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What kind of situation is my uncle facing from this? Other Criminal Charges & Offenses

Discussion in 'Criminal Charges' started by jmr106, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. jmr106

    jmr106 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I have an uncle who is 59 years old. He got arrested at his job of many years (like 5 years) recently because he got into it with his smart-mouthed boss, basically. He told the boss that he would "shoot him with a gun" and got arrested for terroristic threats and also obstruction of a law enforcement officer (which the jail phone rep says is a felony, but apparently comes in both a misdemeanor and felony depending on what the person did). When police were called to arrest him, they told him to get down on the ground and put his hands behind his back and he cussed at them, but no physical assault or anything. They didn't appoint him bond (very odd) and his hearing court date is this coming Tuesday, but they said they can't divulge the time of it. The situation at his job stemmed from apparently him and his coworkers missing hours on their check and it sounded like the boss was always harassing him and saying smart things to him. He sent a couple of complaints to different places (one being the Department of Labor and the other to the company's corporate office) regarding various people missing hours on their paycheck at his location and probably some other stuff like harassment from his boss and such. Then it turned into this. I'm not sure who said what and really the police didn't have any physical evidence to go on, either.

    I tried to help my uncle in previous months by creating a resume for him and I thought he was looking for another job and at one point he told me that he had not been looking for another job yet. Not sure why he was waiting.

    He has a history from a long time ago. He did 14 years in prison for murdering an old man while on drugs in his younger years. I think he was 18 when he was arrested. He served his time, got out in '92 or '92 with probation (and eventually got off from that) and became really productive, got a job and hasn't been in trouble since. But he does have a temper issue and this is the first time that this has happened since he has been out. Not sure if that previous record can be used against him at this point. I think he was trying to get that record expunged at some point. Not sure if he was able to.

    When he goes to that hearing, what are his chances of getting prison time, more jail time and/or a fine/community service/anger management classes? He got arrested on the 9th of this month. Trying to gauge how serious this is. The visitation seems like a really stupid process. The jail is like 30 miles away. You have to go in person to "register" with the jail, then go back home and call 24 hours in advance to schedule a time for visit.

    The official county records list: OCGA16-10-24(a) Willful Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer (Misdemeanor)
    OCGA16-11-37 Terroristic Threats and Acts (Felony)

    The felony one seems vague. Apparently that can be a misdemeanor or felony. We are not aware of any physical acts that he did, he simply threatened to shoot the manager. No gun was found, no assault, etc.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    None of that will be decided at his hearing on Tuesday.

    He;ll plead guilty or not guilty, and ask the court of he qualifies for a lawyer, and his bond will be set.

    Once his bond is known, if you wish to help, you can get together enough money to pay a bonding company to get him sprung while he awaits the outcome of the criminal charge.

    Be prepared for a bond pf around $50,000 to $150,000, meaning someone would need to have between $5,000 to $150,000 cash to get him out, or to deposit with the court, if GA courts accept bonds directly for defendants.

    He also might NOT get a bond and be remanded to county jail to await his trial.

    All you can do is wait and watch.

    Finally, you only know what he's telling you.

    If you want to know more, be there on Tuesday and you'll hear BOTH sides of this sad story.

    If you visit or he calls you, don't say ANYTHING, or allow him to say ANYTHING about the case.

    Why?

    All of his communication is monitored, recorded, and anything he says will be used against him at trial.

    Don't talk to him about the case, and don't respond in letters about the case.

    Only communication between a lawyer and client is protected.

    If he's been to prison, he should already know how this game is played!
     
    leslie82 likes this.
  3. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    When an offense can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony it is not uncommon for it to be booked as the felony. The prosecutor can later weigh the evidence and modify the charge if needed.
    Based only on what you said here, I would not be surprised if the felony is reduced to a misdemeanor and he is offered a plea bargain to avoid trial.
    However, as noted above, you only know what he told you and it could be much worse than you know.
    Rather than putting together money to spring him from the cooler, you might put money together to hire good legal counsel.

    If he has been served with a restraining order regarding this then he had better understand the terms and not violate it.
     
  4. jmr106

    jmr106 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Well, I have pulled up his arrest record and that is all that is on there, just those two things. Strange for bail to not be offered on either the misdemeanor or felony charge, however. Both specifically have "No/NO" on them. No assault/resisting arrest was noted, just the obstruction of an officer probably because he cussed at the officer.
     
  5. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    No, cussing wouldn't get him a criminal offense.
    He likely resisted to some degree. It does not have to be physical resistance.

    If the police showed up and started giving him orders because they believed he may have a weapon after making threats, and if he ignored those orders, then that may have been enough... although in my opinion that is pretty weak.

    No bail is because of the nature of the threat. They don't want someone to post bail then go right back and carry out the threat.

    His attorney can help him to get bail reduced.
     
