View Full Version : Daughter arrested on new charge in FL while on probation from GA


Heartbroken1
03-07-2009, 05:11 PM
My daughter had just turned 17 when she was arrested for 3 counts of residential burglarly in Muscogee County, GA. She was sentenced to 10 years (2 years in a PDC and the remaining 8 years of supervised probation).

She was released 3 years ago and her probation was transferred from Georgia to Florida so she could live with me and I could support her while she found a job and got her life situated. We currently still live in Florida (Broward County). She has:

always tested negative and passed all drug/alcohol tests,
pays her monthly probation/restitution fees,
has reported every month to her PO (has been assigned at least 5 different PO's since she's been here),
has worked for the same employer for the past 3 years (has been promoted to management of a large chain restaurant).
She works a minimum of 10 hours/day (most of the time only has 1 day off per week).
supports her family (sister goes to school, little nephew, and me... since I was laid-off)
HOWEVER... 3 days ago, she was pulled over in Broward County Florida because of a problem with the license plate on the car. The police said that the plate did not belong to her car. It was a mistake and this issue was resolved the next day, but at that moment, they made everyone get out and they searched the car. They found a small amount of weed (less than 20 grams) under the front passenger seat. Her sister, nephew (18 months old), and friend were in the car with her and we suspect that is was her sister's weed. BUT, my daughter told the police it was hers... I know she was trying to protect her sister.

She was charged with:

Possession of cannabis (less than 20 grams) $100 Bond
Failure to register vehicle
Violation of probation NO BOND
She is currently in jail. Her attorney said the weed charge was "bogus" and is confident that it will be dismissed, but no court date has been set yet. The car HAD been registered.... we don't know exactly how that happened, but we got it fixed the next day.

A case # has been assigned to the VOP charge and we're EXTREMELY worried how all of this will affect her probation.... We don't know what to expect.

CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP...

*Does Georgia have to respond or come and get her within a certain period of time before Florida can release her from jail?

*IF she is extradicted back to Georgia... can anyone give us a clue as to where they would take her??? ... what a potential outcome might be???

Thank you all!!

Lordbew/us
03-07-2009, 05:31 PM
I am so sorry, I hope all will work out for your daughter.
I am in GA, but I don't have any good answers for you.
Take Care!

clown9999
03-07-2009, 05:45 PM
i'm in ga, too, and also have no good answers for you. sorry.

Heartbroken1
03-07-2009, 07:03 PM
M.C. and Clown9999... thanks for your thoughts.

RobTheGreat
03-08-2009, 12:13 AM
Often times the PO has a large say in whether or not she will be violated over something like this. You could call her PO, and explain things (or better yet she can call). Some PO's can be understanding, especially with someone who has not caused them any trouble while under supervision. If the PO doesn't make the final decision whether to move forward with violation or not, they can certainly speak to the judge and/or prosecutor. I am not sure what the time frame is for GA to come pick her up, but there is usually a time limit, but right now I'd concentrate on getting the original charges dismissed, in which case they shouldn't violate her. Good luck.

mccuneday
03-08-2009, 08:58 AM
generally they don't expedite on misdemeanor charges . you say she's still incarcerated right? call her po and talk to them and explain the situation . usually if she hasn't given them any trouble they will help. explain that she is the primary bread winner at this time and you need her home. ask her employer if they will write a letter on her behalf . in some states she has to be convicted to be violated. find out if this is so for georgia . try and get a bond hearing this will let you know their intentions.let us know how you make out.

Heartbroken1
03-08-2009, 11:42 AM
Rob ... and Mccuneday,

Thanks to both of you for your insight and suggestions. I really appreciate all of the input.

They had just changed her PO... again. She didn't even know she had a new one until the day of her probation appointment. That night she got pulled over by the police and arrested.

Geezzzz... how things and life can change in just a split second...

boston0068
03-09-2009, 01:18 AM
I spoke with a PO that I know and she told me she generally does not initiate violation paperwork on a misdemeamor unless the charge involves any type of physical assault or domestic violence, especially if the person is out-of-state. I agree with the previous posts about contacting your daughter's PO. Alot of PO's are pretty reasonable. It's more productive for them to work with the individual and certainly more work for them to violate the individual. Good luck.

Mark2008
03-09-2009, 01:58 AM
If she gets the other charges dismissed, they will likely drop the motion to revoke probation. Otherwise, I'd take it to a hearing. Anyone can get in a mixed-up situation and if she did nothing wrong, the DA would have a hard time convincing a judge that she should be revoked.

