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I have a friend who has been incarcerated since May 4. All I…

Good evening, I have a friend...
Good evening,
I have a friend who has been incarcerated since May 4. All I am getting from the prison is that he was charged with theft/ unlawful. His attorney, who has not seen my friend since he went in, nor has he returned my phone calls. His attorney told him he would be on work release in a matter of days. It has now been two weeks. My friend needs help and I am not sure how I can help him other than getting some answers.
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
hello?
Answered in 7 hours by:
5/19/2018
James Daloisio
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 875
Experience: 30 years experience in criminal law, continuing education.
Verified

Hi, my name is ***** ***** welcome to Just Answer.

You don't have enough information to be of assistance to your friend, yet.

1. You have to know why he is in custody. When a person is arrested for a crime he is either released on his own recognizance/promise to appear, or required to post bail. Unless he happens to have already been on probation or parole, in which case the new offense would also be a violation of that probation or parole, and depending on the seriousness of the probation/parole case, he could be held without bail.

2. He could be in custody as a pretrial detainee, or he may have already been sentenced to some type of probation/custody combination term; in this case, his attorney's comment about work release would make sense. It may just be taking some time to get him into the work release program. If this is what occurred, there should be a court record of the plea and sentence. That should be easy enough to track down.

3. Have you tried visiting him at the jail? I'm sure he could tell you what's going on.

At a minimum you should be able to call the jail and learn of his status: i.e., awaiting trial, awaiting hearing on violation, sentenced, etc. Then you can contact the court.

The bot***** *****ne is that you have to understand his status in order to determine what help, if any, you can provide.

Hope that helped. Feel free to ask follow up questions here. And please don't forget to rate this answer. Thank you for using Just Answer.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thank you, ***** ***** was helpful. I did manage to get more information regarding his sentence. He was charged with theft by unlawful taking. At first the prison told me it was a Class A Misdemeanor. Upon further review of his sentence I was was told there was a note that said "CN Severity." Upon further questioning I was told it is a Felony 3 conviction. The number 821-17 was sited. I am in the process of finding a public defender for him. On a personal note I have some questions. Prior to his conviction, my friend resided in my home. He left me his cell phone, wallet, checkbook, etc. He has asked me to withdrawal money from his bank and keep the cash in my home until he needs it. While I have his consent to withdrawal the money, legally could anything detrimental come back on me? I have said to him I am not an authorized signer on your account. He responded "you just think to much." He also has a car with a mechanic and it is ready for pickup. He has asked me to go to the place of business and put money down on the car. Again, by doing this will anything negative come back on me? If his sentence is a Felony 3 charge, my association with him and to do these things he wants me to do...I just don't have a good feeling about it. Plus, I have all of his personal belongings in my home and garage. His sentence is 6 months to a year. I will be in the process of moving to a new place by the end of summer. My nature is to help people, but in this case I do not want to find myself in any wrong doing. Thank you for your time in responding back to me.

Hi,

I see this from time to time. People in custody need people on the outside to take care of their personal business. However, that does not excuse you from being subject to the legalities associated with taking care of that business.

If your friend wants you to withdraw money from his bank account and you aren't an authorized signer on his account, he can always give you permission to use his ATM card and give you his PIN. If you choose to do this, make sure you keep all the receipts and if possible, get a printout of the account balance and previous transactions while you're at the ATM. Just remember it's generally never a good idea to maintain possession of another person's cash. Especially if you don't know where it came from. If the authorities come looking for restitution in his bank account and see that the money was withdrawn, they might infer something from that conduct that is not in your best interest. And of course, there's always the question of why he wants the money removed from the bank account in the first place.

The business with the car is a little more complex because what if the car isn't fixed? Or what if the repairman says it's fixed, and it's not? Your friend needs to agree to hold you harmless if you give his money to the repair shop. There are going to be issues such as storage fees, interest on the balance owed, etc. that you really don't want to involve yourself in.

Nothing is ever as simple as it looks. Technically you wouldn't be doing anything wrong, based on what you've said. But you're involving yourself in his personal business, and if something were to occur that resulted in a claim or litigation, you could find yourself an unwilling participant in a lawsuit.

An unlawful taking in violation of Section 3921 is a third degree felony if the property is worth more than $2,000 or the property is a motorcycle, car, boat, plane, or other motor driven vehicle.

I'd say the bot***** *****ne depends on the nature of your relationship. And yes, there is also the issue of associating with a convicted felon. I don't know what you do for a living but many employers specifically prohibit such contacts, particularly in law enforcement, government work, or any occupation in which fraud is a high risk such as banking/investments.

James Daloisio
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 875
Experience: 30 years experience in criminal law, continuing education.
Verified
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
He wants the money removed so that any other automated withdrawls he has set up wont come out. This was his last paycheck before he went in. He has now lost his job and no other money will be coming for him.

I see. You can withdraw the money, but every time one of those automated withdrawals gets denied, it may incur a fee. Check with the bank. It may be wise to contact those businesses and ask that the automated withdrawals be placed on hold for six months.

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