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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 32771
Experience:  16 yrs. of experience including family law.
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I was incarcerated last year and placed in Muskegon County

Customer Question

I was incarcerated last year and placed in Muskegon County Jail. I was coerced by my own attorney and the presiding judge to waive my right to prepare my defense and to a jury trial. The waiver happened the day before I was scheduled for trial and day after I hired my attorney and requested an adjournment to prepare my case. This could not have happened in open court because my attorney claimed to have forgotten to speak with the judge regarding these matters and a couple others after I had spoken with her earlier that day. I appeared in front of the judge at around 7pm that day. I was told that I wouldn't receive an adjournment because it was only a 93 day misdemeanor and I'd probably only get a fine if I was found guilty. He also said he wasn't going to allow my adjournment because he didn't want to violate my right to a fair and speedy trial, and that the only way to get an adjournment was to accept a bench trial and waive my right to a jury. I did as I was advised and went ahead with the bench trial. I didn't understand the seriousness of this at that time. While incarcerated I could only speak with my attorney twice which was the day I just mentioned and the day before trial. I sent her a list of evidence and character and eye witnesses and the roles they could play in my defense and was never responded to until the day of trial when I was told my evidence wouldn't be admitted. I was told that it was the judge who said that none of my evidence mattered to the case, which I know it did considering the eyewitnesses and alibi. I was advised by assisting counsel to changed my plea to one of guilty. I have done research on Michigan court rules and realize now that I was coerced into giving away my rights outside of open court, due to my lack of knowledge of the law. I am now seeking justice
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Michigan
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: I have not
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 3 months ago.

Hello! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney with more than 18 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. Please understand that if I ask you for additional information, you are NOT charged again and our communications are NOT timed. So please see this as a relaxed conversation between friends. I am here to help

Also, if you would like to chat on the phone, let me know and I can make that happen.
I am sorry for this dilemma. But not sure I understand your specific question. Do you have a question regarding this?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
If I wanted to reverse my plea and revisit the case, how would I do so? It has been about a year since this happened
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I also served 6 months in jail for the aforementioned "93-day misdemeanor"
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 3 months ago.

I fear you are tool late.

There is a process where you can appeal a conviction, however, there is a timeline for appeal.

Within 42 days of a felony conviction (or 21 days for misdemeanor), the defendant must file what's called a Claim of Appeal with the Michigan Court of Appeals to preserve the right to appeal the conviction or sentence.

If you did not file this? Then it is now too late to file.

This is the part of my job I don't like...when the law is not in favor of my customer. I wish I could tell you that you can still appeal this, but I can only provide you information based on the law so that you can act on the best available information to you...I wish I had better news, but can only hope you recognize and understand my predicament and don't shoot the messenger. I'm sorry!

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.

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