How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Legalease Your Own Question
Legalease
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16288
Experience:  13 years experience in criminal law, BA in criminal justice
20355756
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Legalease is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My mother is charged with 1st degree murder and armed

Customer Question

My mother is charged with 1st degree murder and armed criminal action in the state of Missouri. She is being held on a $500,000 cash only bond. She has been incarcerated almost a year without any bond reduction. She does not have nor does the family have that kind of money. The state has been ordered several times to turn over their evidence multiple times. They have not done so and the judge just issues the order again without in repercussions to the prosecutor for not doing so. She is the only one charged in the case. A gunshot residue test was performed on her and came back negative showing she did not shoot a firearm. The state, the judge and everyone knows this. She is basically being held indefinitely. A small town everyone related and she isn't from the area. Good ol boys at work. What recourse does my mother have. We've been to at least 15 hearings. The last exactly like the first. We would like them to turnover the evidence or lower the bond. State is doing niether. She is being held pow in Vietnam basically. Contacted the ACLU. They won't get involved because it involves attorneys and a judge. They sent me to the AG. They said file a complaint with the missouri bar assn. Which we are in the process. She is 66yo handicap with no criminal record. Please help us free our mother. Our attorney is baffled by what is going on. He himself said things are not adding up. My mother's civIL rights ARE being violated. What do we do?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 9 months ago.

Hello there --

-

Under the 6th amendment to the Constitution and the Speedy Trial Act of 1974, every defendant has a right to a speedy trial in every state in the United States. Typically speaking, the US Supreme Court has held that a criminal trial should take place in about a year from the date of incarceration unless both sides agree to delays and later court dates OR the prosecution can present evidence to the court to show why the defendant is charged with the crime and WHY there must be so many delays in the matter. The judge then decides on the prosecution motion to delay the trial and if the judge continues to grant delays that the defendants attorney does not feel are warranted then the defendants attorney must appeal the judges order to a higher appeals court in that state.

-

I am guessing that she has a court appointed attorney who may not have made very many requests for speedy trials and so perhaps you should talk to him about a strategy of bringing forth such a motion. There is always a chance that this could be a double edged sword because if he brings the motion the prosecution could then agree to a trial date and bring forth good evidence (which might convict her) OR she could end up with a very rushed DUMB jury who could still convict her on very little evidence anyway. However, bringing a Motion for a Speedy Trial is about the only way that you and your family can speed this matter up. At this point, if the prosecution has enough evidence and is simply not turning it over, they might be hoping that she makes a "jailhouse confession" so they can put some convict who wants extra TV time or a reduced sentence on the witness stand to lie and claim that your mother confessed the crime to her while in the jail......... and while she is incarcerated you should warn her and continue to warn her NOT to speak to ANYONE about her case, period because the state may be looking to bring some convicted criminal in against her to lie and claim she confessed. She needs to be VERY careful right now.

-

I am giving you some links to some legal articles about the right to a speedy trial in the US and in Missouri so you can read up on it a bit before you speak to her lawyer about the matter. If he flat out refuses to make the motion without a valid reason then I would certainly go to another county and sit down with a different criminal attorney unrelated to the parties in the county where your Moms case is being heard (if her current defense lawyer is local, he could be friendly with the judge and prosecutors and may be letting the prosecutors get away with things and he might not even realize he is doing it) and, even if you have to pay a few hundred dollars for the consultation, you can get another opinion on your mother's right to a speedy trial and whether or not a motion to do this for her should be filed with the court.

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/speedy+trial

http://criminal.lawyers.com/criminal-law-basics/defendants-right-to-a-speedy-trial.html

http://www.mobar.org/ThreeColumnPB.aspx?pageid=10547&id=1359

http://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3943&context=mlr

-

Unfortunately, I could not tell you from this forum whether your mother has this right or should file to enforce this right at this time because any attorney would have to review the file and determine what motions have been filed and heard already. Again, if you get a brush off from her current attorney, you should probably read as much as you can on this Speedy trial right AND gather as much information regarding your Moms case as you can, and go speak to another not-so-local attorney on the matter to get another opinion.

-

I do hope this helps and I wish you and your mother luck. Please let me know if you have any further questions on this matter. If not, can you please press a positive rating above this text chat box so I will be paid for my time. I am paid NOTHING for answering your question unless you press the middle star or the fourth or fifth star on the right in the ratings section above. Pressing a positive rating will NOT cost you any additional money -- it simply acts as the TRIGGER to Just Answer to pay me for my time helping you tonight. THANK YOU VERY MUCH !

-

MARY