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Old 06-12-2018, 12:57 PM
4mychildrenonly 4mychildrenonly is offline
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Default Appealing The Sentence after a plea bargain?

Anyone have experience with someone attempting to appeal their sentencing? I've 'heard through the grapevine" that his family was talking about filing an appeal. I can only guess it's for the sentencing since he agreed to the plea bargain - pleading guilty to 1 count of receipt of child porn so I wouldn't think they could appeal the fact he was guilty.

This one count alone has a mandatory minimum of 5 years & up to maximum of 20 years. He got 9 years - so I'm not even sure they would be successful with an appeal to an 'unreasonably excessive' sentencing since it was well within the parameters of the possible sentencing.

I worry how this might come across to my kids. I feel the family tends to lead them in the wrong direction when it comes to expectations. Shoot, they've recently told my kids their Dad has already earned 2 years off his sentencing for good behavior and will most likely get more soon. He's only been incarcerated since Dec 2017, sentenced Feb 2018. I had to explain to my children that this isn't even possible at this point in time AND federal laws only allow 15% for good behavior so at most he'd get 16 months which he has to earn over time. Am I wrong?


I have left a message for the prosecuting attorney and am waiting to hear back but thought I'd ask here since many of you have had great advice/support so far. Thanks!
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Old 06-12-2018, 03:15 PM
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Federal court & prison? If so, by pleading guilty he has extinguished most of his rights to appeal his sentence. 9 years was within the punishments available in the law to the judge who imposed it, so it was not an illegal sentence. Talk to an appeals lawyer to see what is still available (such as ineffective assistance of counsel).

Very few appeals succeed (less than 5% I read) and often take years to resolve. I appealed an obvious error by my federal judge, and wasted a whole lot of money doing it since I eventually lost. I waited nearly 3 years for it to be resolved.

He will earn 423 days of good time at 47 days for each 12 months of his sentence. A pending bill, if it ever becomes law, will change 47 days to 54, giving him an additional 9 weeks of good time. The only program in the bop that awards additional time off of any sentence is the residential drug abuse program, RDAP. If he had a documented substance abuse problem, included in his presentence report is best, he may qualify to enroll in RDAP and possibly earn additional good time for successfully completing it (two completely different things), but not everyone qualifies.

He may also be allowed to serve the last portion of his prison sentence in "community corrections". Up to one year in a half way house or 6 months living at home on home confinement, but the unit team case manager who decides almost never awards that much time. He will still be in bop custody, while in CC, just not living in a prison.

There is also much information posted in the federal prison forums,
http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=186

and in Loving a sex offender
http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=101
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:15 PM
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You're not going to hear from the prosecutor. His job is done and if there is an appeal, it will go to the appellate division of the relevant district.

Very, very rarely is there an accepted plea bargain that doesn't include a provision whereby the defendant gives up all rights to appeal (with few exceptions like actual innocence, etc). An appeal of the sentence would be a waste of money, and it's going to cost money because the case will not go to the Appellate Defender's office for a direct appeal.

His parents are in wishful thinking and fantasy land - a land that is much easier to live in when you don't want to deal with the reality of the situation. Forgive them for this. Don't forgive them for dragging your children into it. Instead, make sure that your kids are aware of the situation, both from the standpoint of what it means with their Dad's sentence as well as what is actually going on with their grandparents. You can make the association between where they are, and the fact that they actually believe their assumptions (and that it's likely that they will be forking over a semester of college or more to find out that he is not entitled to an appeal of his sentence), with their desire for Christmas or some other important day like the end of school. Ask them if they've ever daydreamed about what it would be like to be that day, or to pretend that that special day is next week. And if they actually believe that tommorow is Christmaas and tomorrow comes and it's not Christmas, imagine how disappointed they will be. This is sort of where their grandparents are right now - they firmly believe Christmas is tomorrow.

You can do a BOP inmate search (https://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/) and find him. I don't have a federal inmate atm, at least not one I can pull out off the top of my head and it's been awhile since I've looked anybody up through the inmate locator, but I do believe that the site gives you the person's name, inmate number, location, and projected out date. You can show them that out date so they can have a good understanding that no matter how much The grandparents want their son out of prison, it's definitely not happening tomorrow.

