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Right to know what charges? Homicide, Murder, Manslaughter

Discussion in 'Criminal Charges' started by Persephone79, Nov 1, 2019.

  1. Persephone79

    Persephone79 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello! I am new to this forum, so please have patience with me. I have LOTS of questions, but rather than tell my whole story at once, I will start with some important parts. Can you please tell me if anyone has a right to know what charges are being brought against them? Is this public knowledge too? My case is unique. My step-son is being charged with some criminal stuff (quite serious) and I want to know what they are specifically and 'worst' and 'best' case scenario's. He is not my legal son, but we have been working on that. Since I am not his legal guardian, can I know just by asking? Thank you for reading!
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    If a person is arrested, he/she is informed shortly after the arrest of the charges which caused the arrest.

    If a person is arrested pursuant to an arrest warrant, she/he is informed during the arrest process.

    All persons arrested are also informed of their charges during the booking process at the county or city jail.

    During the booking process each arestee receives paperwork documenting all of their charges, too.




    Yes, everything involving the criminal justice system is done in sunshine, as in open court.

    The only exception is if the person held is a juvenile.

    If you are an adult, EVERYTHING surrounding your charges and/or arrest is a public record, open for all to view and know.

    If the case goes to court, anyone is free to watch the trial in person, maybe see it televised, or see reports about the matter in the various media outlets.


    There is no way anyone can tell you what will happen when someone becomes involved in the criminal justice system.

    The person will either be acquitted, adjudicated guilty, there could be a mistrial (meaning the prosecutor will likely have a "do over", or the charges might even be dismissed.

    If the person is guilty, he or she, could receive probation or be sent to prison.

    That is why the accused should speak only to his lawyer, not his mammy, his pappy, his sissy, or his bubba.

    The accused should immediately keep his mouth shut.

    The only exceptions are if the accused is married and speaks with her/his spouse, her/his lawyer, or her/his religious officiant.

    Anything Junior says to you is NOT privileged.
    If you speak to Junior is jail, everything being said is recorded.
    That is why you only speak about puppies, kittens, popcorn, that great movie, that new book, those cute grandkids, or the annoying price of gasoline.

    You should avoid speaking to your relative about the charges, his case, or any conversations he might have with his lawyer.

    You can be supportive, encouraging, but resist the temptation to fix it.

    No one can fix it once the criminal justice system begins its grind towards justice.

    The time to fix things is all those times when the person was misbehaving and no one did anything to stop their antics, which landed the person where they are today.

    If you believe in prayer, you can do all prayers and light all the candles you want.


    You can do anything.

    Only you can stop you.

    The person is an adult, I suggest you do nothing but be positive and encourage the person to hang tough.

    His father should also mirror your actions and not discuss the case or charges with the person.
     
    Persephone79 likes this.
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Of course they do. They get told when they are arrested and arraigned.

    Pretty much. Many courts have online case search features where you can run a name and get the basic record. If not, a visit to the courthouse will have the same result.

    No, it's not. Everybody says that. Then it turns out to be just like any other case we read about here every day.

    Then stop right there and say nothing more about it on the internet. He should be discussing it only with his lawyer, not even with you since you can be compelled to testify against him.

    Very unwise to get in the middle of this. Your step-son needs a lawyer, right now.
     
  4. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    He should ask his attorney.
     
  5. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    Defendants aren't necessarily told of the charges against them during the arrest and booking process but would be informed at their arraignment, which is the formal presentation of the charges against them. The arraignment is generally the first appearance the defendant makes in front of a judge.
     
  6. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Not quite. Since charges are determined by the prosecutor, the police cannot possibly know at the time of arrest what charges will be brought. The police may tell a person being arrested why he/she is being arrested, but they are not legally obligated to do so.

    Once charges are filed, the case is generally a matter of public record.

    Depends on whom you ask.
     
  7. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Sounds like a juvenile matter and you are not a legal parent or guardian, so no, you would not have access to the information. Ask his parent.
     
  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I accept your representation of the above, insofar as NY is concerned, my friend.

    I agree that during an arrest things can become hinky and hairy.

    In Texas, during the booking process (sooner or later things calm down) every person receives notice as to what the charges are (which are always subject to revision once the prosecutor evaluates the case).

    In fact, superseding indictments can complicate matters further for any defendant.

    If an arrestee didn't know what the charges are, he/she couldn't post bail or bond.

