Over-turn Conviction??

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Latest post 04-08-2011 9:52 AM by Ford. 3 replies.
  • 04-07-2011 7:42 PM

    • Busha1984
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    Over-turn Conviction??

    April of 2010, I plead guilty to a plea bargain of home invasion 2nd degree and home invasion 3rd degree. I was the "getaway" driver. I was sentenced to one year at the county jail and served eight months receiving credit for good time and earning an additional sixty days through programs offered at the jail. I was given five years probation and sentenced to 104 hours of community service. I have never been in trouble before. I have no prior criminal record. I have one speeding ticket from about two years ago. However, I believe that my conviction was a violation of my civil rights in that the judge confessed on record that he knew some of the victims of the crime that took place. I also believe that my testimony under questioning the night I was arrested was given under duress and without my word they could not have convicted me of any felonies. My court appointed lawyer failed to inform me of crucial information and never asked me about why I was involved in the crime. Previous to my arrest, I went to the police department and told them that I was concerned for my and my son's well-being and they told me that because I had planned on moving my best bet would be not to give my boyfriend my new address. There is no record of my having gone to the police and I feel that if they had done something then to help me, none of this would have happened. I participated in this crime under duress; my boyfriend, at the time, was physically abusive to me and he threatened me and my son which is why I unwillingly participated. I'm looking for some help because I feel as though I was given a biased sentencing. I just want my life back for me and my son.

  • 04-07-2011 8:03 PM In reply to

    Re: Over-turn Conviction??

    "However, I believe that my conviction was a violation of my civil rights in that the judge confessed on record that he knew some of the victims of the crime that took place."

    It is not a violation of your civil rights.  At the time the Judge disclosed the relationship you had the option of asking him to recuse himself.  If you did not and no decision or sentencing was handed down from a biased decision making stand point then there is no basis to overturn the conviction.

    "I also believe that my testimony under questioning the night I was arrested was given under duress and without my word they could not have convicted me of any felonies."

    Most defendants who do not exersize their Miranda rights and remain silent believe their confession was made "under duress" when that isn't the case.  Of course they had a better chance of convicting you after you talked.  That is the whole point to the part of Miranda that "anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law."

    "My court appointed lawyer failed to inform me of crucial information and never asked me about why I was involved in the crime."

    Why you were involved is not relevant.  You were involved, apparently confessed, and pled guilty.

    "Previous to my arrest, I went to the police department and told them that I was concerned for my and my son's well-being and they told me that because I had planned on moving my best bet would be not to give my boyfriend my new address. There is no record of my having gone to the police and I feel that if they had done something then to help me, none of this would have happened."

    Do what exactly to help you?  Load the moving van?  Pack your stuff?  If you won't leave a bad relationship and then follow the guy around committing crimes the cops are in no way responsible for your behavior.

    "I'm looking for some help because I feel as though I was given a biased sentencing."

    The problem is that part of the plea bargain was that you acknowledge to the court that you are guilty of the crime and you waive your right to appeal.  The second problem is you were convicted a year ago and the window for an appeal, to withdraw the plea and go to trial, or file to over turn the sentencing expired last May. I don't see a bias in your sentencing.  You WERE there when the crimes were committed and in many states that is the equivalent of direct involvement and enough to convict.  You accepted the plea and have served the time.  Changing the sentencing now won't change the convictions.

    " I'm looking for some help because I feel as though I was given a biased sentencing."

    The best thing you can do for you and your son now is to find employment and work on rebuilding your life.  It isn't easy but there are employers who will hire someone with a criminal record.  You can certainly consult a local criminal attorney to see if there are other options, however most states that allow for expungement require that the terms of probation be completed and a crime free period of several years have passed before filing for it.

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • 04-07-2011 8:20 PM In reply to

    Re: Over-turn Conviction??

    "I believe that my conviction was a violation of my civil rights "

    You voluntarily plead guilty. That pretty much puts an end to it.

  • 04-08-2011 9:52 AM In reply to

    Re: Over-turn Conviction??

    Consult an attorney ASAP.  Nobody here can conclusively tell you that you have any potential relief.  However, a very common deadline would be 1 year from the final adjudication.  If that was April last year, the deadline might be the appeal window plus one year, which is probably May 2011.

    Judges know people, but that doesn't always create a conflict.  In small towns or counties, judges will know most everybody but they still do their job.

    Busha1984:
    without my word they could not have convicted me of any felonies

    You admit to being the driver and you admit your boyfriend was involved.  That means the event actually happened and at least one other person could point a finger at you.  Your confession doesn't appear to be the only evidence against you.

    Usually, a suppression motion is a strategic decision left to the attorney, but it depends on jurisdictional law.  Duress, in a legal sense, has the classic example of holding a gun to your head.  I've had clients claim duress because they were cold for five minutes, and that dog won't hunt.

    Busha1984:
    I feel that if they had done something then to help me, none of this would have happened.

    That's HIGHLY speculative.  Foremost, the police have few to no actual duties to people.

    Your biggest problem is that you pled guilty.  In my location, judges have nearly iron-clad guilty plea documents and discussions with defendants.  About the only way to come back later and attack them is new rules of law.  For instance, one question is "Is there anything your attorney hasn't done that you want him to do?"  Your answer appears to be that you wanted him to suppress your statements, but if you were asked that when you pled guilty, you probably said "Nope."

    Home invasion is a VERY SERIOUS charge.  County jail and probation is probably at the very lowest end of the potential sentence.

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