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Old 05-19-2020, 11:38 AM
toxicshock toxicshock is offline
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Default Sound like an early release scam?

I am reaching out to this forum as a concerned parent of an incarcerated loved one. I have reason to suspect my son may be falling for an early release scam(e.g. has information that might earn him some time and wishes to contact 1 of 2 lawyers' names provided for advice on how to pursue). However, it is unclear how I might confirm this suspicion. I am not sure how to go about getting help confirming that this could be a scam in one form or another. My son was not convinced by my saying simply 'this sounds like a scam' and is pressing me to put money on his books to pay toward a retainer fee. I have researched both lawyers. One is registered with the Bar Association of that state. The other is not and only has a website listed with other apparently legitimate lawyers listed with the Bar Association. Another fact of interest is that neither lawyer is located in the same state as where my son is incarcerated nor does my son have any dealings with the state in question. I just find it all so incredible.
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Old 05-19-2020, 12:43 PM
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Typically, if regulations have changed in such a way that an inmate is "suddenly" eligible for early release, there is no need for an attorney. I'm not familiar with NC (is that where he is located or is he fed?), but others here are. I hope they chime in with the latest and can direct you to resources.

Best of luck.
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:13 PM
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I agree with Mia.
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miamac View Post
Typically, if regulations have changed in such a way that an inmate is "suddenly" eligible for early release, there is no need for an attorney. I'm not familiar with NC (is that where he is located or is he fed?), but others here are. I hope they chime in with the latest and can direct you to resources.

Best of luck.
He is fed. In South Carolina.
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:37 PM
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I've moved your post to the federal forum so you get more specific advice.
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Old 05-19-2020, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toxicshock View Post
I am reaching out to this forum as a concerned parent of an incarcerated loved one. I have reason to suspect my son may be falling for an early release scam(e.g. has information that might earn him some time and wishes to contact 1 of 2 lawyers' names provided for advice on how to pursue). However, it is unclear how I might confirm this suspicion. I am not sure how to go about getting help confirming that this could be a scam in one form or another. My son was not convinced by my saying simply 'this sounds like a scam' and is pressing me to put money on his books to pay toward a retainer fee. I have researched both lawyers. One is registered with the Bar Association of that state. The other is not and only has a website listed with other apparently legitimate lawyers listed with the Bar Association. Another fact of interest is that neither lawyer is located in the same state as where my son is incarcerated nor does my son have any dealings with the state in question. I just find it all so incredible.
One way you could go about this to further confirm your suspicions is to call the attorney's and see if they have indeed been in contact with your son. I too would be weary of what your son has told you and do believe that it's a scam.


I'll give you an example, A new person was imprisoned in my husbands holding county jail. This guy went around telling all the inmates if they had 50,000 cash that they would be able to get a presidential pardon. I told him it was all bullshit. he said he knew, but because the men in there are scared and desperate they tend to believe anything that's told to them. Anyway i looked up presidential pardon the requirements are that you have to have done your prison time and be out for five years and the application fee is only $650.00 and not the $50,000 that this guy claimed.
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Old 05-20-2020, 06:36 AM
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The attorney has to be licensed in the state of conviction. I don't see how any attorney could be legit if they're not registered with the bar. Furthermore, if he were to place a retainer, you would cut a check to the attorney not put it on his books. None of this sounds legit.
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob's Girl View Post
The attorney has to be licensed in the state of conviction. I don't see how any attorney could be legit if they're not registered with the bar. Furthermore, if he were to place a retainer, you would cut a check to the attorney not put it on his books. None of this sounds legit.
Okay, a few things.

First, some states have bars that are more educational and optional. The disciplinary committee usually associated with the top court of a state is where the license is held. Sometimes that is the bar, sometimes it isn't. Example - it is the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Committee that sits the exam, licenses attorneys for IL, and meets out discipline. The Illinois State Bar Association is purely ornamental, and totally optional.

Second, to practice in the federal system, you have to be licensed in a State and then admitted into that federal jurisdiction, which is usually a pretty minor affair.

Hope that helps you understand. Passing the bar merely means that a person is licensed and can pass through the gate from the gallery to the tables where attorneys and parties sit and represent people in court.
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:21 AM
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OP - get a license number. Then find the registration and disciplinary committee for that state's attorney registration. Type in the number you are given and check to make sure they are actually licensed in that state. Then check the disciplinary history of that attorney.

Most communications should include the license number.

Then check with PACER to see what cases that attorney is listed as attorney of record for.

Then do a google search for the name of the corporation/firm and the word, “scam”.

Should be a good start.

Mainly, though, if it looks like a scam and smells like a scam - trust your gut on it.
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Old 05-20-2020, 12:51 PM
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Most people getting out because of Covid do it through the BOP system. No lawyer needed for that. Either the warden and staff chose or the inmate requested release. No need or room for a lawyer in those cases.

The only things an attorney can help with right now is filing a compassionate release request or a Reduction in Sentence in federal court. If your son has medical or family issues that warrant a filing, then he can retain a lawyer to pursue that. The majority of releases given right now did not come through the courts.

Your intuition is spot on. Save your money (and your time.) Maybe you could collect some of the articles that refer to the Barr's 3 memorandum. CARES and First Step Act for your son to educate himself further.
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Old 05-20-2020, 01:09 PM
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Actually, this has nothing to do with Covid-19. This is information he has that he thinks will get him a reduced sentence. Both lawyers I mentioned in my original post seem to be legitimate. They have an active status with that state's supreme court and no history of disciplinary action. However, neither is in the state my son's conviction/sentencing was made in. It makes no sense how they could possibly help him.
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Old 05-20-2020, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toxicshock View Post
Actually, this has nothing to do with Covid-19. This is information he has that he thinks will get him a reduced sentence. Both lawyers I mentioned in my original post seem to be legitimate. They have an active status with that state's supreme court and no history of disciplinary action. However, neither is in the state my son's conviction/sentencing was made in. It makes no sense how they could possibly help him.
If they have a state license, they can be licensed anywhere in the federal system - does not matter. However, the ability to do much of anything without a local contact is next to nothing.

What is the basis for the claim?

Did you LO go to trial or plead out?
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Old 05-20-2020, 02:09 PM
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I do not know the basis of the claim.
He plead out.
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Old 05-20-2020, 08:21 PM
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Has any of the information you've read mentioned "Sovereign" or sovereignty. Might seem like a strange question but there is a sad service that scams folks for filing a useless petition under the guise that the convicted does not recognize the laws which convicted them therefore they do not apply to them. Doesn't sound like what you're reading, but just in case anyone else stumbles across this...you've been warned.
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Old 05-20-2020, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miamac View Post
Has any of the information you've read mentioned "Sovereign" or sovereignty. Might seem like a strange question but there is a sad service that scams folks for filing a useless petition under the guise that the convicted does not recognize the laws which convicted them therefore they do not apply to them. Doesn't sound like what you're reading, but just in case anyone else stumbles across this...you've been warned.
VERY good point!
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Old 05-21-2020, 09:37 AM
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There has been no mention of that kind of terminology. Nevertheless, it sounds like a scam. Simply saying as much is not a deterrent for my son so I am afraid this will be another of his hard-learned lessons.
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Old 05-21-2020, 12:11 PM
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It would also be helpful for him to learn his legal rights and possibilities under the law. If you ask him what statute they planned to use, we could help you sort it out. With the First Step Act, there are some provisions that help inmates get to Home Confinement much sooner. These have been back burnered because of the pandemic, but eventually that would change.
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