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  1. #1
    stinastina is offline Member
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    How long can they keep you with no indictment ?

    What is the name of your state ? Georgia

    I have a friend who is in Bibb County on felony forgery charges. He had a bond hearing but could not afford it. He intends to plead guilty but his public defender told him to sit tight and do nothing.

    So now he has been there almost 4 months and has no court date, no indictment, nothing. How long can they hold him like this ? He asked me to contact the DA to see if they will expedite his case. Is that a bad move ?

    Thank you for your help.
  2. #2
    BOR
    BOR is offline Senior Member
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    You mean in 4 months he has not been arraigned to enter a plea?

    You sure?
  3. #3
    stinastina is offline Member
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    I will check with him but as far as I know all he has is a bond hearing.

    If he did have an arraignment, how long can he sit there ?

    If not, how long can he sit there ?

    His public defender told me they could decide to drop the case and in cases like my friend's, he has seen that happen.
  4. #4
    FlyingRon is offline Senior Member
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    He will sit there until the case goes to trial. If his lawyer asserts that they are ready and demand the speedy trial, they have two court terms (no more than six months) to get the trial going.
  5. #5
    stinastina is offline Member
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    So I talked to him and he wants the speedy trial. How does he go about getting this done ? His PD refuses to visit him even though he has asked several times. I have talked to the pd only once after leaving many, many messages.

    Would a letter be sufficient ?
  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by stinastina View Post
    What is the name of your state ? Georgia

    I have a friend who is in Bibb County on felony forgery charges. He had a bond hearing but could not afford it. He intends to plead guilty but his public defender told him to sit tight and do nothing.

    So now he has been there almost 4 months and has no court date, no indictment, nothing. How long can they hold him like this ? He asked me to contact the DA to see if they will expedite his case. Is that a bad move ?

    Thank you for your help.
    The DA will not talk to u ... only his attny. & maybe the victim
  7. #7
    stinastina is offline Member
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    I have updated information. My friend has not had an arraignment and has not been indicted. I contacted the pd's office about requesting a speedy trial. The pd who never comes to the phone, told the secretary to tell me he cannot ask for a speedy trial until AFTER he has been indicted.

    Is that true ?
  8. #8
    FlyingRon is offline Senior Member
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    Unless we are missing some key piece of information, he should not be held for an extended period in custody without being charged. Is there something else going on? Is he on probation or parole for something else?

    As we keep pointing out, they have no obligation and in fact, are generally barred from speaking to other than the accused and his lawyer. The only thing you can do is see if you can arrange for better counsel.
  9. #9
    stinastina is offline Member
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    He is on probation in 3 other counties for the same offense.

    My unanswered question remains, can he ask for a speedy trial without an indictment ?

    Unfortunately he cannot afford better representation. I believe a paid lawyer would definitely be able to resolve his case quickly but he does not have the money.
  10. #10
    stinastina is offline Member
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    Can you ask for a speedy trial if you have only been charged (no indictment) ?
  11. #11
    Kane is offline Member
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    Yes. He can ask for anything he wants.

    The problem is courts have already said that years-long waits are OK, and that his speedy trial rights are likely to be vindicated - if at all - only years down the road.

    When somebody's incarcerated pending indictment ordinarily what you want to do is work on getting him out on bond.

    In your friend's case you've said that he's already got probation violations from 3 other counties, and a new felony case, and that he wants to plead guilty.

    This doesn't sound like somebody who's going to be getting out on bond. It sounds like somebody who's going to prison soon.

    In other words, he's screwed. All he can do is wait for his indictment.

    The silver lining is that all his county time will count against his prison sentence, and his friends can come and see him.

    In the meantime, he can file whatever motions he wants, but they're not going to accomplish anything.
  12. #12
    stinastina is offline Member
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    Thanks, Kane, for your response. He does not have any probation violations. His probation officers are all aware of status. Once he leaves jail, they will all be consolidated in the county he lives in.

    Basically during the early part of the summer he wrote several bad checks and cashed them in four different counties. This happened all within a one month period. There were several other people involved and from what I understand this is one of those cases where homeless folks are used to cash bogus checks.

    The plan for now is to save enough money for a criminal lawyer. I talked to two different ones and they both feel the case can be disposed of quickly so he can go on to his next case in a different county. I think it will be worth the expense because he could sit there for a very long time and make no progress. The paid lawyer is much less than the bond.
  13. #13
    Kane is offline Member
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    Well then I'm confused. You said he was on probation in three counties for the same thing, and I translated that to "he's on three different probations in three different counties, but all three of them want to revoke him because he caught a new case."

    But it looks like I was wrong. He's been charged with forgery in 4 counties, and has already been sentenced to probation in 3 of them? And now the 4th county has him sitting in jail?

    That would mean his only hold is in the 4th county, and that he's likely to get probation once his case goes to court.

    If that's true, that's a whole different situation...

    Where I live, the lawyer would go to the judge for a (free) PR bond under those circumstances, and it would be granted...
  14. #14
    stinastina is offline Member
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    Kane,
    Yes, he is on probation in 3 different counties for forgery (they are all different counts) and now he is sitting in jail in another county for another 2 counts plus he has to go back to his home county for one more charge. I hope I didn't make that more confusing.

    I asked his public defender to ask for a bond reduction but he said no, it wouldn't be granted. The pd seems to feel that my friend should lay low, be quiet and hope the case gets dismissed. He won't visit him to tell him in person and during the past 4 months, my friend has never even met his pd. He has talked to the law clerk in person. The pd never returns my calls. I spoke to him only once and since then I leave a message and the secretary will relay the pd's message to me.

    I'm no expert, but it seems to be a simple case and in everyone's best interest to be resolved quickly.
  15. #15
    Kane is offline Member
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    So he forged a bunch of checks, at different banks, in different counties. Then he got busted. Four counties chose to prosecute, and three out of the four have already cut deals with him?

    What is the "one more charge" in his home county? Is it also for forgery?

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