Heartbroken1
03-09-2009, 10:22 AM
I spoke with her PO here in Florida. She said that Florida is now waiting on Georgia to respond and can't give me a clue as to what to expect from Georgia. Georgia hasn't received the report yet, so they can't tell me anything specific. It seemed that a lot would rest on the PO report from Florida. Should I request a copy of that report? Will they give it to me?

Thanks to everyone for all of the positive thoughts and helpful information!

RobTheGreat
03-09-2009, 02:10 PM
Gotta love dealing with the "system"--ugh! I would say ask for a copy of the report or have the attorney get one for you, it can't hurt and the worst they'd say is no, but in most places it is a matter of public record, so they have to give it to you. They may charge something to make copies, but that usually isn't a lot. What about the attorney, he should have some advice or an idea what will happen (if you can get a hold of him). Attorneys hate to speculate since they don't want you angry if things go worse than they expect, but from experience with that court and/or judge they usually have some pretty good guesses about what will happen. Also, is the attorney court-appointed or private. If it is a public defender or court-appointed attorney, I would urge you to get hire one if at all possible. Public defenders offices are usually overworked, understaffed, underpaid, and unable to provide a good defense, and frankly a lot of them don't care, sad but true. When I was first arrested before going to prison, all I had was a public defender, and the best deal he could make was for 12 years, and his advice was to take it, because if I lost at trial, I'd to 20. Well I finally managed to arrange a private attorney, and the first offer he brought me was 8 years, and then we finally talked them down to 5, so it can make a big difference if you have a private attorney. If you get a copy of the report and the failure to register is still on there, I'd see if you can get the PO to tell GA that charge was straightened out, that way there is just the one charge to deal with, and possibly they can leave her on probation with some added drug testing or mandatory AA or NA meetings, rather than having to serve more time. Good luck.

Mark2008
03-10-2009, 03:29 AM
Has she had the case in florida dismissed yet? That has to be the first order of business. Nothing else will happen until that is resolved.

Heartbroken1
03-10-2009, 09:59 PM
I'm going to request a copy of the PO report that was sent to Georgia. I agree that a private attorney would be best. What a tangled web of events.... I'm just dizzy from all of it.

I was finally able to see my daughter this evening at visitation. When she was initially pulled over by the police, they were going to arrest everyone in the car if no one fessed up to who the little bit of weed belonged to and she was told that they would STILL get her on a VOP for driving a non-registered vehicle EVEN if she WASN'T charged with possession. However, her Florida PO told me that the non-registered vehicle charge was only a citation and they WOULD NOT have violated her on a citation. It was the possession charge that triggered the VOP. The cop did her dirty, but that is a moot point right now.... but I will follow up on it once this is settled.

As it turns out, her sister (my youngest daughter) is going to fess up about the weed belonging to her (which is the truth). She has a short history... was placed on administrative probation for possession of weed (less than 20 grams) last year... and finished it, but she just can't seem to leave the weed alone (and apparently can't keep it out of our car). She is using a private attorney who is going to file an affidavit that the weed belonged to her and the charged against her older sister (the one that was arrested) should be dropped.

***If the possession of marijuana charge is dropped, I am only "assuming" that they cannot hold her with "no bond" and will have to release her. Am I assuming wrong??????

Unfortunately, we can't afford private attorneys for both of the girls, so my older daughter has opted to apply for a public defender and let her little sister use the private attorney. I hope that is not a mistake.

In the meantime, I have been the liason between my oldest daughter and her employer... doing my best to keep her job position open for her. Her supervisor says she is a great worker, they are short of managers, and she needs her back asap and will fight for her to keep her job. I'm also making calls to try to stay on top of things to make sure she gets a quick court date... and hopefully... a quick release.

I WANT TO THANK EVERYONE FOR THE SUPPORT AND FEEDBACK... IT HAS REALLY, REALLY HELPED ME!!!!

Mark2008
03-10-2009, 10:32 PM
***If the possession of marijuana charge is dropped, I am only "assuming" that they cannot hold her with "no bond" and will have to release her. Am I assuming wrong??????

Not exactly. One can be held for a VOP without bond on a whole host of things. It is not necessary to be convicted of another criminal charge to be violated. I never got a second charge, yet was violated twice on technicalities.

The DA (who has the ultimate decision whether to prosecute or not) can be stubborn. This is why I said take it to a hearing if hte DA won't back down. If the evidence is weak and the judge is fair, the judge MAY reinstate her on probation. If the judge is in a bad mood, oh, well. But sometimes the DA may drop the hold and VOP case if he/she thinks the evidence is too weak.