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  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Not strange at all, if the charge hasn't been decided upon, he's simply locked up on the charge(s) at arrest.

    Bail for many felony charges can only be set after arraignment before a judge or magistrate.

    You'll learn more on Tuesday, at least if bail will be available.

    Bail is rarely denied, because until a person has been adjudicated at atrial, he/she/it has the constitutional protection of INNOCENCE.
     
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  7. jmr106

    jmr106 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    So he won't need a lawyer for the hearing part since that's the time when they'll ask if he has a lawyer, correct? We can't get him one that early (finances), but in the near future I would have the money for one before he went to trial, for instance.
     
  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Yes, all he needs to do is plead not guilty.
    He can request a public defender.
    If you hire a lawyer later, the lawyer will know how to substitute in to replace the public defender.
     
  9. jmr106

    jmr106 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    So whether any of this matters or not, I was talking to his friend/roommate. Apparently what my uncle actually did was got into it with the manager at his job over hours missed and possibly something going wrong in the workplace, people not doing their jobs, etc. He specifically threatened to "shoot the manager in the butt with a PAINTBALL gun" and the friend doesn't even know who called the police. Apparently he never made any death threats or even threats to use a real gun. So there's no actual evidence. The friend/roommate was asked by my uncle to speak with some of the coworkers at the job. The friend didn't want to do that because the jerk manager may try to have him arrested for "trespassing". I talked to that friend twice this morning and he stated that they were kind of hostile towards him and didn't even want him at the job site outside to get in my uncle's car and drive it back to the house and away from the job site. My uncle had asked him to go get his wallet out of the car at work and drive the car home after he was arrested.

    Apparently reports were filed with the Department of Commerce regarding violations in the workplace due to many employees not getting paid for hours that they worked. The corporate office of the company was also contacted and this manager at the job will likely be fired in the near future.

    My uncle has a bond hearing (no court, it is via digital video I guess directly with the judge) tomorrow at 1:00pm with I guess the superior court. Not sure how much the bond will be. Does that pretty much mean he's going to have a trial in a month, 2-3 months, 1 year or whatever time length it takes? I know that trials take a long time to come up. I'm not sure how that would work with him getting a job while waiting on trial (if he got a permanent job and got arrested again, what to do about that situation, etc.). What if it takes a year to go to trial?

    We obviously don't have the time or money to get a direct lawyer at this exact time, but I would certainly be able to help him get a good defense lawyer in the future and would have money for that. I'm just waiting to start a pretty high paying job probably later this week. I'm sure a public defender would be assigned to him at some point when needed during the bond hearing, if needed/requested. I don't think he gets one for the digital bond hearing, however. Obviously, family members or his friend can't be there because my uncle won't even be leaving the jail when he has the digital hearing. I don't think even a defense lawyer would be able to go to the video conferencing bond hearing.

    It sounds like this whole thing was a he-said play of words at his workplace. The manager or a coworker that didn't like him called the police and had him arrested, leaving paintball gun out of it and acting like he said he would shoot them with a real gun. Apparently his previous record has been pardon/expunged or whatever they do to it. Something was done years ago so that he had his rights again and wasn't under felony restriction. I'm not sure specifically what it is called, but his friend said it was done and he was somehow pardoned from the past.
     
  10. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    It only means he'll see a judge and bond could be set.



    Your uncle is POTENTIALLY harming himself by all this chatter.

    He has the RIGHT to remain silent, because anything he says to anybody can be used against him in a court of law.

    His communications are being monitored and recorded.

    He needs to use his RIGHT to remain silent.

    This is no time to become a Chatty Cathy.

    All he has to do is wait until the bond is set.

    He will be able to pay the bond, people might help him pay the bind, and he'll get out of the slammer.

    If he can't make the bond, he'll have to suck it up, and shut it up.

    There are jail house SNITCHES who will rat him out, which is another reason NOT to discuss anything about the case. ANYTHING.

    His ONLY conversation should be about getting his bind money together, or arranging for a lawyer.

    You, his pals, should REFUSE to speak to him about the charges, the case, the manager, the color of his workplace walls, the paycheck, no paycheck, NOTHING but getting his bind together or helping him hire a lawyer.

    Whatever this is, or whatever started this, resist the temptation to discuss it with anyone, and NEVER discuss it with him.

    Cut him off if he starts to chatter about the crime, the sheriff is recording all calls, even the visits are recorded.

    STOP DISCUSSING any aspect of the case, wait for the bind hearing, help if you can.

    You will help him anytime you don't discuss the case, or stop him from chattering about the case or the boss.
     
