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  1. #1
    MissKeri Guest

    Unhappy confront judge w/out counsel? HELP! **Need 2nd question answered now! - scroll down

    What is the name of your state? Utah

    I went to court on Nov. 1st to be sentenced on an "illegal use of a financial card" charge, and I was being represented by a public defender who got his license out of a CrackerJack box, and was not very eager (or even willing) to speak out on my behalf. Among other things, I was sentenced to 30 days jail time with credit for 8 days served. The judge was nice enough to give me until Nov. 15th to get my affairs in order before I have to begin my sentence.

    I'm a full time, single Mom, and "getting my affairs in order" is proving to be much more difficult than one might imagine. After making a zillion phone calls, I've arranged for my kids to be bounced around, from sitter to sitter, with a few hours here and a few hours there.... for 17 days.... PLUS they have to transfer schools! It feels more like I'm preparing for my death than 17 days in jail.

    I don't have a whole lot of experience with the judicial system, but I was wondering if there's ANYTHING I can do to get the judge to withdraw the jail time, and give me a fine or community service instead. I assume that writing him a letter explaining my position would just make me look silly, but my kids are just devastated, and I'll do anything it takes to see them smile right now.

    I've left several messages for my public defender, but he must be too busy standing in a courtroom with his thumb up his ___ to call me back. Common sense tells me that my hands are tied in this situation, but I'm hoping somebody can tell me otherwise.

    Please respond soon..... unfortunately, my time is limited.

    Last edited by MissKeri; 11-11-2002 at 08:33 PM.
  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    sending a letter to the judge wont help. the judge wont even read it since you are represented by counsel.

    were you convicted via a trial or did you reach a plea agreement? If plea agreement, did you state on the record that you understood what your sentence would be and then agreed to it? If yes, you have almost no recourse to change the sentence. Being inconvenienced is not enough to change the sentence.

    if convicted via trial, judge's hands are tied regarding not sending you to jail. A lot depends on how much you charged on the card, if any restitution has been made, and your criminal history.


  3. #3
    MissKeri Guest

    2nd question......

    No trial, I pled guilty. No previous criminal record.

    Thanks for your response so quickly..... even though it wasn't what I wanted to hear.

    *** Hey, I just had a thought; therefore, I have another question.....
    What if I were to hire another attorney...... Is there anything that HE (or she) could do?? Would the judge accept that as my counsel, even though the case is practically over?

    Last edited by MissKeri; 11-11-2002 at 08:35 PM.
  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    you can hire an attorney but what would be the reason to change the sentence? You pled guilty. Were you informed before pleading guilty what possible sentence would be imposed on you? If yes, and you did not object to the sentence you really have no recourse to set aside the sentence.

    How do I know? My wife is a prosecutor for Los Angeles and she deals with defendants always having second thoughts on a plea then agreed with and now want to change. She has never had a judge agree with the defendant and change the sentence or plea agreement.

  5. #5
    MissKeri Guest

    Feels like I'm paying for charges that haven't even been filed yet.

    Thanks again for your response. I guess that, aside of the problem with finding appropriate care for my kiddies that's obviously bothering me, I'm feeling all butt-hurt because this whole thing was going so smoothly until my Mom threw a stick in the spokes.

    Since I have no criminal history whatsoever, I was going to have to deal with 12 months probation with a private company, not a State agency, and that's IT! But the interviewer who did my pre-sentence report called my Mom for a short phone interview, and my Mom (who exagerates EVERYTHING) just HAD to open her trap and tell her about something that I got busted for a few weeks ago, of which charges haven't even been filed yet. The interviewer was unable to obtain a police report, but took my Mom's views on the subject as fact, and recommended 30 days jail time "to impress upon her how seriously we take her criminal activity."

    Just seems unfair that I'm paying for new charges on an old issue. I mean, IF charges are even filed, I'll pay for them in due time, right??

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