And, it's going to be a minimum of 2 years before a legitimate appeal gets to the point of opinion. Trust me on this - I used to write those opinions. I know when the notice of appeal was filed, and the distance between that date and when the opinion I wrote was signed by the judge.

Oh, and one more thing - if you say he was sentenced in feb. - it's well past time to file any sort of appeal outside of a habeas corpus. His ability to challenge his plea or his sentence is long over outside of something like an actual innocence claim.
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:26 PM
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You can check on pacer to see on what basis he filed an appeal for. People file appeals for all different reasons, but I agree with the others. If the sentence is within the guidelines, it's likely he is not going to win that. Most go back for ineffective counsel, but that is hard to win because again he got below the guidelines.

As for the good behavior argument, so many things can and will change during the time he is in that you can't count on any of that. The bigger issue is that what he hears in prison and tells his family that they then pass on to the kids, which then gets their hopes up. The First Step Act is one right now that have people all up in arms. It has passed the House, and is in the Senate and has bipartisan support, however, some Senators don't think it goes far enough, so instead of passing some prison reform, it's likely they're not going to pass any. For some people, like my husband, (who will be 60 in January), this would be immediate relief, because the elderly prisoner part of it helps him and he is a low risk prisoner. So my husband gets all excited and I have to calm him down. He is already getting out in January, so at best this might be a few week difference. So imagine this guy and what he might be feeding them. So perhaps discuss with a therapist how to deal with those issues with the kids as that will be a big help, in terms of them dealing with the reality of the situation.
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by 4mychildrenonly View Post
Anyone have experience with someone attempting to appeal their sentencing? I've 'heard through the grapevine" that his family was talking about filing an appeal. I can only guess it's for the sentencing since he agreed to the plea bargain - pleading guilty to 1 count of receipt of child porn so I wouldn't think they could appeal the fact he was guilty.

This one count alone has a mandatory minimum of 5 years & up to maximum of 20 years. He got 9 years - so I'm not even sure they would be successful with an appeal to an 'unreasonably excessive' sentencing since it was well within the parameters of the possible sentencing.

I worry how this might come across to my kids. I feel the family tends to lead them in the wrong direction when it comes to expectations. Shoot, they've recently told my kids their Dad has already earned 2 years off his sentencing for good behavior and will most likely get more soon. He's only been incarcerated since Dec 2017, sentenced Feb 2018. I had to explain to my children that this isn't even possible at this point in time AND federal laws only allow 15% for good behavior so at most he'd get 16 months which he has to earn over time. Am I wrong?


I have left a message for the prosecuting attorney and am waiting to hear back but thought I'd ask here since many of you have had great advice/support so far. Thanks!
I haven't read any of the other responses here, so this might be a bit redundant, but I have personal experience with appealing a plea bargain conviction.
If I were a lawyer, just based on what I know now, I would strongly urge a person NOT to plead out on the basis of thinking they could just overturn it later on appeal. It rarely happens. It did happen with me, but only after I began a relationship with a man who was highly respected and active with the judges and D.A and various other lawyers in the small town we lived in. It was basically the epitome of the good ole boy network. Even then, it took while, and quite a few hoops had to be hopped thru.

I've heard of people who claim things like child porn just popped up on their computer without their consent. I don't know if that's true since I've never even remotely experienced it, but you might want to ask an internet computer expert if that can happen. I constantly see womens swimwear and lingerie ads, but maybe there's some sort of filter involved?

Go around to different lawyers in your area, and ask what they think. Maybe even offer to pay for some of their time to speak with you. In my experience, they tend to offer more details in their advice when you do that. But I'd have to say chances are slim here.

Last edited by tdj; 06-15-2018 at 08:07 AM..
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Old 06-15-2018, 01:07 PM
4mychildrenonly 4mychildrenonly is offline
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***This reply was to fbopnomore but I couldn't keep your quote in my reply because it was telling me I couldn't post a URL. It took me another post to figure out what they meant.


Thank you very much for all the information. I haven't approached his family yet because I wanted to understand it more myself before I did so. It will also help me to explain I to my children ahead of time as well.

Last edited by 4mychildrenonly; 06-15-2018 at 01:47 PM..
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Old 06-15-2018, 01:20 PM
4mychildrenonly 4mychildrenonly is offline
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You're not going to hear from the prosecutor. His job is done and if there is an appeal, it will go to the appellate division of the relevant district.

