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  1. #1
    chiyneseyes is offline Junior Member
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    Post Is the lawyer working in our best interest or in the best interest of the government?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Westchester, New York

    My loved one was arrested in July 2011 and charged with conspiracy. From the beginning they maintained that they were charged with the wrong thing because they acted alone. Last week their codefendent (who was only the driver) was found not guilty on all charges. The week before my loved ones lawyer forced them into copping to a guilty plea because of the evidence against them. In open court even the judge said that was not the right charge if they acted alone. My loved one now wants to retrack the guilty plea because there is no codefendent to support the conspiracy charge. The lawyer claims my love done has no chance in court because of the evidence against them. Is the lawyer acting in my loved ones best interest and as a professional what would be your next steps as a professional?
  2. #2
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    A conspiracy requires two or more people. Since "they" were arrested, it seems they have that part of the requirement.

    A co-defendant need not be convicted for their to be a conspiracy. The person who he conspired with might not even be charged.

    There is no way to say whether or not the attorney is any good. But, if they have testimony that puts your loved one and one other person planning to do most any crime, then they likely have a case that they can move forward with. If the deal is better than the likely sentencing if convicted, maybe it's good.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

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    And a croissant!"

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  3. #3
    dave33 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiyneseyes View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Westchester, New York

    My loved one was arrested in July 2011 and charged with conspiracy. From the beginning they maintained that they were charged with the wrong thing because they acted alone. Last week their codefendent (who was only the driver) was found not guilty on all charges. The week before my loved ones lawyer forced them into copping to a guilty plea because of the evidence against them. In open court even the judge said that was not the right charge if they acted alone. My loved one now wants to retrack the guilty plea because there is no codefendent to support the conspiracy charge. The lawyer claims my love done has no chance in court because of the evidence against them. Is the lawyer acting in my loved ones best interest and as a professional what would be your next steps as a professional?
    I understand the concern. I believe in many situations (public defender) that the attorney seems to be doing such a bad job with no "bulldog" attitude it seems they are working against you. In most cases I think it's a matter of practical knowledge of the legal system and maybe a little laziness. Also it seems a lot of cronyism is present. However, they are not working against you "per se" but I guess ineffective consel is against you. goodluck.
  4. #4
    chiyneseyes is offline Junior Member
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    Lightbulb Re: Additional Information

    I forgot to mention this lawyer was paid a hefty retainer and has been paid graciously for their services. I would expect this type of service from a free public defender, but if I pay you I expect to get what I paid for. We are looking at other counsel, but don't want to jump the gun and invest in someone else for things to turn out the same when out lawyer is acting in the best interest of my loved one...which is what I am asking. Does this sound typical for a non public defender lawyer or does this seem like a typical dump truck attorney?
  5. #5
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Many people who do not know the law will second guess their attorney. Your loved one needs to ask his attorney these questions and why the attorney believes the case against him is so strong. Understand that a paid attorney cannot suddenly make perfume from liquid excrement. A dog of a case is a dog of a case, and very often you are left with few options.

    It is not true that they do not have a co-conspirator unless the person who was alleged to have been a conspirator was shown in court to have not been involved at all (and a not guilty verdict does NOT mean that).

    Your loved one needs to speak to his attorney. if he feels his attorney is not acting in his interest, he can ask for a new attorney but he'd better act fast.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  6. #6
    dave33 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiyneseyes View Post
    I forgot to mention this lawyer was paid a hefty retainer and has been paid graciously for their services. I would expect this type of service from a free public defender, but if I pay you I expect to get what I paid for. We are looking at other counsel, but don't want to jump the gun and invest in someone else for things to turn out the same when out lawyer is acting in the best interest of my loved one...which is what I am asking. Does this sound typical for a non public defender lawyer or does this seem like a typical dump truck attorney?
    It really is hard to render an opinion about this without knowing alot more. I would assume at this point that this IS the lawyer you will use, as you will not get a refund. So, you must somehow work this out and explain the concerns you have and ask for an explanation. At the end of the day you should do what he says. Many times that's not what people want to hear. Make sure you try and be open minded. goodluck.
  7. #7
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    What is the penalty for pleading guilty as opposed to the penalty he could get if FOUND guilty in court?
  8. #8
    chiyneseyes is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    What is the penalty for pleading guilty as opposed to the penalty he could get if FOUND guilty in court?
    The guilty plea was what you call an open plea...nothing promised so we are at the mercy of the judge right now. They are facing a mandatory minimum of 5 years if taken to trial. The good/bad thing about pleading guilty with an open plea is that we are now at the discretion and mercy of the judge. The judge can go above or below the minimum and no one knows until sentencing. Not sure which one is better taking it to trial or taking our chances with the judge.
  9. #9
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiyneseyes View Post
    I forgot to mention this lawyer was paid a hefty retainer and has been paid graciously for their services. I would expect this type of service from a free public defender, but if I pay you I expect to get what I paid for. We are looking at other counsel, but don't want to jump the gun and invest in someone else for things to turn out the same when out lawyer is acting in the best interest of my loved one...which is what I am asking. Does this sound typical for a non public defender lawyer or does this seem like a typical dump truck attorney?
    You are ignorant quite frankly. Completely and totally ignorant. I know some public defenders that fight harder than the high priced attorneys and vice versa.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  10. #10
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiyneseyes View Post
    The guilty plea was what you call an open plea...nothing promised so we are at the mercy of the judge right now. They are facing a mandatory minimum of 5 years if taken to trial. The good/bad thing about pleading guilty with an open plea is that we are now at the discretion and mercy of the judge. The judge can go above or below the minimum and no one knows until sentencing. Not sure which one is better taking it to trial or taking our chances with the judge.
    You don't understand what the word mandatory means, do you? The judge canot give him less than the MANDATORY MINIMUM.

