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Cedric
Cedric, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 2899
Experience:  Several Years of Criminal Defense Trials in L.A. and O.C. as public defender and private attorney
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my fiancee has been in jail for 10 months. the attorney that

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my fiancee has been in jail for 10 months. the attorney that we have said that they had an offer for 12month plea bargain but he was trying to get it down to 10 months. nothing had been delt with the situation. i would like to know if the offer that they had of 12 months will still be there or will they give him a plea bargain of more time? im really worried of them giving him more time. also if they do decide to give him 12 months will he get time served?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Cedric replied 5 years ago.
Since your fiancee has been in jail, he has already accepted whatever plea bargain was ultimately agreed upon, and you should contact his attorney to find out what the terms of the plea bargain were. It is also customary for every person in jail or prison to receive some amount of "good time/work time" for the time they are incarcerated, which means that it's rare for an inmate to have to serve the entire time that he actually agrees to in a plea bargain, or to which he is sentenced. For example, in California, the vast majority of misdemeanor inmates get 1/3 good time credit for every day they are incaracerated. Therefore, even if your husband received an entire year, he still should have been released 2 months ago if he received 1/3 of his time as credit toward his sentence.

His attorney should really have clarified this with you along time ago, assuming your fiancee consented to waiving the attorney-client privilege and allowing the attorney to speak to him. You can also try calling the jail in which he is incaracerated and request to find out when his release date is? Finally, if you qualify for a public defender, you can call the public defender's office in your county and request that they request a sentence modification on behalf of your husband to get him out asap.

But, yes, so long as his sentence was 12 months, the most he could wind up servicing is that 12 months (unless he committed a different crime while incarcerated, and was separately sentenced to that offense to run consecutive to his current time).

I hope this information helps and I'm sorry to hear about your situation.
Expert:  Cedric replied 5 years ago.
Please ask any additional questions if you have them. But it's always good to call the public defender's office, since although some aren't the greatest lawyers in the world, they are normally in the profession because they really care about their clients, and they should try to be as helpful as possible given your situation. The max your husband could serve on a misdemeanor is a year too, so I hope that helps alleviate your worry, at least slightly.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
but the whole ordeal is that he did not accept anything. the attorney said that the plea bargain was on the plate the d.a and the attroney onlytalked about it really breifly. so i dont know if that bargain is still on the plate. lets say if its not can they give him a diefferent plea bargain with more months/years? which i dont think its fair since his plea bargain was 12 months shouldn't it go down? oh trust me i will never get in contact with noone at the jail they are very recist.thats one of things why his case is going slow and he has a private attorney as well. so i really dont know what to do?
Expert:  Cedric replied 5 years ago.
Did the lawyer communicate the plea bargain offer to your fiancee? If not, that could be considered ineffective assistance of counsel and a violation of the rules of professional conduct, and could be grounds for appeal. The prosecutor couldn't try to slip the client a worse deal than was bargained for either, or that would mean he'd be kicked out of the bar and probably wind up in jail himself. Even if you have a private attorney currently, you can still go to the Public Defender for information and advice, and you can always fire the private attorney, as from what you're telling me, he hasn't done a great job on behalf of your fiancee. He should at least ensure that the terms of the plea bargain were communicated to you and your finacee fully, and that he fully understood what he was signing. If not, you're always free to fire him and request a Public Defender in his place.

Out of curiosity, with what was your husband charged and in what state? Unfortunately, racism is one huge problem with our criminal justice system (especially in Southern California), although my dad's friend was completely wrongfully convicted of killing his parents and was on death row for three years before he was released, but he was a hippie, so they're excluded. But, even without firing the private attorney, if he's avoiding or not returning your call, there's nothing wrong with calling the P.D. to see if they can tell you what's going on, since that doesn't establish an attorney-client relationship. Most, or at least one should be more than willing to help.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
well yes and no. the lawyer just told my fiancee that there was a plea bargain on the table but he did not want to just settle for that he wanted to get him 10 months and or case dropped.but since its going to be almost a year in jail i just dont want a year to go by and he doesnt have an asnwer. you understand? hes just sitting there with no court date or anything.he does not even know where he stands at this point if hes getting out or not.. its hard because i dont have a clear answer myself. i just dont want june to come and he still in there with not knowing anythin at all.. well he was accused of robbery in 3 different townships in pennsylvania shamokin, mount carmel, mount carmel township, he was with 4 other guys (co-defendants) he drove one Co-def up to that county because he had a girlfriend up there. once there my fiancee stayed at the girls apartment and fell asleep, the co-def asked him if he can drive the car to get something to eat he was like yeah w.e and just went about doing his thing. while my fiancee sleeping the 4 guys went and commtied armed robberies. my fiancee did not know anythin. when leaving from the township they had stopped for gas. when they were on the road back to allentown. they cops had stopped them and identified the vehicle as bieng in the robbery mind you its our vehicle. so he got wrongly accused of being there. what i dont get is that his co-def are saying hes innocent. have statments saying that hes innocent, did the line up twice none of the victims could not point him out, but they did point out the other four, d.a's know that hes innocnet hell with it his co-def said he had nothing to do with it because they lied to him. why is he still in there ? u get what im saying its just dosent seem right that he still in there and everyone knows hes innocent he was charged with armed robbery, i dont know how many counts of that 4 assults 2 simple and 2 aggravated endagement,unlawful taking, umm you know whatever they add on to make it look juicy.but hes really not charged wiht none of that the laywer did tell me that reason why is locked up is for him being in the car while they got stopped. but even with that. they do not have enough evidence of anything. nothin at all. si really dont know im just despearte i just want a peice of mind with all of this. becuase he's inoccent and they have no evidence against him
Expert:  Cedric replied 5 years ago.
he's been in jail for 10 months without a trial or a hearing? that's ridiculous if his lawyer has continued to waive time on his behalf to get to that point. if your fiancee wants to accept that plea, he should be out that day if it's for 12 months total, and he's only serving his time in county.