Very, very rarely is there an accepted plea bargain that doesn't include a provision whereby the defendant gives up all rights to appeal (with few exceptions like actual innocence, etc). An appeal of the sentence would be a waste of money, and it's going to cost money because the case will not go to the Appellate Defender's office for a direct appeal.

His parents are in wishful thinking and fantasy land - a land that is much easier to live in when you don't want to deal with the reality of the situation. Forgive them for this. Don't forgive them for dragging your children into it. Instead, make sure that your kids are aware of the situation, both from the standpoint of what it means with their Dad's sentence as well as what is actually going on with their grandparents. You can make the association between where they are, and the fact that they actually believe their assumptions (and that it's likely that they will be forking over a semester of college or more to find out that he is not entitled to an appeal of his sentence), with their desire for Christmas or some other important day like the end of school. Ask them if they've ever daydreamed about what it would be like to be that day, or to pretend that that special day is next week. And if they actually believe that tommorow is Christmaas and tomorrow comes and it's not Christmas, imagine how disappointed they will be. This is sort of where their grandparents are right now - they firmly believe Christmas is tomorrow.

You can do a BOP inmate search and find him. I don't have a federal inmate atm, at least not one I can pull out off the top of my head and it's been awhile since I've looked anybody up through the inmate locator, but I do believe that the site gives you the person's name, inmate number, location, and projected out date. You can show them that out date so they can have a good understanding that no matter how much The grandparents want their son out of prison, it's definitely not happening tomorrow.

And, it's going to be a minimum of 2 years before a legitimate appeal gets to the point of opinion. Trust me on this - I used to write those opinions. I know when the notice of appeal was filed, and the distance between that date and when the opinion I wrote was signed by the judge.

Oh, and one more thing - if you say he was sentenced in feb. - it's well past time to file any sort of appeal outside of a habeas corpus. His ability to challenge his plea or his sentence is long over outside of something like an actual innocence claim.
Thank you. You are right, the Prosecuting Attorney has not returned my call. It is good to know that my ex could have signed his right to appeal away from the very beginning. I have kept out of the defendant's side of everything as I was subpoenaed to testify in front of the Grand Jury against him and I've made it clear all along that my number 1 priority is the welfare of my children. All the way up to the sentencing the arresting FBI agent kept me posted on everything like what to expect and what the charges were, and both she & the prosecuting attorney had answered all my questions regarding the laws, the plea bargain offered and possible sentences for each of his charges. I know I can reach out to the FBI agent again with some questions but she is out of the country right now and I don't want to bother her if I could find out elsewhere.

My kids have learned over the last year that I will always tell them the truth and luckily they were able to handle the majority of the things that happened, since the day of the raid as best as possible since they were prepared.

I will try to talk to the grandparents again, I don't want to make this difficult for them as I understand they are hurting, however, I must make it clear to them I will not allow them to set my kids up for false hope on a regular basis. Not to mention, as my kids get older, they will just not want to spend time with them if they continue to harp on these things. I have encouraged my kids to move on, go back to being kids & enjoying life. We can't let the errors of their Dad bring us down in life. We have much to be thankful for and I have finally seen them turn around in the last few months, simply because the sentencing happened, he was moved out of state and we could try to get back to our normal routines.

Sorry, I didn't mean for this to turn into that but I really do appreciate the information! I feel much better knowing these things.
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Old 06-15-2018, 01:33 PM
4mychildrenonly 4mychildrenonly is offline
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You're not going to hear from the prosecutor. His job is done and if there is an appeal, it will go to the appellate division of the relevant district.

Very, very rarely is there an accepted plea bargain that doesn't include a provision whereby the defendant gives up all rights to appeal (with few exceptions like actual innocence, etc). An appeal of the sentence would be a waste of money, and it's going to cost money because the case will not go to the Appellate Defender's office for a direct appeal.

His parents are in wishful thinking and fantasy land - a land that is much easier to live in when you don't want to deal with the reality of the situation. Forgive them for this. Don't forgive them for dragging your children into it. Instead, make sure that your kids are aware of the situation, both from the standpoint of what it means with their Dad's sentence as well as what is actually going on with their grandparents. You can make the association between where they are, and the fact that they actually believe their assumptions (and that it's likely that they will be forking over a semester of college or more to find out that he is not entitled to an appeal of his sentence), with their desire for Christmas or some other important day like the end of school. Ask them if they've ever daydreamed about what it would be like to be that day, or to pretend that that special day is next week. And if they actually believe that tommorow is Christmaas and tomorrow comes and it's not Christmas, imagine how disappointed they will be. This is sort of where their grandparents are right now - they firmly believe Christmas is tomorrow.

