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  #1  
Old 09-30-2019, 03:20 AM
Sassygrl911 Sassygrl911 is offline
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Default Desperate girlfriend: Need help writing letter to Judge

Hi
My boyfriend is close to sentencing in florida for 2 sales of heroin charges. He was married previously and has 4 children. He was a great dad and father. He was in a terrible car accident 12 years ago that left him in a wheel chair for 18 months and eventually led him to an addiction to opiates. He was not a drug dealer he was an addict trying to feed his addiction. He is currently out on bond and the state is accepting no plea deals in his case and trying to give him the max sentence of two 15 yr sentences. A total of 30 years. He has been completely clean from opiates for 18 months and these charges are almost 3 years old. we have a public defender that seems to be no help. The judge nor the prosecutors know any thing about the car accident what kind of husband and father he used to be or that he is an addict that is now clean. The public defender refuses to present this evidence to the judge. We are now taking it to trial. We have found a 2 year faith mens rehab that we are willing to pay for. I believe with the help of God anfd treatment he will do well. I am considering writting the judge on behalf of myself and his children telling his story and requesting treatment and not prison. He is the kindest most caring man i know. I can not imagine spending the rest of my life without him. I figure it cant hurt and the judge will atleast know his side of the story. If anyone could help me write this or refer me to someone that can help me pls do. I am also attaching a letter wriiten by my boyfriend him self that we composed a few months ago r
when we were looking for a pro bono attorney. which we did not find. It will explain his story as well. Please i am begging for someone to help me or the i am in love with my best friend will go t prison for 30 years and the judge will not even know the whole story.
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Old 09-30-2019, 05:56 AM
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Any letters you might send, need to go thru his attny. Please dont send them yourself without vetting them thru his attny first. Same as with any letters. (from friends, the children etc)
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Old 09-30-2019, 07:03 AM
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[quote=Sassygrl911;7796021]Hi
My boyfriend is close to sentencing in florida for 2 sales of heroin charges. He was married previously and has 4 children. He was a great dad and father. He was in a terrible car accident 12 years ago that left him in a wheel chair for 18 months and eventually led him to an addiction to opiates. He was not a drug dealer he was an addict trying to feed his addiction. He is currently out on bond

I agree with sidewalker thats a bad move. The discussions and negotiations need to take place between the states attorney and the PD. You can call the PD office and try to request a special pd to replace yours. Its a shot but the Pd office is where you need to be voicing these concerns. Assertively and without emotion so you are taken seriously. Best wishes, Im adding you guys to my prayer list.
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Old 09-30-2019, 09:32 AM
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Let the attorney know that you've found & are willing to pay for a rehab. Its the attorney's job to present any alternatives to the Prosecutor and to the Judge. Due to the seriousness of his charges it may well be denied.....but there's no harm / no foul in requesting rehab. Hope for the best, expect the worst. Good Luck!
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Old 09-30-2019, 12:26 PM
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When you say "sales of heroin" charges (as opposed to a "possession" or "possession with intent to distribute"), the issues here are two, and it doesn't take direct knowledge of Florida law to know this.


1.) They have knowledge of him participating in the actual sale of the drug.
2.) They have knowledge of him possessing enough of the drug to know that a sale was possible (and given the length of time that he's facing, I have to assume that the quantity was high.)

I'm a bit baffled that no plea bargains were offered, and this is something I would want to express to the Public Defender's office. Without knowing his prior record, I don't know why they want to string him up so badly. Maybe others were involved and they plead out and took better deals. Maybe the evidence against him is so overwhelming that they feel no need to offer a bargain even if he's willing to plead guilty. Then of course my other question would be, did someone die as the result of a drug that he sold? That last one could be a big part of why they won't budge (essentially punishing the dealer for selling rather than putting responsibility on the user who made a free will choice to purchase and use.)


Regardless of the facts (and if it's something like "he sold two baggies on two different occasions of small amounts," then I'd agree that 15 years per charge is ridiculous....which is why I'm assuming this is a mucm more serious matter than that...) ANYTHING that you do needs to run through the lawyer. Going to the judge or the prosecutor without going through your own attorney is a dangerous game and can backfire badly.


