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In NJ my boyfriend was arrested for being in the wrong place…

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Hell. hello Lawyer's Assistant:...

Hell. hello

Lawyer's Assistant: In what state did this occur?

So in NJ my boyfriend was arrested for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The man committing the illegal act has said multiple times he will sign or write something saying my boyfriend had nothing to do with it. For this case he had a court date in October of 2017..he was told at the court date they would reschedule because the lawyer was not there. The court said to wait for lawyer to contact him. Apparently there was a court date in November for a pre-indictment that we were not aware of. Because we were not present there was a bench warrant put out for his arrest...

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

He is on probTion no i have not

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

He mother is on probation and his PO did not let him know about the warrant..there was nothing sent to the house about the warrant or the missed court date...when he went down to the procecutors office for questioning about something else...they arrested him for the bench warrant and he is now incarcerated ... he was told he was on the list for court @ 2:30 yesterday but then last min they changed there minds, moved him somewhere else, and revoked his bail

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Criminal Law
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
in NJ my boyfriend was arrested for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The man committing the illegal act has said multiple times he will sign or write something saying my boyfriend had nothing to do with it. For this case he had a court date in October of 2017..he was told at the court date they would reschedule because the lawyer was not there. The court said to wait for the lawyer to contact him. Apparently there was a court date in November for a pre-indictment that we were not aware of. Because we were not present, there was a bench warrant put out for his arrest...
he is on probation and his PO did not let him know about the warrant..there was nothing sent to the house about the warrant or the missed court date...when he went down to the procecutors office for questioning about something else...they arrested him for the bench warrant and he is now incarcerated ... he was told he was on the list for court @ 2:30 yesterday (1/12/18) but then last min they changed there minds, moved him somewhere else, and revoked his bail
Answered in 2 hours by:
1/13/2018
Criminal Lawyer: James Daloisio, Lawyer replied 7 months ago
James Daloisio
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 856
Experience: 30 years experience in criminal law, continuing education.
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Hi, my name is ***** ***** welcome to Just Answer.

It seems that there are two separate things to work out.

1. You say your boyfriend is on probation. It sounds like they revoked his probation because (1) he failed to appear in court for a scheduled hearing, and/or (2) he committed a new offense. So he has the probation violation to contend with first. It is not unusual for judges to hold probation violators with no bail.

2. You also say he was arrested for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. To actually understand what happened you would have to have access to the police reports that set forth the evidence against him. The fact that a third party is willing to come forward with an exculpatory statement may or may not be of help to your boyfriend. It will all depend on the evidence.

3. You say "the lawyer was not there." I presume that you are referring to your boyfriend's defense attorney. So that should be the starting point for your inquiry.

First, you need to find out if the state is going to file a new case based on the "wrong place/wrong time" incident. The state can choose to treat it as a new prosecution, or to just allege it as a violation of probation. If they obtain an indictment and file a new case, then the probation violation will typically "trail" the new case. If no new case is filed and they choose to proceed as only a violation, he will have the right to a hearing and at that point I would want to be sure that the third party who offered to give the statement is available for that hearing. At the very least that person should be interviewed by the police and by probation.

My best advice:

A - Call the court and find out the next court date. There should be something calendared. Find out the date, time, location, and nature of proceeding (arraignment, probation violation hearing setting, etc.)

B - Call his attorney and make sure his attorney is aware of the next date and is planning on being there.

C - Contact the third party and secure their cooperation, make arrangements for the third party to meet with your defense attorney.

D - Contact his probation officer to find out if they are proceeding with the violation; ask where you can visit with him. Since the Bail Reform Act went into effect in 2017, pretrial detention locations have changed.

Your comments about nothing being sent to his home probably won't help. If there was a court date, there will be some indication in the court's file as to how he was given notice of that date. His attorney should be able to easily access that information.

There are many reasons why his 1/12 appearance may have taken off calendar. The answer will, again, be found in the court's file.

Let me know if you need more info. Based upon the information provided, this is my best advice. Please don't forget to rate this answer, and remember that you can always return here with follow up questions on this topic at no additional charge. Thank you for using Just Answer.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Hello Jim, I am not sure that I am actually understanding. His probation was not violated in any way with anything that happened. I mentioned the probation because when he began last year he was told that if there were warrants or something along those lines he would be taken from probation to jail. When he visited probation no one arrested him. I understand now that even if that is the case it doesn’t matter because it’s in the courts reports. Now regarding the “wrong place wrong time” case he was not arrested that night. They let him go because they didn’t have any evidence that he had anything to do with what was going on. I did call the court they said he has no court date set at all. I already spoke with the third party and they are already cooperating and has written/signed an affidavit saying it’s no one else’s fault but his own.
Also I know with us not receiving proper notice about the court date or the warrant is null invoid but how can the court tell us one thing and do a completely different thing without letting us know anything? How were we even suppose to be at the court date if we never knew about it? I just need a little more clarification on how can this be done?
Criminal Lawyer: James Daloisio, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Hello again,

Let's start with the present and work backward.

He is in custody, correct? He is being held somewhere in a detention facility, most likely a county jail.

If there is no new case, then he is in custody because of the bench warrant that was issued in November.

Why was he supposed to be in court in November? The fact that a "bench warrant" was issued is significant because it means that he was given notice of the date. That's why I suggest that someone look at the court file and find out why the court seems to have believed that he had notice of the court appearance. I know it sounds simplistic but I have seen this literally hundreds of times. A defendant is in court, the judge is going on about a dozen different things, the defendant has no idea what the judge is talking about, and somewhere in his monologue the judge tells the defendant to return to court on a certain date and writes it in the file. Or the judge tells the probation order to give notice, or tells the defense attorney to give notice. From what you say, it sounds like someone dropped the ball, but I would want to see the court file to see what the judge wrote on the day the bench warrant was issued, and on the previous date as well which is when notice should have been given.

Now...if he was arrested on the failure to appear warrant, and there's no date set, what is his status? His probation could not have been revoked without either (a) his admission, or (b) a hearing. But it sounds like that may be a possibility. You really need his attorney to get a look at the court file to find out what happened and what is going to happen.

To answer your question, then: the answer is in the court file. There has to be a written record of (a) your boyfriend being told by someone that he had to be in court on that date in November, or (b) the court directing someone to tell him about the November date. And if that's the case, the court should have obtained confirmation that your boyfriend was given notice before it issued the bench warrant. If you can't get his defense attorney to do it perhaps you can go to the court house and ask to review the court file yourself. I only suggested an attorney do it because interpreting those files can be difficult at times. At the very least, there should be a docket or minute order that states what happened on each date that the case was set to be heard in court. You are saying that you did not know about the court date. The court file should contain information that will tell you why the judge believed that your boyfriend did know about it. Maybe it's wrong, maybe it's right. But the only way you'll know is to go look at it. Once you have the answer, then you can decide what to do next. If you can establish that no notice was given, then his failure to appear was not willful and perhaps any resulting punishment/jail time can be rescinded.

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