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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 23572
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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I need a letter to judge before my sentencing asking jail

Customer Question

Customer: I need a letter to judge before my sentencing asking for no jail time and minimal probation or a fine instead. I have five kids and a grandchild I am raising. my kids father died when my oldest was 7 and I was pregnant with my 5th child. I have raised them alone all these years and I am all they have. my 3 sons also have mental health disablilities. and my eldest daughter was recently diagnosed with cancer. I am being sentenced for receiving stolen property. I have only one other charge and that was in 1996. I am currently working at a logistics company and have gone back to school and received my funeral director apprentice license. which I would like to pursue by attending mortuary school in texas which probation would stop me from doin since I currently live in wisconsin
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Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
da is recommending a year probation with 6 month jail time over my head. I am currently employed full time and want to have restitution instead of probation
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 11 months ago.

Hello,

If you stole money or property, you are going to have to pay restitution no matter what the rest of your sentence is.

When you say that the DA is recommending a 6 month split with a year's probation, did you agree to that as part of a plea that you took? Or did you turn down the DA's offer and take an open plea with the judge (plead guilty not knowing in advance what sentence you were going to get)

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Da offered that as a plea to me pleading guilty judge said he doesn't have to accept plea
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Judge also said he is taking into consideration at sentencing of dismissed charges from years ago and a charge I wasn't charged with
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 11 months ago.

The judge is correct. He does not have to accept the DA's plea. Under those circumstances, you didn't have to take any plea at all at that time. Did you take a plea anyhow when -- from what you've said -- the judge seems to think the DA's plea too light and is looking to sentence you to more time?

Do you have a lawyer?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I have a public defender
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I think the judge sees a different picture then who I am. I am trying to write a letter explaining who I really am and the responsibility I have of my 5 kids and grand baby that despite all my hardships I have partially completed funeral service and got my funeral director apprentice license and want to continue mortuary school in Texas cuz it's cheaper and that Goin to jail will destroy my kids
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 11 months ago.

Thank you.

I agree that the judge doesn't know who you are, except that you're someone before him who has admitted guilt to a crime. The probation report he will see is not going to be very much help in filling out that picture.

Letters to the judge from the defendant do not work in my experience. We cannot write one for you here, as that would be representation, which the site does not allow us to engage in. Besides, none of us knows you and if you're going to write a letter it should come from your heart. However, I can offer you some guidance about what to say and would be happy to proof and edit for you when it's done.

That said, you are represented by counsel and you should give nothing to the judge at all that hasn't first been looked over by your lawyer.

What I have found works better than a letter from a defendant i something called a pre-sentencing memorandum, which is prepared professionally by your lawyer and his staff. That's a detailed report showing your personal history and background, discussing that in light of your case and your possible sentence and asking for leniency in the sentence.

That's basically what you have already said you want to write. The difference is that this is prepared by professionals, that it will include and showcase all of the positive things you have done in your life, along with your present remorse about what got you in trouble and would include letters of character references from people who care about you.

I suggest talking to your lawyer about his preparing submitting a private preesentence report and tell him you can get references as to your character from people who care for you and do not want you to go to jail. If the lawyer won't do that, then write your letter, but attach character references as well. Make sure the judge does not get this on the day of your sentence because by then he will have already have his mind made up.