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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26757
Experience:  Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
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For Dwayne B: An inmate was just released from county jail.

Resolved Question:

For Dwayne B: An inmate was just released from county jail. He had two unrelated charges. He lost appeal on one charge and went to jail. Sentence was one year on that one. The other charge where he was sentenced for two months was still on appeal.

He had an appeal bond on both cases. I understand the one bond was exonerated, but what about the second bond that is still on appeal. In other words when he was released was it because he was credited time on both cases or was he credited time on one case and was allowed out on bond on the other. The jail administrator and court clerk did not say anything about a bond. Court clerk set up payment arrangement for court cost and fines for both cases. This was done by phone call from jail to court clerk.The judge signed off on the arrangement after document was faxed to jail and signed by inmate.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.

Dwayne B. :

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

Dwayne B. :

The appeal bond was probably still in effect on the other case. As a general rule, that's the way it would work.

Dwayne B. :

However, if he was sentenced for the two cases to be run "concurrently", then he probably has already served his time on the two month case and if he loses the appeal he will just have top check in and check right back out at the jail and that will clear the bond.

Dwayne B. :

If his sentences were to run concurrently then he would be out on the appeal bond and if he loses the appeal he would have to go back to jail and finish the two month sentence.

Dwayne B. :

To know which it was you would need to check the written judgment to see what it says or ask the lawyer that handled the case.

Dwayne B. :

Usually the times would be concurrent but some judges don't want to do that and since they were unrelated he could have been sentenced to consecutive terms.

Customer:

Ok. the sentences were to run consecutively. He was supposedly getting 2 days for 1 credits and that would be enough for the one year sentence. But we found out while he was in jail he should have also been getting another 1/4 day credit for every day served for good behavior. He even filed a grievance about it but jail admin said he was only getting two for 1.

Dwayne B. :

If it was consecutive then he is out on his second bond and will have to go in and finish the time if he loses his appeal.

Customer:

The bondsman said both bonds were exonerated when he went in on the charge where he lost appeal. (the contract is good until May 4 2014) His opinion is that the judge would not have released him and made payment arrangement for both cases unless he had been given

Dwayne B. :

I think the bondsman is incorrect although he shouldn't have to pay his costs and fines on the second charge until the appeal is over.

Customer:

credit for both cases. So I guess the only way to find out for sure is to contact the sheriff and see what they did would you agree?

Dwayne B. :

That wouldn't hurt.

Dwayne B. :

But there is really no way he could be out if he was sentenced and hasn't served his time unless he had an appeal bond of some kind.

Customer:

The jail admin or court clerk did not mention anything about a bond. We were surprised that they did not ask. This is why we are thinking that maybe he did get credit for both cases. The inmate is pro se and somewhat fearful of contacting the sheriff about this to find out for sure but I guess he has no choice. The bondsman did recommend calling the court clerk to find out for sure. Shouldn't jail give some kind of information on release of how much time served and how much credit was given on each case?

Dwayne B. :

The jail really doesn't have to provide any information because they aren't required to give 2 for 1, they just do.

Dwayne B. :

It's possible that he did the time on the extra charge already, but he shouldn't have if he was sentenced to run consecutively. What he ought to do is invest a few dollars in hiring a local lawyer to figure out where he stands.

Customer:

What would be wrong with him just calling the sheriff and asking if he was given credit on both cases or was he out on bond? The bondsman would honor the bond if he had too. He just doesn't think he needs to since the judge signed off on the payment arrangement for both cases.

Dwayne B. :

Nothing would be wrong with it, but the Sheriff might not really know.

Dwayne B. :

He would know what the jail did but not what the judge did.

Customer:

What I meant was jail administrator. She saw the form that had both cases on it that the inmate had to sign and she was the one who issued the credits. Wouldn't she know what case or cases she issued credit on.

Dwayne B. :

She would, but it doesn't mean it followed the judge's ruling. Technically he couldn't have been serving time on the second one if he had an appeal bond pending.

Customer:

Another alternative is to just wait and until he finds out about the appeal

Dwayne B. :

Yes. That is possible as well. If he lost the appeal he could then phone the jail and see if he had already served his time or if he needed to report in.

