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Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 3978
Experience:  9 years legal experience, primarily in criminal justice
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Who/what to ask for and how can an inmate just sentenced to

Resolved Question:

Who/what to ask for and how can an inmate just sentenced to 25 years incarceration file an appeal within the 30 day limit inside the prison facility if English is not the inmate's first language and he is basically illiterate?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 1 year ago.
Hello.

The public defender's office has an appellate division that handles criminal appeals for indigent individuals:
http://www.oregon.gov/OPDS/Pages/ADInformation.aspx

The public defender who handled the case at trial should be contacted and asked to refer the case for an appeal to the appellate division. The person who represented him at trial will not likely be the one to handle the appeal because the trial public defenders are separate from the appellate division, but the trial public defender can refer the case so they can get the ball rolling on the appeal. As you noted, time is of the essence in filing the appeal notice to preserve his right to appeal so the sooner this is done, the better off he will be. Someone can try to contact the Appellate Division to see if they will accept the case without the attorney referring it, but it generally moves faster if the attorney does it, since the attorney is most aware of what, if any, issues the defendant has to raise on appeal.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


It was the public defender that talked him into changing his plea to guilty after sitting in jail for 6 months and no bail no anything! The public defender and the judge would not address any of this in court even though my husband and the inmate's wife tried to tell them he did not understand. The family has never been told if they had any evidence other than testimony from an 11 year old. There was no trial, just him changing his plea and a day later being sentenced and the next morning took him to prison intake. They say they don't have to reveal anything. I can't find anything about the conviction or sentence online either. Isn't it public knowledge?

Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 1 year ago.
As I said, it is not likely that the same public defender will be representing him since the appeal will go through the appellate division. Appeals are very technical, and even someone with a good knowledge of English would have a nearly impossible time proceeding without a lawyer. An appellate PD is better than no one, and there are very few resources outside of the PD's office for criminal defendants. It is hard to win an appeal when the person pleaded guilty. However, a lack of understanding of the plea and the rights he gave up is a valid appellate ground. Even if he finds another lawyer later, it is a good idea to at least start with the PD's office so he does not miss the deadline and lose his rights.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Could his legal wife (even though they haven't lived together for sometime) contact the Public Defender to get it started or does the inmate have to contact the PD himself? Inmates in Oregon do not have phone access per say.

Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 1 year ago.
She can contact them to see what needs to be done to get the ball rolling on obtaining appellate representation. Eventually the PD will have to get in touch with him and/or visit him, but since the vast majority of their clients are incarcerated they are familiar in dealing with the situation. If the appellate PD's office won't take the appeal without a referral from his original PD, then someone will have to contact that attorney to request the referral.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Is there any way the family can know what or if there was any evidence beside the 11 year old's statement? Is the conviction public record?

Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 1 year ago.
Whatever was introduced at sentencing is part of the court record and is public record. It is not usually online, however. You have to actually go to the clerk of court's office and review the court file. In a guilty plea, however, most of the evidence is not part of the court record because there wasn't a trial. It is in the prosecutor's file, which is not public record. Evidence becomes public when it is introduced at trial, but if there is no trial, much of it will not be available.
Hammer O'Justice, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 3978
Experience: 9 years legal experience, primarily in criminal justice
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