You can do a BOP inmate search and find him. I don't have a federal inmate atm, at least not one I can pull out off the top of my head and it's been awhile since I've looked anybody up through the inmate locator, but I do believe that the site gives you the person's name, inmate number, location, and projected out date. You can show them that out date so they can have a good understanding that no matter how much The grandparents want their son out of prison, it's definitely not happening tomorrow.

And, it's going to be a minimum of 2 years before a legitimate appeal gets to the point of opinion. Trust me on this - I used to write those opinions. I know when the notice of appeal was filed, and the distance between that date and when the opinion I wrote was signed by the judge.

Oh, and one more thing - if you say he was sentenced in feb. - it's well past time to file any sort of appeal outside of a habeas corpus. His ability to challenge his plea or his sentence is long over outside of something like an actual innocence claim.
Thank you for the link as well. I used it to also send an inmate concern about the fact my ex is receiving pictures of my children when I specifically requested his family not send any. My understanding is that he is housed with other men incarcerated for Child Porn and I do not want their pictures floating around that. I found out pics were sent against my wishes when the girlfriend thought it was funny & told my daughter that a cellmate mistook my 14 year old daughter to be the girlfriend.

I really don't know my rights or more importantly the children's rights when it comes to this but before I AGAIN go back to his parents about this.

I saw that his release date is 10.05.2025, this will help my kids to see this in print.
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Old 06-15-2018, 01:35 PM
4mychildrenonly 4mychildrenonly is offline
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You can check on pacer to see on what basis he filed an appeal for. People file appeals for all different reasons, but I agree with the others. If the sentence is within the guidelines, it's likely he is not going to win that. Most go back for ineffective counsel, but that is hard to win because again he got below the guidelines.

As for the good behavior argument, so many things can and will change during the time he is in that you can't count on any of that. The bigger issue is that what he hears in prison and tells his family that they then pass on to the kids, which then gets their hopes up. The First Step Act is one right now that have people all up in arms. It has passed the House, and is in the Senate and has bipartisan support, however, some Senators don't think it goes far enough, so instead of passing some prison reform, it's likely they're not going to pass any. For some people, like my husband, (who will be 60 in January), this would be immediate relief, because the elderly prisoner part of it helps him and he is a low risk prisoner. So my husband gets all excited and I have to calm him down. He is already getting out in January, so at best this might be a few week difference. So imagine this guy and what he might be feeding them. So perhaps discuss with a therapist how to deal with those issues with the kids as that will be a big help, in terms of them dealing with the reality of the situation.
Thank you for your reply. My children are handling it better than I expected. I guess the past year of me telling them the truth and his family exaggerating things has helped in that sense. Good luck with your husband! January is not too far away but then again I'm sure it still feels like a lifetime.
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Old 06-15-2018, 01:45 PM
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I haven't read any of the other responses here, so this might be a bit redundant, but I have personal experience with appealing a plea bargain conviction.
If I were a lawyer, just based on what I know now, I would strongly urge a person NOT to plead out on the basis of thinking they could just overturn it later on appeal. It rarely happens. It did happen with me, but only after I began a relationship with a man who was highly respected and active with the judges and D.A and various other lawyers in the small town we lived in. It was basically the epitome of the good ole boy network. Even then, it took while, and quite a few hoops had to be hopped thru.

I've heard of people who claim things like child porn just popped up on their computer without their consent. I don't know if that's true since I've never even remotely experienced it, but you might want to ask an internet computer expert if that can happen. I constantly see womens swimwear and lingerie ads, but maybe there's some sort of filter involved?