Customer:

Do you think just waiting would be better than calling jail admin and causing confusion?

Dwayne B. :

Probably so. All it would do now is give him some peace of mind but may confuse everyone else.

Customer:

Ok. Thanks.

Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26757
Experience: Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
Dwayne B. and 5 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.
Thank you very much for the Positive Rating. Please come back and visit us if you have any new questions and feel free to ask for me by placing “FOR DWAYNE B” in the subject line or as the first words of your question and I will pick up as soon as I see it.

Also, I’d ask you to consider issuing a high rating (9-10) when you receive your customer satisfaction survey as that ensures I can continue to assist people in this category.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

For Dwayne B: In my first post I made this comment:".. The jail administrator and court clerk did not say anything about a bond. Court clerk set up payment arrangement for court cost and fines for both cases. This was done by phone call from jail to court clerk.The judge signed off on the arrangement after document was faxed to jail and signed by inmate..."


 


What happened was two jailers brought the defendant to the booking area and made that call to the court clerk without saying who they were calling. The lady on the other end just said the call was to make payment arrangement for the two cases. Asked his social, address, where he would be staying and if he would be getting a job. The information was then put on a form with heading "Installment Payment Agreement (Rule 8)". Shortly after that phone conversation the lady who turned out to be a court clerk faxed the form back to the jail where the defendant was told to sign. He did so and was given a copy the next morning when he was released.


 


This was on a Friday. The following Monday I noticed on the court web site that this form was posted and it was posted as "Installment Payment Agreement (Rule 8) Hearing". I also noted that now the form had the trial court judges signature on it as if there was a hearing before the judge and the defendant was able to ask questions, etc. This was not the case.


 


Do you see this as being strange or is this standard procedure for being released from jail?


 


Also getting back to the bond issue, if the clerk or jail administrator or judge knew the defendant was getting out on bond wouldn't someone have mentioned something to the defendant that he should contact his bondsman or something like that? ( I'm still trying to convince myself that defendant was released because his jail time for both cases was credited not because he was getting out on bond or at least they let him out for some other reason other than bond.)


 

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.

Do you see this as being strange or is this standard procedure for being released from jail?

 

It's not really unusual if all they were doing was setting up payment arrangements for a fine. Sometimes the computers don't have a code for what actually occurred so they have to put in something close.

 

if the clerk or jail administrator or judge knew the defendant was getting out on bond wouldn't someone have mentioned something to the defendant that he should contact his bondsman or something like that?

 

Some would some wouldn't. What they did doesn't make much sense to be honest. The only thing that would make sense is if he was out on bond but he shouldn't be paying on the fines if he was.

Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26757
Experience: Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
Dwayne B. and 5 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

You made this comment in last post: ".. What they did doesn't make much sense to be honest. The only thing that would make sense is if he was out on bond but he shouldn't be paying on the fines if he was."


 


I am wondering if the trial judge had the defendant make payment arrangements for fine and court cost on the case that is still on appeal to try and influence the opinion of the appeal court judges. If the judges or their briefers look at the court website for the case on appeal they will see that so called hearing posted and the defendant agreeing to make payments for fines and court cost on this case.. Seems like it would appear that the defendant had changed his mind and was now pleading guilty which is not the case.


 


How do you think appeal court will view the posting of this so called hearing for payment arrangements?

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.
It won't make any difference in what they do and they wouldn't be likely to even know. If they did know, all they would be likely to say is that someone shouldn't have to pay those while a case is on appeal because they are only due when the judgment becomes final.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

One other strange thing on the case on appeal is that the records were sent to Court Judges Jan 31 2013 which is almost 10 months ago. I see the appeal court is making decisions on cases that came to the court judges at earlier dates. In addition in this case the AG has already stated in his brief that the state concedes that the defendant should get a new trial due to lack of an attorney. I know you will have to guess but do you have any clue as to why this is taking so long under the conditions I just mentioned?

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.
No, but Appeals Courts can take forever on the simplest of cases. I remember one I appealed and it took 4 years to get a ruling and when they did rule it was on a point that both I and the other attorney agreed was not an issue in the case.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26757
Experience: Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
Dwayne B. and 5 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

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