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New Jersey General Prison Talk, Introductions & Chit Chat Topics & Discussions relating to Prison & the Criminal Justice System in New Jersey that do not fit into any other New Jersey sub-forum category. Please feel free to also introduce yourself to other members in the state and talk about whatever topics come to mind that may not have anything to do with prison.

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Old 12-17-2018, 05:38 PM
Nj mother Nj mother is offline
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Default Son thinking of taking back guilty plea

Sentencing day is tomorrow. He was pushed into pleading guilty and taking plea of 12 yrs.

We feel his lawyer just wanted to be done. he feels confused and wants more guidance. He wants to understand more of what he's being found guilty of. It's a complicated case and I told him he should let the judge know how he feels without challenging him.

I told the lawyer how he feels to give him a heads up. The sentencing was postponed from today to tomorrow. The lawyer said they need more time to consider the arguments the defense made for a sentence reduction which could mean good news. I think that's the lawyers b.s. and don't trust him. I was told the judge has to comply with the mandatory minimum and the sentence cannot be reduced.
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Old 12-17-2018, 06:30 PM
Girl22472 Girl22472 is offline
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Depending on his crime and if a mandatory minimum is applied then no, it could not be reduced beyond that time. Do you know what the mandatory minimum is?
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Old 12-19-2018, 12:23 PM
yourself yourself is offline
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Okay, there are differences between states, but generally, to withdraw a plea, your son needs to demonstrate a few things;

A claim of actual innocence, or
A claim that he was materially hampered in making the decision to plea, and
That the State will not be materially harmed in withdrawing the plea.

We will ignore actual innocence, since that’s pretty self explanatory. Let’s address those other issues:

Before accepting a plea, a judge asks a bunch of obvious questions - is he under the assumption that he will gain outside of the four corners of the plea agreement (improper incudement - plead guilty and we will buy your mom a house sort of thing), is he intoxicated, is he satisfied with his attorney, etc, etc, etc. he probably answered that he was satisfied with his attorney, so he’s going to have to come up with a damned good reason as to why he has changed his mind and is waiting until the actual day of sentencing to try to withdraw his plea.

will the state be materially harmed by delaying sentence? Depends. How many witnesses would be brought in for sentencing, how many people are taking off work, how many hours has the judge spent reading character letters for and against the defendant, how involved with the PSR (because that is already done), how much money and time will be involved and how much time has passed since the crime to the sentencing. There are a ton of intangible factors that go into this, not the least of which are the delays that would be laid at your son's feet.

Look, it’s not easy, but before sentencing it is a bit easier than after. He’s still going to have to overcome his satisfaction with his attorney at his change of plea to have a hope of convincing a judge that he suddenly is no longer satisfied. They will not give relief if they suspect “buyer's remorse” on the plea deal.
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Old 12-20-2018, 06:42 AM
Nj mother Nj mother is offline
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Default Son wants to withdraw plea

Thanks for your replies. Sentencing day came and was postponed because my son was very upset that the lead lawyer sent his associate . We are all angry with this firm because we've seen very little of the lawyer we hired. We hired him for a reason and are disappointed. This lawyer sold himself on lies about my son having a strong defense and prosecutor has nothing. We paid a flat fee to him and he said that would cover all costs to a trial if necessary. I knew that after 3 years this guy had wished we were paying him hourly. He even hinted at it. We feel he wants to finish up quickly.

So my son requested a postponement so the lead lawyer can appear and the judge granted it. My husband pointed out some things to his associate and now it seems they will write another attachment to the sentence reduction request asking for a lower sentence. It's a violation of graves act and it was a 12 yr sentence with parole after 9. They told us that was the best scenario. Now they are requesting less. Sentencing is next month.

I appreciate all the feedback.

Thank you
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Old 12-20-2018, 07:09 AM
rockchalk1 rockchalk1 is offline
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Since you have some time before he is sentenced, you may want to talk to another defense lawyer as well as look into ineffective counsel, and/or suing him for malpractice (by speaking to a lawyer specializing in that).

Someone that is in prison (albeit federal) with my husband had a defense lawyer that told the guy not to tell the PO doing his PSR that he was an alcoholic and that it would hurt him. As it turns out, it would not have hurt him because he would have been eligible for the RDAP program and get out a year early. However, since there's no record whatsoever in his PSR, he now cannot get into the program and is furious with the attorney but his only recourse is to sue for malpractice, yet he isn't really in the position to do so now that he's away and working with someone else to try to get into the RDAP anyway, with no luck. So, the key is do whatever you can now to ensure the best defense for your husband as your lawyer is supposed to be his advocate not where you feel he is not doing his job.

You can also file a claim with the disciplinary board for NJ and they will also look into it. In New Jersey it is the DRB - Disciplinary Review Board of the Supreme Court of New Jersey http://drblookupportal.judiciary.sta...us/Search.aspx you can also look to see if there's been any prior disciplinary action against him. But don't be afraid to contact them, or let him know you're contacting them. It's your right.
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