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Joseph, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 7280
Experience:  I have 15 years experience in criminal litigation including several years as a felony prosecutor
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I just got out of jail after serving a two month sentence for

Customer Question

I just got out of jail after serving a two month sentence for receiving stolen property less than $200. Now I have received a letter stating I have 100 hours of community service to serve as well. This was not told to me in court when the judge gave me my sentence nor did I receive anything from court or the county jail in which I served. Shouldn't I have been informed in court? Thank goodness I received a letter giving me another day to appear to the corrections program or I could have been in serious trouble.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 7 years ago.

You are absolutely correct, by law, all of a person's sentence must be announced by the judge. No one other than a judge may hand down sentencing.


Did you have an attorney? If so, you should contact your attorney tomorrow to find out what took place. If you did not have an attorney, you can still check the documents that contain your judgment and sentence. You were likely given a copy while you were in court. If not, you can go the the courthouse and request a copy. Either way, that document should contain the terms of your sentence.


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Customer: replied 7 years ago.

My mother, step-father, and girlfriend were all in attendance and they did not hear the community sentence read out loud either. I went to the court and obtained my court papers, since I did not receive them after court, and the community service is located there. I guess at this point it's our word against the judges but I will continue to try and reach my court appointed lawyer for his take. We were all just really surprised when I received the letter threatening to report me to the judge for not reporting when none of us were aware that it had been sentenced.

Thanks for the insight.

Expert:  Joseph replied 7 years ago.

There should have been some recording system in place, either an actual court reporter typing everything down or a video system. You can check with the clerk of court as to how it was recorded. If you're serious about disputing the service hours, you could order a copy and see what it holds.


Good luck!