Go around to different lawyers in your area, and ask what they think. Maybe even offer to pay for some of their time to speak with you. In my experience, they tend to offer more details in their advice when you do that. But I'd have to say chances are slim here.
I testified to the Grand Jury that the day his house was raided, my kids happened to be spending the week with their Dad as their 'summer week' and so they were there when the FBI showed up. Trying to keep a long story short, the living arrangements of my ex led the FBI to believe they were looking for his Father as there was no record of a 46 year old man living there, let alone the possibility of children being there. I was contacted by the FBI agent and told to immediately pick up my children. My ex MIL brought them to me. Later that afternoon, I had to return to his place to pick up my children's belongings - he was not arrested so he was there and I immediately started questioning him (at this point I had no idea how much he was involved in child porn). He told me then that he never touched the children (this was found to be truthful once the kids had to go through extensive forensic interviews). The kicker was he told me he started looking at child porn around the end of our marriage (2013). When I mentioned this to the FBI Agent, this apparently established a timeline for them which is why I was subpoenaed to testify to the Grand Jury.

It DID come out in the forensic interview with my youngest, that he was exposed to seeing porn on his Dad's phone and started searching it himself. He was TEN. I turned over my son's kindle to the FBI agent and they only found regular porn which they wiped clean and returned to us. My son is in counseling for addiction to porn and has no access to internet without supervision. The FBI agent explained to me that Child Porn is found on the Dark Web and it's nearly impossible to 'accidently' pull it up which is why she was not surprised that it was not found on my son's kindle.

It's been a nightmare but like I said to another, I felt once the sentencing happened the kids & I are finally back on track to making life normal again and now his parents are stirring this up.

Thanks so much!
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Old 06-15-2018, 03:41 PM
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Thank you for your reply. My children are handling it better than I expected. I guess the past year of me telling them the truth and his family exaggerating things has helped in that sense. Good luck with your husband! January is not too far away but then again I'm sure it still feels like a lifetime.
Wow! And, I think you are doing right by your children by being honest. Not being so will only hurt them in the long run. I have learned in the last 10 years or so, that it is much better to come out ahead of things than to wait for something to bite you in the ass later because once it comes out, and it usually does, it's much worse and more people get hurt. Same if you lie. When people lie, they have to remember what lies they told. If you always tell the truth, then you have nothing to fear.

As for kids, they are very resilient. I can't imagine what it must've been like to find out that your son was looking at porn due to what his father showed him. No clue what kind of person does that to a child, and their own child no less!

No wonder you are outraged that he was given pictures of your children. I can understand the parents wanting to show him pictures of the kids and being in denial over that, and thinking they're helping him, afterall we parents will do absolutely anything for our children, but they obviously did not look at the big picture there and who else would be able to see those pictures. I hope they were removed from his possession.

As for my husband, just over 7 months to go. I'm hanging in! Hardest part is when I want his advice or expertise to make a decision and he isn't here to consult with. I have my kids and work to keep me busy. This summer may be lonely because he is not here and I'm not working and we usually do some traveling while my kids are at camp, or doing their own thing, so it may be challenging, but thank you for your well wishes and hang in there!!
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Old Yesterday, 01:45 PM
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Wow! And, I think you are doing right by your children by being honest. Not being so will only hurt them in the long run. I have learned in the last 10 years or so, that it is much better to come out ahead of things than to wait for something to bite you in the ass later because once it comes out, and it usually does, it's much worse and more people get hurt. Same if you lie. When people lie, they have to remember what lies they told. If you always tell the truth, then you have nothing to fear.

As for kids, they are very resilient. I can't imagine what it must've been like to find out that your son was looking at porn due to what his father showed him. No clue what kind of person does that to a child, and their own child no less!

No wonder you are outraged that he was given pictures of your children. I can understand the parents wanting to show him pictures of the kids and being in denial over that, and thinking they're helping him, afterall we parents will do absolutely anything for our children, but they obviously did not look at the big picture there and who else would be able to see those pictures. I hope they were removed from his possession.

As for my husband, just over 7 months to go. I'm hanging in! Hardest part is when I want his advice or expertise to make a decision and he isn't here to consult with. I have my kids and work to keep me busy. This summer may be lonely because he is not here and I'm not working and we usually do some traveling while my kids are at camp, or doing their own thing, so it may be challenging, but thank you for your well wishes and hang in there!!

It's interesting that they even allowed him to have pictures. When I was in county, someone tried to send me pictures of my kids, but the jailers wouldn't let me have them. The other inmates could only speculate that since my case involved allegations of sex crimes by my now ex, and that I was currently incarcerated on charges of enabling, they figured that was why I wasn't allowed to have the pictures. Of course it's also possible that the jailers in that particular county were just a bunch of petulant, nasty bitches. Which they WERE.
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