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Joseph
Joseph, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 7279
Experience:  I have 15 years experience in criminal litigation including several years as a felony prosecutor
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Hi, Mr. Joseph. Im hoping you remember my case and you can

Customer Question

Hi, Mr. Joseph. I'm hoping you remember my case and you can see all the above we spoke about in January and that this is the right means of contact. My question today is a bit different. My husband tells me he has until May 10th to dispute his sentencing. I had planned on somehow contacting the judge herself and to somehow ask for mercy or a change of heart on the sentencing. I don't have money to hire an attorney for this but I was wondering if there are any forms or a specific procedure that I could follow to request a reduced sentence. Truth is that my kids miss daddy terribly and as I told you before, I know for a fact that he is innocent of the original crime. So, is the idea of going to the judge herself a bad idea? What would be the best way to do so? You previously mentioned that the fact that there was no criminal intent noted by the judge who handled the new charge of reporting to early for his annual registration, was something to be looked into. Again she only gave him a year probation for it. However, the judge for the probation violation is the one that sentenced him to 2.5 to 5 yrs. Right now he has done two of the 4 programs that are required of him. He's awaiting to be called for T.C.(Whatever that stands for) and then the Sex class I'd mentioned to you previously. He is wondering what his legal rights are as far as those 2 classes are concerned since the sex one, he'd be required to move into the quarters assigned for that group, which as you can imagine, includes high level criminals. My husband was assigned to minimum security. He is classified as a level 2 and a nonviolent criminal. As he understands it, he should not be placed with higher level criminals. Can he take this up with parole? Can I mention this to the judge in my request. Once again a catch 22 . If he goes up for early release, he doesn't want to be told he can't leave because he hasn't completed programs that are not available to him. I'm sure you're aware of the budget deficit and how that is impacting the jails so I know the trailers for TC training that were initially supposed to be set up for the min security inmates, is no longer going to occur. I pray you have a positive answer for us. Thank you very much in advance for your time and effort.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 3 years ago.

Welcome back! As you indicated, our last conversation was several months ago. Additionally, I'm still working the "day job" and I'm a bit busy at the moment. Would it be acceptable to get into this discussion this evening?

 

Thank you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes ofcourse and thank you. What time would you suggest?
Expert:  Joseph replied 3 years ago.
I'm on-line again. Give me a few moments and I'll be back. Thank you.
Expert:  Joseph replied 3 years ago.

I don't know that you've stated it yet....

 

Did he have a public defender initially or did he hire private counsel?

 

Thanks!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
He had a public defender to handle the new felony charge of registering too early for the Megan's Law. He had an attorney for the probation violation charge.
Expert:  Joseph replied 3 years ago.

So, is the idea of going to the judge herself a bad idea? What would be the best way to do so?

 

  • Unfortunately, you can't just go to the judge to initiate a conversation. Any conversations with the judge regarding a pending case must be with all parties present and, typically, in open court. So, to speak with the judge about the case, a motion would need to be filed and set for a hearing.

 

My husband was assigned to minimum security. He is classified as a level 2 and a nonviolent criminal. As he understands it, he should not be placed with higher level criminals. Can he take this up with parole?

 

  • No, the parole board does not control the department of corrections. The department of corrections is their own entity and may run their prisons as they deem appropriate. While they do need to meet constitutional standards, for the most part, the court system does not dictate how prisoners are classified or where they are housed.

 

 

 

Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So would this be a motion that my husband could file on his own? If so, what is it called and would have to be filed by that date of May 10th?

How long do they have to give a trial date and would this work against him when he goes up to see the parole board?

The other catch 22 that he found himself in, is that he is a nonviolent criminal and may be eligible for early release, but he would like to find out if there's a program of, mmm, I forget the name of the class, a Sexual Offender's class.....

Someone told me that they knew of someone in it, but I didn't want to ask them where. Can you tell me how I may try to search for it? I tried going thru the arraignment court in Pittsburgh where my friend heard about it, and spoke to a person who sent me to someone else and so on and so forth to where I found myself further from finding it.

I once again appreciate all the help you are providing.

 

Expert:  Joseph replied 3 years ago.

So would this be a motion that my husband could file on his own? If so, what is it called and would have to be filed by that date of May 10th?

 

  • Much like any other motion, your husband can file it on his own. Having said that, it would always be prudent to have an attorney do it instead. An attorney would know the rules of procedure, be familiar with the law and, likely, obtain a more favorable outcome. As you mentioned the motion to me (not the other way around), I can't say with certainty what the motion is. However, from what you've described, it sounds like a motion to mitigate sentence.

 

 

How long do they have to give a trial date and would this work against him when he goes up to see the parole board?

 

  • Once the motion is filed, he could contact the judge's assistant to set it for a hearing, it could likely be set fairly quickly. And no, I would not expect the parole board to hold this against him.

 

 

The other catch 22 that he found himself in, is that he is a nonviolent criminal and may be eligible for early release, but he would like to find out if there's a program of, mmm, I forget the name of the class, a Sexual Offender's class.....

Someone told me that they knew of someone in it, but I didn't want to ask them where. Can you tell me how I may try to search for it?

 

  • I would suggest starting with the website for the department of corrections, it will likely contain information on all courses offered within the prison system.

 

 

Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.

Joseph, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 7279
Experience: I have 15 years experience in criminal litigation including several years as a felony prosecutor
Joseph and 2 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have not done anything as I understand what you are saying regarding going up to the judge and speaking to her. I did speak to my husband and he brought up the point that in court, before sentencing the judge said, "oh, you're a level 3, 2.5 to 5years". However he is a level 2. Would it be okay to mention this in a letter to her? My husband wondered if judges ever have a routine of reviewing previous cases and hoped that due to the state budget issues and the need for more space in the jails that they could look at his case and lower the sentence or allow him a half way house alternative or something of the sort.

If your answer is that a motion must be submitted for the above as well. How long does it typically take for the entire process to result in an answer?

Expert:  Joseph replied 3 years ago.

No, unfortunately, you can't simply write a letter to the judge. Well, technically, you CAN write a letter to the judge, however, the odds of the judge 1) reading the letter and 2) doing anything in response are extremely low.

 

There are several reasons for this. First, judges are extremely busy and simply do not have the time to read all the letters that come into them. Additionally, a letter to just the judge would be considered an ex parte communication and therefore inappropriate. Further, from a legal perspective, a letter does not create an ability to act.

 

So yes, to actually make anything happen on behalf of your husband, a motion would need to be filed. Once the motion is filed, it can be set for a hearing. While it's rather speculative, I would suggest that the entire process would take about a month or two.

 

 

Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.

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