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CalAttorney2
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Category: Legal
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Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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My friend accepted a deal with the state that he would serve

Customer Question

My friend accepted a deal with the state that he would serve 90 days in jail instead of 2 years probation for having 5 pounds of marijuana on him with intent to sell. He had to be at court at 8:30am on the 30th to be taken into custody and then start serving his 90 days to take full responsibility for his actions and witness the consequences. If he didn't surrender he would get 5 years in prison. He has no license, it's suspended and no car at the moment, had to spend all of his money on putting his belongings in storage and had nowhere to sleep besides an hour away from the court house. I was suppose to get up in the morning at 7am and take him but I overslept and because of my stupid negligence, he has a failure to appear charge###-##-####and I'm scared he could be facing 5 years. He tried taking a train which left him 2 hours away at 7:30am and didn't get in touch with the judges assistant until 11am who told him to be in court the next day at 8:30am. He has a hearing set for Friday the 2nd at 8:30am so that the judge I'm guessing can hear him out with his lawyer present. We got to court at 8:15am today and she called him up at 9:30 after she had a few others before him. She didn't want him to speak at all, told him he's going into custody today and to be back in court Friday with his lawyer. I want to send an email to the judge's assistant before Friday explaining everything and that it is completely my fault, he depended on me and I wasn't there and I deeply regret thinking I could stay up all night studying the night before and still be able to take him to court on time. I need advice! I'm trying to get in contact with his lawyer who hasn't answered today. I'm also very scared that this could all fall on me and I'll end up being the reason something horrible happens because I wasn't dependable and my friend couldn't get in touch with me when needing me the most. :(
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 4 months ago.

Hello, My name is ***** ***** I will assist you today. Please give me a few minutes to write a response and identify any additional resources for you.

Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 4 months ago.

I am sorry to learn of this situation.

Your friend's lawyer is the one you need to continue trying to contact (not the judge).

You can send your friend's lawyer an email letting them know that you are willing to submit a declaration (a written statement), or that you are willing to provide testimony on Friday morning regarding the circumstances of your friend's failure to appear.

Make sure that you are present in court - well in advance of the 8:30 a.m. appearance date (but understand that court calendars do not necessarily mean that your friend's case will be called at 8:30, so you may be there a while).

Your willingness to accept the responsibility for your friend's failure to appear is very kind, and while I highly doubt that the court is going to impose a 5 year sentence on your friend over this matter (your friend wasn't running or avoiding the court), the judge is very likely going to tell your friend that the responsibility for appearing was his, and part of his conviction, etc. is taking responsibility for his actions (not my take on this at all, but I am trying to prepare you for what I have seen a lot of judges do from their soapbox).

While I can never promise an outcome:

At the end of the day, I suspect your friend is going to get their 90 day sentence as agreed, but probably will have to undergo a very unhappy couple of minutes before the judge.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I have sent an email to the judge's assistant by accident. Please tell me if I messed up in anyways with anything I've said.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 4 months ago.

I cannot review your specific documentation for you (we can only provide "general legal information" here). But again, I do not think that this is going to result in anything significant. (again, I cannot promise anything). The judge will probably lecture your friend severely about missing his hearing date, and remind him of it being his responsibility to appear as scheduled, and they will almost certainly impose the already agreed upon sentence.

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