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  #1  
Old 10-09-2019, 06:14 AM
jessesgirl1111 jessesgirl1111 is offline
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Default Court Case in the boonies

Morning all. So a year ago I got three tickets in a southern Illinois rural county. It was like stepping back in time and walking into Mulberry lol. I went to court in January of this year to continue it to find counsel. Never found anyone and Ive been faxing the states attorneys office doctor letters down there to continue it every month due to it being 300 miles away & I was in a severe auto accident and cant drive anymore. Anyway-I have a status final set in a few weeks to handle this. One of the tickets was driving on a suspended/revoked and I have priors. They want me to go to jail for 30 days. The whole thing is so strange the way they handle things. I want to go to this date and be done with it. Clearly no jail time is ideal. Was curious from anyone with a legal perspective how I can handle this. I was thinking about trying to call the states attorney myself and trying to negotiate. I still have a back and leg brace and have a new letter from my neuro stating incarceration would not be in my best interest. Im not hiring an attorney, its too much money becuz of the commute and time involved. Idk if its appropriate for me to call there? Im pretty familiar with the court system but I really want this resolved on this date whatever the outcome. The courtroom and states attorney are very strange, he comes out and talks rudely to everyone announces your charge and says what he wants and its a very very strange county court. Theres literally an old hound dog at the entrance that sniffs you hahahaa!
Any suggestions? Try getting a hold of him you think, remind him Im the one thats been continuing for a year etc and say id like this resolved what are my options. Idk what else to do ahead of time and dont know how itll go the day of.
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  #2  
Old 10-09-2019, 08:32 AM
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Wouldn't it be the County Attorney? I wold not call the County Attorney / Prosecutor...anything you say can be twisted around and stab you in the backside.

When you show up for court without an attorney, they'll most likely tell you to get one or have you fill out the paperwork to qualify for a PD and set yet another court date. I once tried to go pro se and was ordered by the Judge to show up next time with an attorney or face Contempt of Court. Judge also said I did not qualify for a PD, even though I had lost my job because of the charges. Mine were not traffic charges, but still.
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  #3  
Old 10-09-2019, 10:52 AM
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Wouldn't it be the County Attorney? I wold not call the County Attorney / Prosecutor...anything you say can be twisted around and stab you in the backside.

When you show up for court without an attorney, they'll most likely tell you to get one or have you fill out the paperwork to qualify for a PD and set yet another court date. I once tried to go pro se and was ordered by the Judge to show up next time with an attorney or face Contempt of Court. Judge also said I did not qualify for a PD, even though I had lost my job because of the charges. Mine were not traffic charges, but still.
I know, and thats what Im afraid may happen. So the one time I went though, the prosecutor (county yes, my bad-Im used to state) he walked thru the seats to each person talked to them direct and asked about attorney or no. Most were no it was the strangest thing. Anyway, Im contemplating saying fuck ill do the fifteen days if I have to be done. Its so far, impossible that I cant drive myself. And I want it closed so the sec of state will do their punishment so I can become eligible to drive again next year. I cant drive right now anyways cuz of the accident might as well deal w it now. But fifteen days UGH. Uggghhhhh you know... fml
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:16 PM
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I'm a lightweight when it comes to doing time....mostly I've waited out here while My Mr did time, but I did do a 3 month stint in county before making parole on my one year sentence. Its more than doable. Shoot in 15 days you'll be lucky to get commissary once, maybe twice but I doubt it. Just depends on when you go in opposed to when they order / deliver commissary. You can do 15 days standing on your head. And you'll most likely get a coveted bottom bunk due to your injuries.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:36 PM
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I wonder if they would agree to community service hours in lieu of jail time. Maybe you could do them in your area. I know my daughter got a speeding ticket in a ticket trap area about 3 hours away on her way home from college. We called the area where it was & got chatty with a lady there. She helped us get it handled where my daughter was able to do community service at a nearby (to us) school library. She also took an online defensive driving course (less than $20 & a couple of hours). They accepted that plus she was able to use the driving class certificate to get a discount on her insurance.
Your case might be different because the 1 charge of driving with a suspended/revoked license is a Class A misdemeanor & possible penalties for Class A misdemeanors include up to one year in prison and/or a maximum fine of $2,500. If you do have a less than clean driving record & 3 tickets, they may decide you need an "attitude adjustment". But you can always ask. Stress your medical condition.