i'm sorry i can't answer more detailed questions, since i can't interfere with the attorney-client relationship, nor practice law in a jurisdiciton in which i'm not licensed. but, if you're not getting calls back from your fiancee's attorney, it's a good sign that you can obtain better counsel. and if it's because he doesn't believe your fiancee and doesn't want to take the case to trial that's even a better reason.

are you sure he didn't plead guilty at some point. you're supposed to be brought to trial within a month at the most if you're in custody.

can you look him up on-line to see the status of his case?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
yea he has not been to trial or a hearing..i know im very positive he did not choose any plea bargain. he believes him. he does. i just dont know what's going on.also the D.A does not return the lawyers phone calls to settle the case. so were stuck there as well. yes i can look up his status on line well if he has any court hearings or anything.he hasnt had a court date placed. i did go to the attorney office and the paralegal did say that they were arrainging trial for may but.since trial is more expensive he just wants to take a plea.i just dont want that plea bargain to go up you kno give him more time.. you think they can give him time served if he takes a plea?
Expert:  Cedric replied 5 years ago.
Yes, I think they would given what I said about the good time credits he should've been accumulating. Also, I don't mean to criticize a lawyer who I do not know, but neither the D.A. failing to return his calls or any other reason justifies that long of a delay for someone in custody to have their day in court. The D.A. doesn't have any say in the matter. He has the constitutional right to a speedy trial, and only he or his attorney can waive it on his behalf.

The plea bargain should still be one the table, since there'd be no reason to penalize him, especially if he's not even going to trial. That said, I hate that your husband has been put in a situation by our criminal 'justice' system in which he's forced to plead guilty to a crime he did not committ in order to get his freedom, and he should ensure that he's fully aware of all consequences that could result from a guilty plea to the charge.

(E.g., if it's a felony or not, if your state has a strike system, etc.) But even in my experiences in conservative O.C., the D.A.s very rarely extended plea bargains and then withdrew them, since that violates an unspoken rule that an attorney's fellow word should be good in regards XXXXX XXXXX client, unless he or she states that the offer is only for that day or has a certain expiration date.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
so even the D.A. has not returned his phone call your saying that he doesnt have a say if he can drop his charges? i really thought he did.. i swear i can be a lawyer.. i think i would do a better job of caring for my client and give them there moneys worth so yea i guess i do have a shitty lawyer..see now that worries me abt the plea bargain. i dont know if it still on the plate. i would much rather have his cases dropped then to have a coniviction on his records. and the reason i do not want to fire the damn son of a gun is because we already paid him money so im stuck but i just do hope wthin these couple of months i can get an end result to all of this i just hope he can get time served n not have to do more than 12 mnths
Expert:  Cedric replied 5 years ago.
Yes, if it's a felony, he's entitled to a 'probable cause hearing' within 10 days of his demand for one. I had a client who a P.D. was trying to accept an 8 year plea bargain, and I just scheduled the date for it, and he was released since they weren't ready, charges dismissed.

For all I know, he could be incredibly caring, compassionate, and it could be part of a great strategy, but from this perspective, it does just seem like he's taking your money (or already has), and isn't giving you much if anything in return. That's the down side to flat fees, since some attorneys then don't have an independent drive to get your fiancee out ASAP. If tomorrow (or today), the attorney answered 'ready for trial,' the case would have to go at most 10 days from that date.

The courts must be significantly overburdened, if the judge is allowing that too, since they normally will prioritize in custody cases and get the attorneys to make a deal or go to trial even if they're not ready to do so.

Yeah, the D.A. isn't returning my calls is not a valid excuse to allow someone to be imprisoned who could otherwise already have been released. But you don't have anything to lose by at least consulting with a P.D., and seeing if he or she would be a better representative. (I know PDs have a bad rep in general, but I was one once, and know that some of our best criminal defense attorneys are there...and I'm still getting accustomed to having to make clients pay for services I used to be able to do for free).

But if you've paid him so much, you at least deserve a clear explanation of what's going on. I reccomend you do that, and seek out a P.D. if he doesn't answer and return your call. But unfortunately, just like private attorneys, getting a P.D. can also be a crap shoot, so that's why I'd definitely reccomend ensuring you're eligible first and then talking to someone in the office to get their opinion on it. (It's kind of like a free second opinion from a doctor, although they most likely won't have the same info your attorney does, so I'd ask him to make you a copy of that pronto too).

I hope all this helps and that things work out in the best way possible for you and your fiancee. I really wish I could do more for you, since at minimum, you and your fiancee deserve to know what's going on, and your attorney has a legal duty to keep him informed.
Cedric, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 2899
Experience: Several Years of Criminal Defense Trials in L.A. and O.C. as public defender and private attorney
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