    In Texas, our constitution guarantees a defendant the RIGHT to post bail.
    Our US constitution speaks to that right too, bit not as definitively as does our Texas constitution.
     
  9. Persephone79

    Persephone79 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    May I get opinions or information on the pro's and con's for a regular paid (criminal) attorney vs a public defender? I have been asking those I know how much an attorney costs. It seems it is all over the map and definitely thousands of dollars. Likely based on experience and how many cases they have won.

    There are some that believe a public defender is 'less than competent' compared to a paid attorney in the service they provide to their client. Does anyone have experience with either one and their opinion please?

    Are you allowed to fire your public defender and ask for different representation (still a public defender)? What examples or situations may allow you to do this?

    Thank you in advance!



    Not a juvenile matter, I am not his 'legal' mother (yet).
     
  10. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Is the boy a minor? If you, are you saying that this minor is being charged as an adult? If yes, then what HE needs is an attorney, plain and simple.
     
  11. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    You only qualify for a PD if you are very poor. If you can entertain the hiring of an attorney, you wouldn't qualify for the PD.
     
  12. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    What is your specific situation that brings this question up?
     
  13. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    It would be really helpful if @Persephone79 were to keep all her question regarding this issue to this thread.
     
  14. Persephone79

    Persephone79 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    No, he is not a minor.
     
  15. Persephone79

    Persephone79 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I apologize. I am new here and did not know how to 'format' the forum. There are many sections. I admit I have lots of questions. Yes, I have asked attorney's. Some answers have been greatly helpful, some were not. The situation, like others, has some unique stuff to it, and like others, it also has typical whatever to it.
     
  16. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Then he should discuss his murder case with his attorney only. You should not be posting on the net regarding this case.
     
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  17. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    An attorney licensed to practice law in a particular state (or before the federal bar) is equal in the eyes of the licensing authority.

    As far as the licensing authority is concerned, if you pass the bar, you are equal in all other aspects to your brothers and sisters at the bar.

    Some lawyers are female, some are male, some declare themselves to be members of other genders.

    Some lawyers have never lost a case, some lawyers may have never won a case, and many lawyers have lost and won cases.

    Some lawyers are white, some black, some yellow, some red, some brown, and all other colors of Roy G. Biv's spectrum.

    Some lawyers are rich, some are poor, some are middle class, and a few have no class.

    Bottom line, in a legal sense, they are equal.

    In a personal sense, clients can choose the lawyer they desire, if they are hire the lawyer.

    Even if the court appoints a lawyer to represent a person, the person can ask the court to replace that lawyer and provide another lawyer.
     
  18. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Does your husband know you are online posting about his child? Does the defense attorney you are doing this?
     
  19. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You need to restrain yourself and STOP discussing any aspect of this case on the internet.

    You could be hurting the defendant.

    You could end up being called as a witness, which could also hurt you and/or the defendant.
     
  20. Persephone79

    Persephone79 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I believe my son's public defender to be #1 overloaded by cases (seems to be everywhere) and #2 inept at her job.

    My son was transferred from one jurisdiction to another due to having to deal with another charge. His pd kept telling him not to worry about it, but she wasn't dealing with it or at least communicating with that agency/county etc... Charges can still stack up. My son wrote up a writ, went to the other jurisdiction (through the jails). They never took him to court, took him back to the other jail and then he had another court date (he missed) last month. It is like agencies DO NOT communicate. Annoying as hell. I had to let one county know he was in another county incarcerated.

    When my son was 1st arrested (back in January), I didn't find out right away. He had just turned 21. I called the public defender 3-4 times and left messages. I finally talked to her AT HIS COURT HEARING! I was livid. I'm a business woman, people return phone calls. I don't give a damn that it is the government or whatever and they are overworked. Everyone is overworked. Hire more people. I highly dislike unprofessional people, people who do not return phone calls in a prompt way (24-48 hours) or who lack tact and professionalism...especially in situations like these.

    I went to visit my son yesterday and learned a lot of things. For the 1st time we did talk about his case. I know WE AREN'T SUPPOSE TO! I am not his attorney! He doesn't have one but the damn PD who NEVER goes to visit him and seems worthless, hence looking into other options.

    I'm not rich, getting him attorney will likely bankrupt me. I use to think Justice is blind...nope.

    Justice is not blind, it sees green.
     

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