Here's a link by the IL Bar Association with info on traffic court. https://www.isba.org/sites/default/f...c%20Courts.pdf
On pg 6 it says you can go to the IL Bar Association attorney referral site or call them to get a list of attorneys. It says you can call an attorney from that list & an initial consultation shouldn't cost more than $25. That is what I'd do. Get advice from someone experienced in IL law.
Good luck & hope you continue recovering.
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by patchouli View Post
I'm a lightweight when it comes to doing time....mostly I've waited out here while My Mr did time, but I did do a 3 month stint in county before making parole on my one year sentence. Its more than doable. Shoot in 15 days you'll be lucky to get commissary once, maybe twice but I doubt it. Just depends on when you go in opposed to when they order / deliver commissary. You can do 15 days standing on your head. And you'll most likely get a coveted bottom bunk due to your injuries.
And probably a nice crash diet hahaha.
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by GaReform View Post
I wonder if they would agree to community service hours in lieu of jail time. Maybe you could do them in your area. I know my daughter got a speeding ticket in a ticket trap area about 3 hours away on her way home from college. We called the area where it was & got chatty with a lady there. She helped us get it handled where my daughter was able to do community service at a nearby (to us) school library. She also took an online defensive driving course (less than $20 & a couple of hours). They accepted that plus she was able to use the driving class certificate to get a discount on her insurance.
Your case might be different because the 1 charge of driving with a suspended/revoked license is a Class A misdemeanor & possible penalties for Class A misdemeanors include up to one year in prison and/or a maximum fine of $2,500. If you do have a less than clean driving record & 3 tickets, they may decide you need an "attitude adjustment". But you can always ask. Stress your medical condition.

Here's a link by the IL Bar Association with info on traffic court. https://www.isba.org/sites/default/f...c%20Courts.pdf
On pg 6 it says you can go to the IL Bar Association attorney referral site or call them to get a list of attorneys. It says you can call an attorney from that list & an initial consultation shouldn't cost more than $25. That is what I'd do. Get advice from someone experienced in IL law.
Good luck & hope you continue recovering.
Thats a great idea, all of it. I think Ill start with the consult and see. I have Orioles thats why he wants time.
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:23 PM
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Okay, having worked in very small counties in IL, I can tell your this is standard.

That you do not have a public defender tells me you financially do not qualify for one. The question is what are those 30 days (15, assuming you get day for day) worth to you? That is what you should spend on an attorney.

Btw, small counties are generally much easier for serving time. There are very few cells, the contract out with local restaurants for food service, and you will get sick of watching Discovery Channel on tv.

And it is State's Attorney. Go over into Iowa, it's County Attorney.
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:24 PM
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and you will get sick of watching Discovery Channel on tv
Lifetime movies. Most of the girls I was in with watched Lifetime movies from the time they woke up until lights out. I never watched them before I went to jail, and I have not watched them since
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Old 10-09-2019, 06:47 PM
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Okay, having worked in very small counties in IL, I can tell your this is standard.

That you do not have a public defender tells me you financially do not qualify for one. The question is what are those 30 days (15, assuming you get day for day) worth to you? That is what you should spend on an attorney.

Btw, small counties are generally much easier for serving time. There are very few cells, the contract out with local restaurants for food service, and you will get sick of watching Discovery Channel on tv.

And it is State's Attorney. Go over into Iowa, it's County Attorney.
Thank you for responding I was hoping you would I dont qualify, nor have I ever been comfortable with public defenders. Ive always had a private attorney for troubles weve had, Ive seen some bad deals happen w the pds. Anywho-I kinda figured the county jail is a breeze. Theres only 9 inmates there right now. I did 15 days in cook county, I can survive anything. Id rather do the 15 days then spend a few grand. Do you think I can call the states attorney pro se to try and negotiate a deal ahead of time. These medical letters are pretty solid with regards to incarceration being very bad for my spinal cord injury.
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Old 10-09-2019, 06:48 PM
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Lifetime movies. Most of the girls I was in with watched Lifetime movies from the time they woke up until lights out. I never watched them before I went to jail, and I have not watched them since
Love and hip hop all day every day. I will never watch that trash again.
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:11 PM
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My son was in a small rural county jail for 6 months while he awaited sentencing. It was hell - all the guys in one small metal (Morton) building, the roof leaked, sewage backed up on the floor, others were making hooch and trading meth recipes. The visiting area was filthy, all of us sat on stools and had to bring clorox wipes in order not to get grossed out by the spit and tears, etc on the phones and windows. You had to sign up for visitation at noon and then come back at your assigned time - sometimes waiting 2-3 hours for your slot, sometimes you would get there and wait in line for 30 minutes to sign up for a slot only to be told "nope we are full."

