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Old 07-16-2017, 10:12 PM
K6770 K6770 is offline
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Default Understanding sentencing impacts of separate felony cases

I have a person I have to deal with that is facing two separate trials this fall. Both cases involve violent felonies, but the offenses occurred roughly a year apart and there are different victims. First case involves an aggravated assault, drug possession, and 1st degree felony child neglect.

The individual was out on bond when the second set of felony offenses occurred. The second set includes aggravated assaults, an armed robbery, drug possession and felony gun changes. The person has no prior convictions going into his first trial.

Do any of the sentencing enhancements for prior violent felony convictions kick in if a person does not have a conviction when the second set of felony acts occur? I'm assuming this individual will face more time in the second trial, but that it will just be a function of how pissed off the judge and DA are at the individual for the felonies occurring while he was on bond.
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:42 AM
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Sentencing enhancements shouldn't kick in if there are no actual prior convictions on record, but be advised that just by being arrested and being charged with such serious violations while out on bail will significantly increase the likelihood of him being hit with maximum sentences on those original charges should he be convicted during his first trial, and those sentences could very well be run consecutive, or back-to-back, meaning he could be doing some serious time if he dares take both cases to trial versus just pleading out and hoping for a concurrent sentence on all charges.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:59 AM
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Thanks for confirming that the previous conviction has to occur before committing the second offense that carries the possible enhancement.

I don't know if a plea has ever been on the table for either case. The PD has done his best to run out the clock in hopes that the victim's testimony in the 2nd case will change enough that she will be considered an unreliable witness, but there is still physical evidence. There is a lot of hope on the part of some that most of the charges in the second case will go away and that the other charges will be served concurrently such that this guy is only looking at 5 years incarceration. He has been in county for just short of 2 years, and the crazy talk in the family is that he might walk out on parole in the fall. Thankfully I don't have to directly deal with those people, but I and those I love have to deal with reality distortion field they have generated. Even in back of my mind I'm thinking crazier things have happened.
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Old 07-18-2017, 02:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K6770 View Post
Thanks for confirming that the previous conviction has to occur before committing the second offense that carries the possible enhancement.

I don't know if a plea has ever been on the table for either case. The PD has done his best to run out the clock in hopes that the victim's testimony in the 2nd case will change enough that she will be considered an unreliable witness, but there is still physical evidence. There is a lot of hope on the part of some that most of the charges in the second case will go away and that the other charges will be served concurrently such that this guy is only looking at 5 years incarceration. He has been in county for just short of 2 years, and the crazy talk in the family is that he might walk out on parole in the fall. Thankfully I don't have to directly deal with those people, but I and those I love have to deal with reality distortion field they have generated. Even in back of my mind I'm thinking crazier things have happened.
It's a little strange that anyone is hoping for parole in the Fall, when he hasn't yet been convicted of anything or received a sentence yet. The process is arrest, conviction (or plead guilty), sentencing, incarceration, then release on parole or probation. It sounds like he hasn't yet gotten to step two.
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Old 07-18-2017, 05:41 AM
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Default Understanding sentencing impacts of separate felony cases

It's all a bit delusional, but in theory if the major charges are dropped or if he is found innocent of them at trial then all that will be left will be charges carrying 2-5 year terms. If theses all run concurrently, then he would be eligible for parole pretty much as soon as he is sent off to prison for diagnostics. There are people who parole out right after diagnostics, but again the facts of theses two cases does not match this scenario . First because a child is one of the victims and second because I don't think the system is going to take a chance on this guy not hurting someone again if he gets out.

Last edited by K6770; 07-18-2017 at 05:47 AM..
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:19 PM
JustWeirdEnough JustWeirdEnough is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K6770 View Post
It's all a bit delusional, but in theory if the major charges are dropped or if he is found innocent of them at trial then all that will be left will be charges carrying 2-5 year terms. If theses all run concurrently, then he would be eligible for parole pretty much as soon as he is sent off to prison for diagnostics. There are people who parole out right after diagnostics, but again the facts of theses two cases does not match this scenario . First because a child is one of the victims and second because I don't think the system is going to take a chance on this guy not hurting someone again if he gets out.
If his family is dreaming of his early release, in your view, is there any chance this guy is a narcissist in the clinical sense? (use wikipedia to look up NPD).

