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Second opinion on accepting plea Alcohol & Drugs: DUI, DWI

Discussion in 'Criminal Charges' started by StoSobriety, Apr 27, 2019.

  1. StoSobriety

    StoSobriety Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello- So, here is the background of the case.

    PRIORS: I have 3 felonies on my record, all pertaining to one case, for which I served 14 months in county, with a three year probation term. The charges were failure to return rental property, forgery, and possession of forgery instrument. I was released, after serving my fourteen months, in April of 2017. All of these charges stemmed from a drug addiction to heroin.

    (Quick history: I was a good student and even better baseball player all the way through college. After an injury, I was not able to play ball, and became addicted to the pain killers my doctor had prescribed me. Long story short, I went from having many baseball and career prospects to homeless on the streets shooting dope. I take full responsibility for my actions, and have finally started to put my life back together, as you will read below.)

    After my release in April 2017, I started attending recovery meetings and counseling, and worked at a call center. My parents accepted me back in their lives and let me stay with them as I saved money. I attended probation as requested, testing at TASC biweekly.

    In December 2017(8 months after being released), I relapsed. My license suspension period had ended and i was waiting for an SR-22 from my insurance company so I could get my license reinstated. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of driving my girlfriends car before the reinstatement process was complete. According to the discovery, Officer 'X' was first allerted to my vehicle because I was going 60mph in a 65mph zone. He also said I was having trouble staying in my lane. Per the police report, Officer X observed syringes and Narcan in the glove compartment.(It was my girlfriends car and she is a sober living house manager, so she keeps this stuff on her) He performed a field sobriety and pupil dilation tests, impounded the car, and took me to the station. At the station, I was asked to give a blood sample. I did not consent. He got a warrant. Phlebotomist drew blood. I was sent downtown and booked on Aggravated DUI and probation violation.

    After seeing a judge, I was held nonbondable for 30 days, which took care of the probation violation. When I was released, I decided to go into a 30 day inpatient program, to avoid any further relapses. I completed this program, moved into my own place and started serving tables at a breakfast restaurant. Within a month, I was promoted to manager of my own location. For the next 13 months I stayed clean, complied with probation and continued rebuilding my life.

    In March 2019, less than 2 months ago, I was grand jury indicted on the DUI. It had taken over a year for the blood tests to be run, but they were positive for morphine and meth. My parents bailed me out because I was finally in a good place in my life and they wanted me to be able to fight for the life I had built in recovery while continuing my job, which is so important to my recovery.

    I hired an attorney who frequents my restaurant daily. I thought it would be good to go with someone who saw how hard I work and could vouch for me in negotiations. Two week ago the prosecutor offered me my first plea for 4.5 years, expiring April 30th. My attorney asked me to get him letters of support for a deviation letter. He wanted the letters by April 15. Waiting on a few stragglers, I sent him everything the morning of April 17.

    He wanted to ask for 1-3 years in the deviation request. I did not feel comfortable with even that amount of time and asked for him to ask for the minimum, four months prison with probation. He advised against it, but ultimately did what I asked. This is when I sensed he started to get an attitude with me.

    I also asked him to add a paragraph in the letter explaining how he knew me personally, but he said he did not feel comfortable doing that. I started to question why I paid this guy in the first place? The deviation letter was sent around April 24th.

    He advised me to be ready to go into custody on April 30th. That gave me less than a week to prepare with my job and family. I thought I would have a bit more time since we were asking for deviation and he knew I had to make sure my restaurants new manager was fully trained.

    I received a new plea only a couple hours after sending the deviation letter. The terms are open range plea, 2.25-4 years prison. The date on the new plea is still set at April 30th. The attorney is advising me to take this plea. I asked him to call the prosecutor to feel him or her out to see if it was possible to get a better plea, because she obviously did not read the letters we sent very closely. I also wanted him to ask if there was a way to push the expiration back a week or so.

    He responded, with a nasty tone this morning, that back in the day he used to be able to call and have a discussion like this, but law is supposedly not practiced like this anymore and he would not even know who to have a discussion with?? He also strongly advised against asking if I could enter the plea, but not accept it until a later date because "so many of his clients have screwed themselves by doing this and catching new cases before going into custody."

    I really feel this guy does not have my best interest at heart and I do not feel right signing a plea when he has not even tried to negotiate or contact the prosecutor. I also feel if I persist with him, he will not fight his hardest for me.

    1. Does it sound like this guy is doing the best he can do to defend me?
    2. If I refuse this plea, am I going to screw myself and miss out on the best deal I will get offered?
    3. Is it common to have a week's notice before going into DOC when I knew I was not accepting the first plea, expiring on April 30th?
    4. Would it be uncommon to ask to continue the case, so more negotiation could take place and I could have some time to leave my employer in a better situation?
    5. I feel if I accept this plea, there will be another plea before trial...isn't that how it usually goes?

    ANY ADVICE would be more than appreciated! I feel a public defender could have done this for me for free and wouldn't a defense attorney want to keep you out of jail as long as possible, not have you sign a plea less than two months after being charged???

  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    How could a STRANGER answer that without being intimately familiar with either of you?

    Answer, I can't, and I'm a stranger to both of you!

    You have no right to a deal, and the prosecutor can only offer you a deal in hopes that the judge will approve it.

    The ones that matters are the judge and your defense attorney, one of whom you appear to be alienating.

    It is MORE common to provide a convicted felon with no time to flee, ordering her/him into custody after conviction, or at sentencing.

    Trust me, I'm a retired judge, and would only offer a convicted felon or one who took a plea time to attend to her/his affairs if the person was under medical care for a serious illness, recovering from a difficult surgery, a woman near the end of a pregnancy, or under treatment for a mental illness.

    Occasionally, if the person's parent, spouse, or child had died, I'd allow time for that, too.

    It is more common than NOT, to lock the convicted person up immediately upon sentencing.

    The federal system allows two or three months before the person reports to the BoP.

    You can ask anything you wish, but I wouldn't ask THAT question.

    Again, I'm a stranger, mate.

    When I was a prosecutor, I never offered any deals.

    If I charged a case, or indicted someone via the grand jury, I'd always take the case to trial.

    If the prosecutor's case is weak, that's when you receive a more generous plea deal.

    If you want to stay among those of us in the FREE world, all you need to do is fire your current attorney.

    All you need to say is your current attorney and you have encountered irreconcilable differences, and you've lost trust in him.

    Once that is done, you can request a public defender (they are quite formidable, contrary to popular myth), and you'll have more time to remain FREE.

    However, that all but admits the prosecutor has a good case, and you're doomed anyway.

    The facts are the facts.

    You laid the facts out well.

    I suggest you read them, especially the results of the blood analysis.

    That alone is damning, mate.

    Anyway, keep your head up, and best of luck to you!
  3. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    If you want more time you might inform the court you require new counsel. New counsel may not get you different results though.
    Bottom line here is you are a convicted felon, on probation, and still not obeying the law. Do not expect anyone to go lightly on you. Those opportunities are in the past.
    Tpatzo2015 likes this.

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