  11. jmr106

    jmr106 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I think he only discussed it once with the friend just to let someone know that he was arrested, simply because he would never get out if he didn't tell someone one time. Everything else came from the friend/roommate that initiated contact with my family as his sister/nephew and then I have been keeping regular communication with the friend. The friend does talk to my uncle on a regular basis, but apparently my uncle isn't talking beyond the first thing that was mentioned to the friend to get the ball rolling. I mentioned the friend because I only had vague details from a voicemail left by said friend yesterday morning, then I got to talk to that friend twice this morning. He was the one who called to find out the hearing date, time and such. Other than that, apparently my uncle is in reasonable spirits, has been getting himself in shape and losing a bunch of extra weight that he had. I don't think he's discussing anything actively about the case now. Will be seeking out a good defense lawyer in the near future for him after we find out a trial date and hoping that he gets out on bond. We'll probably be able to sort that out. Is bond refundable if all goes well?
     
  12. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    If you paid cash bail to the court, meaning you paid the full bail amount, you will have that money returned to you after the defendant makes all required court appearances. ... If a defendant is found not guilty, the bond is discharged; if the defendant pleads guilty, the bond is discharged at the time of sentencing.

    =====================================================================

    If his bond is $20,000 and you hire a bail bondsman, you'll pay the agency about $2100/$2200, a little over 10% of the bond.

    You don't get any of that money back, even if the case is dismissed, or he is acquitted.

    There are other ways to get out of jail in GA:

    Oddly Georgia has a law that makes about 20 different crimes “bail restricted offenses.”

    If you are charged with one of those crimes, you cannot be released on your own recognizance, also known as a signature bond.

    The crimes are among the most serious felonies in the state and include rape, armed robbery, aggravated sexual battery, human trafficking, illegal drugs (cocaine, heroin, marijuana, etc).

    A Superior Court judge – the highest court in the state – must set your bond, or decide IF there should be no bond in your case.

    If your crime does permit bond (felony or misdemeanor), bail will be set.

    If you need to post bail in Georgia, here are five things you should know.

    1. Four Ways to Get Out of Jail

    Cash bond – This is the simplest way and usually the fastest way to get out of jail. If an offender has enough cash to pay the entire amount of the bond, it may be possible to be released from jail in a matter of hours. Many courts in Georgia will accept credit cards, as well as money orders and traveler’s checks. Any adult who is 18 years old or older can post a cash bond on behalf of himself or another person in the state.

    Property bond – Under Georgia law, the owner of the property must have equity in the property equal to or greater than twice the amount of the bond. So, if the bond for a burglary is $25,000, it won’t matter if the home that is part of a property bond is worth $100,000. What is crucial is the amount owed on that property. If that amount is $50,000 or less, the property bond will be accepted.

    Surety bond – An offender can either contact a bail bond agent from jail or call a friend or relative to arrange for bond to be posted, once the amount of the bond has been determined. Whoever posts the bond will also have to pay for administrative and court fees, including a local county fee of $10.

    This is the best case for your relative. Hope he gets this one, and he can sign and be released, much like a traffic citation, he simply promises to behave, and will be released.

    Signature bond – Also known in Georgia as own recognizance, or OR.
    Under state law, the factors to be considered by judges in deciding whether a defendant can be released on his or her signature includes the nature of the charge, any criminal history and the connection to the county where the arrest occurred.
    A judge can require an offender released on OR to report to a county-run pre-trial release program to ensure that any conditions of the OR are being met.

    2. How to Get Bail

    Courts in Georgia are allowed to create preset bonds. That makes it simpler and faster to post bond and get out of jail after being arrested for mostly misdemeanors. Many courts do so for DUI arrests when there is no accident involved and the driver doesn't have a long history of previous drunken driving arrests. With a preset bail, it’s possible to post bond – either with cash or with the help of a bail bondsman – without having to wait for a court appearance.

    3. What Will Bail Cost?

    Lawmakers in Georgia have determined that when the bail for a crime is up to $10,000, the cost of the bail is up to 12 percent of that figure. For crimes with bonds in excess of $10,000, bail bond companies can charge a fee of up to 15 percent. That does not stop a bail bond company in Georgia from charging less than either of those amounts, though in practice, it is unusual to see a fee below 10 percent.

    4. How Long Will I Stay in Jail

    An offender must be brought in front of a judge for an initial appearance – known as an arraignment in many other states – within 48 hours if the arrest did not involve a warrant. When a warrant is involved, the offender must see a judge for a first appearance within 72 hours.

    In practice, the length of time in jail before being allowed to post bond depends on the crime involved. For more serious penalties, only a Superior Court judge can set bail. An offender’s first appearance before a local judge would then include the time for a hearing in Superior Court. In that situation, an offender could expect to spend at least a day and up to two full days in jail.

    However, if the offense is a less serious misdemeanor and the court has a preset bond amount for that crime, the process of posting bail could take only a few hours. For defendants charged with drunken driving, state law allows jailers to detained drivers up to 6 hours to ensure they are sober when released.