Unfortunately, we can't afford private attorneys for both of the girls, so my older daughter has opted to apply for a public defender and let her little sister use the private attorney. I hope that is not a mistake.

Hard to say. Depends on your strategy and who has the tougher case to fight.

In the meantime, I have been the liason between my oldest daughter and her employer... doing my best to keep her job position open for her. Her supervisor says she is a great worker, they are short of managers, and she needs her back asap and will fight for her to keep her job. I'm also making calls to try to stay on top of things to make sure she gets a quick court date... and hopefully... a quick release.

I WANT TO THANK EVERYONE FOR THE SUPPORT AND FEEDBACK... IT HAS REALLY, REALLY HELPED ME!!!!

Sounds like you are doing all that you can do. Sometimes family members have to realize that, as much as they truly want to help, it isn't THEIR case. One of the collateral damages of incarceration is that one often loses jobs, possessions, etc. It's a sad reality.

Heartbroken1
03-12-2009, 01:48 PM
As an update....

My daughter's employer has placed her on "leave of absence" (without pay) until she is released from the county jail.

I've spoke with several attorneys here in south Florida. All of them tell me that if Georgia does not pick her up within a certain period of time, the county will have to release her... but none of them can tell me with any certainty what that time limit is. I have given a range of 21 - 30 days.

I also spoke with an attorney in Georgia. There is no timeframe or time limit for the local Georgia probation office to make a decision and/or issue a warrant to have her returned to Georgia (if that's what they decide to do).... even though Florida may release her if Georgia doesn't respond within Florida's timeframe. (But, at least she woud be out and able to go back to work)

...I also learned that Georgia does not require that she be convicted of the new charge for there to be a VOP. The arrest alone does the trick...

And... last, but not least, I was told by her Florida PO that Florida only releases reports to the sending state. She refused my request for a copy of the VOP report and said that my daughter would not be able to obtain a copy either. Geezzz!

Special comment to "Mark2008"... You are so right when you wrote:

"...Sometimes family members have to realize that, as much as they truly want to help, it isn't THEIR case. One of the collateral damages of incarceration is that one often loses jobs, possessions, etc. It's a sad reality...."

Mark2008
03-13-2009, 02:54 AM
What you said is very true.

As an update....

My daughter's employer has placed her on "leave of absence" (without pay) until she is released from the county jail.

She is very fortunate to have an employer willing to help her like that, especially in this economy with so many people looking for work.

I've spoke with several attorneys here in south Florida. All of them tell me that if Georgia does not pick her up within a certain period of time, the county will have to release her... but none of them can tell me with any certainty what that time limit is. I have given a range of 21 - 30 days.

Yeah, all that happens is the state of Georgia has to start paying the Florida county money for every day they hold her as a courtesy to Georgia.

I also spoke with an attorney in Georgia. There is no timeframe or time limit for the local Georgia probation office to make a decision and/or issue a warrant to have her returned to Georgia (if that's what they decide to do).... even though Florida may release her if Georgia doesn't respond within Florida's timeframe. (But, at least she woud be out and able to go back to work)

See, Georgia wants to wait and see what happens with the new charge before deciding what to do. If the new charge is dismissed or she is acquitted, the evidence against her on VOP is so weak,why bother extraditing her? If she gets convicted, then Georgia has more amunition to throw at her in the VOP case. So Georgia is waiting to see how the Florida case proceeds. I would put my energies into getting the Florida charges dropped or getting a quick acquittal.

...I also learned that Georgia does not require that she be convicted of the new charge for there to be a VOP. The arrest alone does the trick...

Very true. That is the usual practice in most places. Although, remember, ANYONE can be arrested and accused of anything by bad cops. That's why Georgia wants to wait and see if there is any REAL evidence against her.

And... last, but not least, I was told by her Florida PO that Florida only releases reports to the sending state. She refused my request for a copy of the VOP report and said that my daughter would not be able to obtain a copy either. Geezzz!

Again, pretty standard. There needs to be some standard of disclosure in place. But this is not like a trial. Defendants have far fewer rights; they are guilty until proven innocent simply BECAUSE they are on probation/parole in the first place.

Special comment to "Mark2008"... You are so right when you wrote:

"...Sometimes family members have to realize that, as much as they truly want to help, it isn't THEIR case. One of the collateral damages of incarceration is that one often loses jobs, possessions, etc. It's a sad reality...."

Some things in life we learn the hard way. I did. I shed a tear for people who are going through this and learning the hard way. I hope I don't come across sounding too harsh, but the legal system is not pretty in many cases and I want to be as honest as I can with people. I think most of the people on PTO are really good people caught in sometimes terrible situations.