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shurmust
shurmust, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 150
Experience:  I have completed over thirty jury trials in the last three years and teach part-time at a local state college.
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When a written report contradicts an oral confession, how can

Customer Question

When a written report contradicts an oral confession, how can we handle this, so that when the judge and anyone involved in the prosecution can see the truth? Thank you!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  shurmust replied 1 year ago.

shurmust :

Greetings! I am sorry to hear about your situation, I am happy to try and help.

shurmust :

Unfortunately, what you are complaining of is not uncommon. What is the charge? Just to be clear, the "confession" was not recorded in a police interrogation room? Where did this alleged confession take place?

shurmust :

Were you stopped driving in a car?

Customer:

It took place in a mental health facility and a 17 yo male was found in bed with an 8 yr old. He was there voluntarily for drug abuse and on 'sucide' watch. The taped confession was made at the facility. (the little girl, thank

shurmust :

Have you obtained a copy of the video-taped confession?

Customer:

God was not aware until they turned the lights on. He said in his confession that she reminded him of a little girl he knew in kindergarten, but the report says she reminded him of a little girl that he knows in kindergarden.

shurmust :

Once you obtain a copy of the taped confession, you will be able to show the judge or a jury how the confession differs from the police report.

shurmust :

You need to issue a subpoena to the medical facility and require them to disclose or turn over the video.

Customer:

I have not heard it as I am the grandmother, but my daughter has and I believe she said there are other discrepancies.

Customer:

We are concerned because it makes it sound like he could possibly be a threat to a little girl in kindergarten.

shurmust :

There is no better evidence in this case than the video-tape. Clearly, if what is said on tape, is different than what was written on the report, this will call into question the credibility of the officer's report. This is the best way to get justice on your side.

shurmust :

I understand it is very troubling for you. However, the best thing you can do is immediately request a copy of the video, try and be nice, if not, as I mentioned, you will need to issue a subpoena to the hospital or person in charge of the video's to immediately disclose the video so as to contradict what was written in the report and exonerate your family member.

shurmust :

Does this make sense? Additionally, have you attempted to speak to any other witnesses?

Customer:

There will be no trial because he confessed. How can they play a video for the judge to prove that to him? She has the CD. I know this is probably distasteful for you to hear. We don't know and he doesn't know why he did it and he has ruined his and our life in a minute of a poor decision. Although we will not make excuses, it seems like the mental health facility would have been keeping closer watch. Our whole family is so heartbroken and that's why we are trying to at least find out how to clear this issue.

shurmust :

I am very sorry to hear about your problem. I understand you are very disappointed and feel betrayed, but the best you can do is support your family during this difficult and mitigate the damages and seek to find the truth.

Customer:

The fellow who is 18 now was 17 at the time and he has the cd and report as far as I know.

shurmust :

I thought you said his confession was different than what was written. Can you please clarify? Do you mean the report said your family member was not as culpable, but nevertheless your family member gave a confession to the crime?

Customer:

Yes, he confessed to the crime, however since he can not take this to trial, because he did get in her bed, we are trying to at least make it known to the judge that he is not a threat to a llittle girl in kindergarten at this time. He stated that she reminded him of a llittle girl that he used to know when he was in kindergarten. We feel that the judge will be much harsher if he thought that the police report was correct and that she reminded him of a little girl that he knows now

Customer:

If I'm not making myself clear, just keep asking. This is so difficult for me because we are so heartbroken.

shurmust :

I see. Well, you do have some mitigating circumstances, for example a mental health downward departure. You will need to have him evaluated by a trusted physician, as well as possibly his own statement to the Court explaining his rationale. Additionally, I am not sure if he has a prior criminal record, but if there is no criminal prior history, this will help as well. The best thing you can do is be honest and perhaps have the Court provide mercy and sentence him to some sort of "mental health" treatment based upon his needs.

shurmust :

An option for the court if proven is that the your family member will receive better benefits receiving treatment from a hospital, than going to prison or jail.

shurmust :

You should consider a "mental health" downward departure.

shurmust :

This will mitigate his sentencing unless the prosecutor is willing to negotiate a different sentence. He may also need to be transferred to mental health court.

shurmust :

Is this helpful?

