison, you could also assist. You/he can contact the state bar association for a referral. The more advice, the better.
I wish you and your friend the best of luck.
Again, a writ of habeas corpus is a request to be brought before the judge. It sounds like your friend IS going to be brought.
It is the request for relief that is made either before or at the hearing that will be GRANTED or DENIED. In this case, for example, his request to withdraw his plea. Searhing using "habeus corpus" granted or denied, may not be the appropriate seardh, nor will it give you the results that you re looking for. That search may be WAY to broad.
An online search query may include: Conneticuit + criminal appeal + withdraw plea
also,,, you may try "Conneticuit + ineffective assistance of counsel +criminal
Using "writ of habeus corpus" in any search may not necessarily help you...Again, because that is just a request to be brought before the court. Always include your state in any search as it narrows the results.
If you go to the law library, I don't know if a law librarian could point you in the right direction...but s/he can't give you legal advice. S/he may be able to give you assistance with search queries.
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