I would spring for a lawyer no matter what.
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Old 10-10-2019, 05:14 PM
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My son was in a small rural county jail for 6 months while he awaited sentencing. It was hell - all the guys in one small metal (Morton) building, the roof leaked, sewage backed up on the floor, others were making hooch and trading meth recipes. The visiting area was filthy, all of us sat on stools and had to bring clorox wipes in order not to get grossed out by the spit and tears, etc on the phones and windows. You had to sign up for visitation at noon and then come back at your assigned time - sometimes waiting 2-3 hours for your slot, sometimes you would get there and wait in line for 30 minutes to sign up for a slot only to be told "nope we are full."

I would spring for a lawyer no matter what.
Jesus that sounds horrendous! Hopefully not Douglas county lol!!
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:14 PM
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I have not been to Douglas. jo Davies, Carroll County - both are the smallest counties I have been to.

There was one visitation room in each - one inmate could visit at a time. In both, there were three cells for men (a fourth if they cleared it out) and one for women. Inmates could become trustees and wash the cars of sheriff,s deputies (official cars, not private cars after a law suit) if they wanted.

The Sheriff in one county always played discovery channel and nobody was allowed to switch the channel. I had one client do 6 months there before he was released and he was so sick of discovery (though shark week was cool). Do know that they wound up releasing a bunch of sentenced inmates early when a house party was raided and they wound up with 20 juveniles who could not be housed with adults. The kids were kept overnight until their parents showed up and the SA decided who needed to be charged with what, but most of the adults were released to prevent overcrowding.

If you have done Cook, you should be fine - small counties are generally very easy, very boring. The more medical needs you have, the less time you are likely to do since medical costs come right out of their County budget, and they don,t budget a ton for medical costs. So, needing to see a doctor, needing pricey medications - all can impact the amount of time you face if the SA is cost conscious, and he will be cost conscious. With a spinal cord injury, you might want to make it readily apparent that you will be needing regular/weekly x-rays and MRIs and physical therapy and the like, in addition to medications.

You won,t find a bunch of hooch and drug making.
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:15 PM
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oP, you have the right to appear pro se. admit nothing, just ask what they are asking, and try to reduce it to settle the matter. If they are asking 30 days, ask for 20, make sure you are getting day for day.

But it is really up to you and your desire to take that risk.
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Old 10-10-2019, 09:21 PM
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oP, you have the right to appear pro se. admit nothing, just ask what they are asking, and try to reduce it to settle the matter. If they are asking 30 days, ask for 20, make sure you are getting day for day.

But it is really up to you and your desire to take that risk.
Okay thank you. Idw post details publicly but if IDOC doesnt want to deal with my spinal cord injury Im gonna hope the boondocks SA doesnt either for a misdemeanor traffic offense. I have medical letters from four different surgeons. Ill survive whatever it is, I just want it to be done. Would you suggest I call ahead or just attempt to negotiate pro se the day of? Bring the letters, Ill have the braces on. The courtroom was literally filled with rural teenagers who drove 150mph and the SA wanted 15-45 days incarcerated for these kids too. Its the strangest legal process Ive ever witnessed so Im concerned. I know what would happen in Cook, McHenry...I think Ill bring the letters, try to speak with the SA, I am pretty good pro se. I have handled a couple civil matters that way, and I swear with so many years of legal issues and lots of law and order I feel confident. My private attorney commended me on my divorce a few years ago lol. Not to diminish the importance of appropriate counsel! I understand the importance, but this is just so far. So much. I cant drive myself either. And I just want it all done going into 2020 you know?
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:01 PM
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I would call the Clerk of Court and let them know that you will need help with access.

Btw, in very small counties, the PD is one person, sometimes only part time, with the bulk of cases handled by court appointment to the regular bar.
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:47 PM
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Not sure on Illinois-specific law, but it sounds like the prosecutor is making sentencing recommendations as part of a plea deal. The judge can do what he or she wants with that, which is why it's important to know your judge or have an attorney who does.



Being from so far out of the area, I doubt probation is a viable option the judge would consider. Do you have money to pay the fines and costs?


Presenting medical issues can go either way. I had a case where the guy - young guy - had an aneryism. Once the judge saw the brace and incision on his head, client was sent on his way with only the required fines and costs (the official rationale being that since he could no longer physically drive (drunk driving charge), that was sufficient).


On the other hand, I recall a local case where a man kept failing to appear for his sentencing. His attorney kept claiming (and providing medical records to that effect) that the man was literally obese to the point of being home bound. Judge (known to be tough, and sending messages) finally got tired of the delays, checked with the local jail to ensure they could accommodate, and then gave the guy till Friday to turn himself in or the sheriff department would physically remove him from his home with help from medical staff if necessary. Practically speaking, it was a huge drain on resources (the guy was truthfully morbidly obese; his crime was calling in bomb threats). The point, though, is that some judges don't care about the effort it takes to incarcerate someone - either not thinking anything of it, or figuring that it's the sheriff's problem.
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