A lot of people around NPD sufferers, get swept into the reality distortion field, as you say. Since the dude has been incarcerated pending trial for 2 years, I assume we're talking about a family with very little money to hire a decent attorney and obtain a reasonable bail.

I would tell you from what little I know about parole, one of the criteria that is nearly universal is patterns of behavior. It makes sense, right? If you are entrusted to make decisions about who has served their sentence long enough, the last thing you want is to make a bad decision. So if someone asked you, should Joe Criminal be let out of prison after serving 2 of his 4 yr sentence, what are you going to consider? Wouldn't repeat offenses be a prime consideration?

Anyway, hope this helps you talk some sense into anyone impacted by a lack of reality....but don't rub it in. Just show concern. Tell them you felt strongly enough to research it and here is what you found. Tell them--what you do with this information is your business.
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Old 08-07-2017, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustWeirdEnough View Post
If his family is dreaming of his early release, in your view, is there any chance this guy is a narcissist in the clinical sense? (use wikipedia to look up NPD).

A lot of people around NPD sufferers, get swept into the reality distortion field, as you say. Since the dude has been incarcerated pending trial for 2 years, I assume we're talking about a family with very little money to hire a decent attorney and obtain a reasonable bail...

Anyway, hope this helps you talk some sense into anyone impacted by a lack of reality....but don't rub it in. Just show concern. Tell them you felt strongly enough to research it and here is what you found. Tell them--what you do with this information is your business.
Thanks for the information about NPD. I think those around him are just trying to cope with a very bad situation. Thankfully I don't have to interact with them yet, but those that I love dearly do.

Getting back to the legal matter, this weekend I was given the impression that a plea was offered and that it has been accepted, but no details yet. This should enable a return to reality if true.

His family has no money, and they can't afford a bond on the new charges. His PD has done a decent job slowing the process down. I didn't think bond would have been possible on the second round of violent felony charges while out on bail, but his co-defendant was able to get one even though she was also in a similar situation.

Last edited by K6770; 08-07-2017 at 07:57 AM..
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Old 08-07-2017, 10:05 AM
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"magical thinking" is quite common among all defendants and lots of their families. It is much easier than trying to wrap your mind around the sentencing impact of committing such violent offenses while out on bond. Further, it is much nicer to think about the absolute best case scenario, ignoring the evidence and the likelihood of conviction than deal with where you are now and where you may spend a good chunk of time.

For the defendant, the converse is also true - they can have an emotional crash, catastrophize everything, give themselves the worst possible consecutive sentences and push their friends and family away feeling their lives are over. It is up to friends and family to recognize this shift should it happen, not take it personal, and try to help prevent their LO from taking a crap plea just because they are feeling their lives are over and the fastest way to end it is to take the plea.

All of this is normal for people facing their first conviction or serious time. There's no sense diagnosing a psychological problem second hand, online, with such minimal facts when the pattern of thinking and behavior is quite common.

OP, I'm glad your LO is satisfied with the performance of his PD. Too often people who don't know better think the only way to get justice is with a private lawyer. Lots of extremely good, very dedicated attorneys are members of Gideon's Army and in some places (Cook County, IL for example) PDs are paid better than State's Attorneys, and are unionized. They still need the people to vote in politicians who will make changes to caseload, support staff, and things like that, but that doesn't change the fact that you can find really good representation through the PD's office. And, just as you can get crap representation in the PD's office, you can also get crap representation in the private sector as well.

Female co-defendant - especially if there are children involved, there's a tendency to break up the couple committing the crime and bail the female to prevent the kids from going into the system. Further, some judges still look at women as inherently less likely to commit another violent felony on her own out on bail. This is a wicked bias that does not work to a guy's favor.

Hope the plea offer is a good one, and that people are able to start wrapping their minds around the realities of the situation as a result. Hard to watch and experience people you know and love give in to that magical thinking that everything will be back to normal by the next major holiday.
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