Customer:

This situation took place last August and he has had an attorney since Oct. He claims the prosecutor will not make a plea bargain or even listen. So, therefore he doesn't feel like he has a chance and won't help to get the discrepency between the written report and the oral confession taken care of. She paid him up from many months ago and I think he's loosing interest. Sorry, I hope that doesn' offend you as an attorney. do you think a public defender in the area would be an option as a last resort as we are running our of time. Also, I don't think I mentioned that he is being tried as an adult, even though initially the judge didn't even feel there was a victim.

shurmust :

I do not take offense. I am sorry to hear you are losing trust in the system. Certainly, you can always get a second opinion, but they may require your first lawyer to withdraw, and I can not say if that is a good or bad decision. Perhaps you can call the PD and see if they will give you a second opinion. However, if you spent a lot of money, unless otherwise told, it may be wise to see how it unfolds and listen to your lawyer. At sentencing, your loved one, including you will have an opportunity to speak, perhaps that will be the time to let the Court and the prosecutor know how you feel.

shurmust :

It is not unusual to not get a prosecutor on board.

shurmust :

Does this make sense?

Customer:

His attorney really hasn't done anything for him and he knew all the details before he took the case.

shurmust :

I am very sorry to hear that. I would suggest getting a second opinion after a lawyer has read all of the facts of the case.

shurmust :

However, as I mentioned, it is not so unusual for there to be a conflict between what was written and what was recorded.

Customer:

His Mom h And hoas been told that she didn't pay enough to good representation. Can I ask you--- Do you understand what I mean about the misunderstanding in the reports? And how damning that could be in the eyes of the court/

shurmust :

Yes and yes. However, as I mentioned, the best thing you can do is either hire another lawyer, or maintain your lawyer and have you and your loved one testify at a sentencing hearing. Hopefully, the judge will see through and sentence accordingly.

Customer:

So, are you saying that an attorney CAN have an attatchment made or wait ujntil sentencing--and still we would have the cd that the court has not heard. Forgive me for being so dense. When you have grandchild who was always precious about to be labeled a sex offender for life, it just destroys your mind

shurmust :

I understand entirely. Absolutely, you can play anything you have for the court prior to and during sentencing to mitigate the sentence.

shurmust :

You do not need to apologize.

shurmust, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 150
Experience: I have completed over thirty jury trials in the last three years and teach part-time at a local state college.
shurmust and 3 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

In your experience, when there is a strong prosecutor and a not so strong defense attorney, does the judge pretty much have his mind made up before he comes in for sentencing? In all these months his attorney has not told him what to expect on that day. My family member keeps postponing and now he is going to have to plead. The way the statute reads, it encompasses so much more than he did and will be labeled a sex offender. I know a law is a law---so, are the judges' 'hands tied' in that regard? If he decides to contact a public defender, would it be best to inform his attorney first? Sorry, I know I can't go on and on about this. I will being this to an end if you would be kind enough to reply. Thank you

Expert:  shurmust replied 1 year ago.
No. A lot of things can take place to effect sentencing including you and the defendant's honesty and candor. However, understand that with certain offenses, particularly sex offenses, it does not matter how good of a lawyer you have, the law requires the Judge to impose a certain sentence, unless the prosecutor is willing to waive that mandate.
Other than that, just be honest and supportive, and hopefully you can work something out with the government or prosecutor to reduce the charges. Good luck! If this was helpful, please provide positive feedback.
Expert:  shurmust replied 1 year ago.
How did it all work out?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

At this point--Is my time up? Will any question I ask from here on out, be charged to my account? Also, astounded to see my converstion on line for all to view!

Expert:  shurmust replied 1 year ago.
I am not sure if you will continue to be charged. I do not know the terms and conditions. Also, I do not control how these questions and answers are viewed. You may have to send an email to the help desk. I will also make a note to the account.

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shurmust
shurmust
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I have completed over thirty jury trials in the last three years and teach part-time at a local state college.