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 Zoey, JD Your Own Question
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 25987
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
18321761
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Zoey, JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a friend who is stuck in the Phelps county jail. Mo.

Customer Question

I have a friend who is stuck in the Phelps county jail. Mo. He has been there for over a month with no court date , No answers to his petitions for a lawyer. He says there are other people in there with the same problem they are being charged 60$ a day. I feel he needs some kind of outside attention to his case at this point
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And to clarify, can you tell me what paperwork has been filed?
Customer: Missouri. He has sent written request for a lawyer...He was charged with drunk driving even though he was parked and he was out on the road in his car because someone was coming to his property with a shotgun so he drove out to get a phone signal and call the sheriff and when the sheriff came he was told he didn't care about the guy with a gun and he was taking him in for alchahol.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Im not sure. He saw the judge once and was charged with drunk driving and a bail was set he was supposed to have his senticing court date on the 27th but that day came and went with no communication of when the next one would be
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 4 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. I'm reviewing your question now.

Did he plead guilty or no contest to the charge? What were the terms of his sentence?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
No that is what I am saying he hasn't even been charged and no sentence the judge set a bail that's it they are just holding him
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Am I being charged for this typing I am doing with you ?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 4 months ago.

Yes. This is not a free service. You paid up front in order to be able to post a question and get a response.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok I thought i would be talkin to someone for that price.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
can you help me figure out how to help my friend get a response for a court date or something
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hello?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 4 months ago.

Phone conversations are premium services requiring an extra fee. You can type here for no additional charge.

You said he was scheduled to be sentenced on the 27th so I just needed to be sure what was going on. Is he on probation or on parole? Is there a warrant from another state or court?

If no, then there should be a court date but the best thing anyone can do for him would be to bail him out. That solves most of his problems.

However, you can call the court clerk and find out what his date is. If they say there is none, then he needs an attorney to get him one. If he cannot afford to hire one, he'd be entitled to a public defender. A judge has to order that one be assigned to him. But in an emergency -- and this would be one if there is no other hold on him and he doesn't have a court date -- the public defender's office may be willing to step up to bat for him and look into what's going on and get him a date. He, or you, or someone who cares about him would have to give them a call.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
He is not on probation or parole. He had a DUI in 92 and 89. He makes to much money aparently with his SS and pension
He was waiting to go to court to ask the judge for less bail. But as I said the court date came and went
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I need to hire him a lawyer to get him a court date?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 4 months ago.

If he is not indigent, he will not be eligible for a free attorney. That may be why nobody's paying much attention to his petitions for an attorney. Try the public defender's office anyway, as sometimes they will do favors under emergency situations and your friend is in jail and cannot retain counsel from there. Otherwise he, or someone else will have to hire him one.

Start with the court clerk, however. There may be an explanation that you don't know about the lack of a date that's on the court records and that the clerk can tell you about.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
What is indigent?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 4 months ago.

While you can complain to the clerk about a lack of a date or even call the prosecutor about that, you have no power to advocate for him and nobody has to listen to you. Only a lawyer can put the case back on the calendar and get something done for him.

Indigent is poor. PUblic defenders are for people at or below poverty level with no assets.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
That's a bummer
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Do you have a suggestion for me as to how to find a lawyer in phelps county Missouri for his situation
Is there a particular type of Lawyer I should look for?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 4 months ago.

It can be a bummer indeed. If nobody can afford bail, can't anyone bond him out?

He needs a criminal defense lawyer. We cannot recommend a specific lawyer or law firm because the site does not allow us to do so.

But you could contact the Missouri State Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service and for small referral fee, they will hook him up with a lawyer. The referral fee includes a free consultation.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
How does the bail bond thing work. Never had to deal with this before. He has no family or wife etc to bail him out
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Is the court clerk the same a the county clerk? I'm trying to find that phone # is that the circuit clerk?
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok I got hold of someone at the court clerk and home info. That kind You for your help. How do I terminate this so I will not be charged anymore
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 4 months ago.

Sorry for the delay. I went out for the evening and have just returned.

You would need to contact a bondsman. They generally require collateral and you put up only 10% of the bail amount. You're on the hook for the entire amount, however, if he gets rearrested or fails to come back to court. Bondsmen have offices near criminal courthouses. They all charge about the same.

The court clerk handles the files and records in the court house.

If I have addressed all of your concerns, to close this question, please take the time to rate my service to you by selecting 3, 4, or 5 stars, as that is the only way that JustAnswer gives us Experts credit for our work here. You would still be able to post further follow ups on this question thread about this for no additional cost, even after I've been rated if you get new facts about this situation.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
if I have more questions I can ask them for the fee I have already paid? how do I ask them if I have rated you ?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 4 months ago.

You ask them the same way you have been asking them -- by posting a question here on this question thread. They are free so long as they are follow-ups about this same situation.