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My wife's brother agreed to a plea deal involving 4 years…

My wife's brother Anthony agreed...
My wife's brother Anthony agreed to a plea deal involving 4 years probation for a drug felony. The plea deal required that he complete a treatment program for his addiction. Anthony has an IQ of 65 which is a 2nd grade level and none of the out patient programs that he qualified for were equipped to help someone with special needs. His probation officer recommended SAFP.However, to get into SAFP Anthony would need to go to jail to wait for a bed to open which the probation officer estimated would be 3-6 weeks. Anthony agreed as he truly wants to get better and wants the help. However, after spending several months waiting in jail we contacted the mental health court dept and found that due to Anthony's special needs there was only one SAFP facility that he could be assigned to and there was a 162 person waiting list with an average of 39 days per person turnover. Thus the waiting list for Anthony is 17.3 years!!We called his court appointed attorney to see what can be done to get him out and they say they no longer represent Anthony. We called the probation officer and she says she is no longer involved since Anthony is in jail. Who should we contact and what can be done to get him out?
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
10/17/2017
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 30,952
Experience: Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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Hi,

I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and it also takes time to compose and type a reply.

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You need a lawyer to get this case back before the judge so that some alternative sentencing arrangement can be made for your brother-in-law. As the attorney of record on the case, the public defender's office should step in to prevent him from simply languishing in jail. You need to call them back and if the lawyer who represented him says it's no longer his case, ask to speak to a supervisor there.

Failing that, your only other alternative would be to hire counsel for him. The judge may or may not be willing to release him to out-patient treatment but that would be something worth arguing for while they await bed space.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Hi Zoey. Thanks for your reply. I contacted the public defender's office and they confirm that the former court appointed attorney is no longer assigned to Anthony's case. They said that at some point if he was waiting excessively for SAFP the probation dept would request that the judge appoint new counsel. They suggested we wait another month.Doesn't seem right to me. A mentally retarded person sitting in jail without anyone to represent him. I will contact a criminal defense attorney to see what can be done.We were told that time spent waiting in jail for SAFP does not count toward probation time. Is that true?Thanks for your help

Yes, that is true. He doesn't get credit towards probation for the time in jail. However, if he violates the terms of his probation and gets resentenced to jail at some point down the road, all of the time he's doing now in jail would count towards that jail sentence.

If he's already been waiting several months for what he was told would take 3-6 weeks, then arguably the delay is excessive. You can press probation to get involved so that a new lawyer can be appointed. But retaining counsel for him would likely be quicker.

Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 30,952
Experience: Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thanks.

You're very welcome.

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