    5. What if I Miss a Court Appearance

    A defendant signs an agreement when released on OR, or after posting bail, to show up for all court appearances. Missing a court appearance leads to the immediate revocation of the bail and the court will issue an arrest warrant. A bail revocation also is possible if there were conditions attached to the release – such as staying away from a named individual in a domestic violence case.

    The bail bond company will be required to pay the entire amount of the bond to the court, and in turn, will seek to recover that amount from whoever posted the bail. Many Georgia bail bond companies will send out investigators – known as bounty hunters – to find the defendant. In that case, a judge can decide that the bail bond company does not have to repay the full amount of the bond. Under Georgia law, whoever posted the bail must repay the bail bond company for its legitimate expenses in searching for and arresting the defendant.

    How to Post Bail in Georgia: 5 Things to Know - Stuck in Jail
     
  13. jmr106

    jmr106 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Is there any recourse against this boss who flipped the words around and apparently lied to police? I'm not convinced that there was a physical altercation because one of his charges would have been assault had that taken place. Obviously, the proper authorities regarding the company's illegal practice of withholding hours have been notified and the corporate office of the company regarding the manager's harassment. Is the court okay with just letting a manager get away with lying and saying that someone said something that they likely didn't say? Are they at any time going to seek actually PROOF of the manager's words?
     
  14. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    If I had been arrested on a felony, locked in county, I'd focus on my criminal charges and nothing else.

    Your uncle is fighting for his freedom.

    If he loses his freedom, he loses everything.
     
  15. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    If this matter ever makes it to trial then these people you believe are lying will have to testify in court and convince a jury of what they have to say. ThatYOU think they are being dishonest is irrelevant. It takes time for the process to play out.
    Hopefully things will settle before it ever gets that far.
     
  16. jmr106

    jmr106 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    So his bond hearing was at 1:00pm today. They took him to wherever the video conference with the judge would have been and he just sat there and never got to talk to anyone, then was removed back to his cell. There's zero evidence in any of this. What would be the cause of not getting to even talk to a judge? The friend talked to him and knows a little bit of stuff about legal. They did not discuss the actual case, but simply the hearing. He's thinking that they may be about to process him out because they can't hold him without either being denied/approved bond and the evidence in all of this is nada.

    A brief call to the office regarding why he didn't even get a hearing resulted in them saying, "If the judge doesn't want to talk to him, he doesn't have to." What kind of nonsense is that? They HAVE to let him know whether his bond is approved or denied. I think that's pretty much required.

    Further details (received via a letter to me which the jail stamps specifically as not being read by any jail employees) state that "someone" (a regular worker) at the job called police and said that they "thought" they heard him threaten the manager. Apparently it wasn't even the manager that called. There is also so much going on at that workplace that is about to be turned upside with a corporate investigation. Other complaints from employees who are having trouble getting along with that manager, being shorted of hours after being approved, not getting paid for hours worked, etc. A discrimination lawsuit is going to be in the works after this is done and/or right after he gets out on bond. I'll be helping him get a lawyer for both defense and a discrimination lawsuit. He was under constant harassment from his boss on a daily basis. That boss has quite a history with other employees. Not sure if they'll be willing to come to court and testify about their experiences with that manager. I'm sure he would love to see the "evidence" of the coworker and/or manager in the courtroom given the situation. The judge will probably throw the whole thing out given the absurdity of how vague everything is. I don't think the manager or coworker realized that they'll end up having to go testify in front of a jury if it does make it to trial.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
  17. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    You might try to find out if he has been assigned a new date to appear.
     
  18. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Nothing hinky going on here.

    A bond hearing has a very narrow scope, to determine if the defendant gets bond, adn then to set the bond.

    Was he given a bond?

    okay, when he has counsel, the counsel can request another bond hearing, or RoR (release on his signature).

    I suspect he can get out on RoR, but these things take time.

    Justice is slow, very slow, which is why I tell people to AVOID going to court for anything.

    There are many laws I dislike, but as a lawyer I hate courtrooms, so I obey their laws to avoid their courts.
     
  19. jmr106

    jmr106 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    He was given nothing at all. They shifted him there, shifted him back and he never got to see or talk to anyone at all. The lady on the phone says they can't give out the information about him. That's the same public information available on the website. They said the same thing previously about his info and I found it immediately online. The bonding phone number says to check the website. Their website for inmate search info is now "malfunctioning" all of a sudden and gives a 404 website error. This place doesn't have it together and has some of the most unprofessional staff I have ever dealt with. I have never heard of a judge who could "decide not to talk to the inmate if they didn't want to" regarding bail or no bail. That's just ignorant. He said they had appointed him a lawyer previously (he probably asked for a public defender within the first 24-48 hours of check in at the jail when he went before another judge).
     
  20. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Call a couple local bail bond agencies and ask what the bond is for Joe Jones.

    Bail bonding agency can get info you can't.
     

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