    If it is a MANDATORY MINIMUM for his crime then he is mandated to get at least 5 years. The judge does NOT have discretion to give time below a MANDATED period as prescribed by the legislature. Your lover is going to go to prison for at least five years due to his plea. Of course the judge could also sentence him to more. He won nothing by pleading. At least if he took it to trial, he could have been found not guilty or guilty of a lesser included charge.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  11. #11
    chiyneseyes is offline Junior Member
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    Please only respond if you are versed in ny federal criminal proceedings

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohiogal View Post
    You don't understand what the word mandatory means, do you? The judge canot give him less than the MANDATORY MINIMUM.

    If it is a MANDATORY MINIMUM for his crime then he is mandated to get at least 5 years. The judge does NOT have discretion to give time below a MANDATED period as prescribed by the legislature. Your lover is going to go to prison for at least five years due to his plea. Of course the judge could also sentence him to more. He won nothing by pleading. At least if he took it to trial, he could have been found not guilty or guilty of a lesser included charge.
    Actually I do know what mandatory means. And the judge does have the power to change a mandatory sentence in federal cases if they do so choose. By taking it to trial in this particular case we have a better shot at being forced into a sentence of five years or more. The steps taken so far by our lawyer according to the judge is up to their discretion they can go below or above the minimum with the inclusion of what is called a safety valve which will come into play at sentencing helping to reduce the level of the offense. These are the words of the judge, not mine. Maybe you should give a more in depth response rather than abroad generalization such as cases when a judge may go below the minimum because there are instances when this does apply FYI.
  12. #12
    chiyneseyes is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave33 View Post
    It really is hard to render an opinion about this without knowing alot more. I would assume at this point that this IS the lawyer you will use, as you will not get a refund. So, you must somehow work this out and explain the concerns you have and ask for an explanation. At the end of the day you should do what he says. Many times that's not what people want to hear. Make sure you try and be open minded. goodluck.
    Thank you and this is what we are am gathering that our best bet is to stay put and ride this out. I did take your advise and speak to the lawyer and feel much better after getting a few of my questions answered. Thank you again for the advise;-)
  13. #13
    chiyneseyes is offline Junior Member
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava View Post
    A conspiracy requires two or more people. Since "they" were arrested, it seems they have that part of the requirement.

    A co-defendant need not be convicted for their to be a conspiracy. The person who he conspired with might not even be charged.

    There is no way to say whether or not the attorney is any good. But, if they have testimony that puts your loved one and one other person planning to do most any crime, then they likely have a case that they can move forward with. If the deal is better than the likely sentencing if convicted, maybe it's good.
    Thank you for the clarification. Being this the first and hopefully last brush with the law, the terminology, rules and regulations are all Greek to us. This has been a learn as you go process and the rules in most of the books and manuals we have been reading put most things in black and white without further explanation or interpretation such as the meaning of the word "conspiracy" in federal courts. Thank you very much for your explanation.
  14. #14
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiyneseyes View Post
    Actually I do know what mandatory means. And the judge does have the power to change a mandatory sentence in federal cases if they do so choose. By taking it to trial in this particular case we have a better shot at being forced into a sentence of five years or more. The steps taken so far by our lawyer according to the judge is up to their discretion they can go below or above the minimum with the inclusion of what is called a safety valve which will come into play at sentencing helping to reduce the level of the offense. These are the words of the judge, not mine. Maybe you should give a more in depth response rather than abroad generalization such as cases when a judge may go below the minimum because there are instances when this does apply FYI.
    LOL LOL LOL. Please tell me what attorneys answered you OTHER than me.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  15. #15
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    It sounds like the guilty plea is to a lesser charge without the mandatory minimum sentence.

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