I was in a position once where a Deputy DA took pity on me and heard me out. It worked out well. I'll also say that it was beyond lucky and I don't recommend that anyone actually seek out that approach. This is why: my then-girlfriend was being tried on an in-prison drug charge. Nobody ever shows up for those women. Sometimes they get a private lawyer but most of them get a public defender and then nobody shows up for their court dates. Her lawyer at the time was, for lack of a better way of putting it, handling things unprofessionally so he decided to effectively punish her side for stalling by putting her hearing off for after 4 p.m. (most of the time when she had a court date she was done by 10:30 a.m. and back into the county jail shortly thereafter and could call me on her afternoon phone time.) Not only was I there for the morning, I stayed all day.


The oddity of seeing a man stay for a woman already in prison all day is what provoked the Deputy DA to do what he did, sit down with me, discuss the case and essentially let me explain why she deserved a better deal. He literally told me "sir, I don't say this lightly when I tell you that I never do what I'm doing right now, and most people in my office wouldn't do it either, but these circumstances are so odd that I just need to know, in your words, why this one is so special."


Does your voice matter? Yes.


Will the DA or the judge care? Longshot.


Write your letter. Consult with the Public Defender's office. Hope for the best. Unfortunately, prepare for the worst.


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Old 09-30-2019, 12:33 PM
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I’m baffled by no plea offer too. And unclear about the charges exactly like missingdee but that’s neither here nor there rn. And I would DEFINITELY push for the sentences to be CONCURRENT. Have it written in the sentencing order. Ensure his Pd is on that becuz that’s a lot of time.
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Old 09-30-2019, 02:57 PM
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I know you're getting loads of information from other users and overall these users have much more knowledge than I do about a lot of these aspects.

I'm here to simply reply with a bit of what the others have said.

1. You NEED to communicate utilizing your public defender/attorney in order to get your message across, communicating directly with the DA/Judge probably won't have any effect because you're not directly connected to the crime or his charges (DV for example).

In my case I was a Domestic, my "victim" submitted a complete notarized letter and apology to my attorney which was forwarded to the DA/Judge and later read in court that changed my near 5 year 3 felony charge into a 24 month 1 felony sentence.

Your voice DOES matter but the best I can recommend as a last attempt is to communicate through your attorney and see what is offered as a possible resolution. If no plea deals are being offer if could unfortunately be the fault of the public defender, I used a public defender and she did as best a job as she could for me but I also know paid-lawyers can have a surreal effect on the case. You may want to look into a lawyer who's willing to take on the case and accept payments after the case is complete?
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Old 09-30-2019, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassygrl911 View Post
Hi
My boyfriend is close to sentencing in florida for 2 sales of heroin charges. He was married previously and has 4 children. He was a great dad and father. He was in a terrible car accident 12 years ago that left him in a wheel chair for 18 months and eventually led him to an addiction to opiates. He was not a drug dealer he was an addict trying to feed his addiction. He is currently out on bond and the state is accepting no plea deals in his case and trying to give him the max sentence of two 15 yr sentences. A total of 30 years. He has been completely clean from opiates for 18 months and these charges are almost 3 years old. we have a public defender that seems to be no help. The judge nor the prosecutors know any thing about the car accident what kind of husband and father he used to be or that he is an addict that is now clean. The public defender refuses to present this evidence to the judge. We are now taking it to trial. We have found a 2 year faith mens rehab that we are willing to pay for. I believe with the help of God anfd treatment he will do well. I am considering writting the judge on behalf of myself and his children telling his story and requesting treatment and not prison. He is the kindest most caring man i know. I can not imagine spending the rest of my life without him. I figure it cant hurt and the judge will atleast know his side of the story. If anyone could help me write this or refer me to someone that can help me pls do. I am also attaching a letter wriiten by my boyfriend him self that we composed a few months ago r
when we were looking for a pro bono attorney. which we did not find. It will explain his story as well. Please i am begging for someone to help me or the i am in love with my best friend will go t prison for 30 years and the judge will not even know the whole story.

To go along with what the others wrote, I would touch base with the PD to first make certain how much time he's really facing. The 15 years sounds like a maximum penalty; most states have sentencing guidelines that would put his sentence somewhere less (and likely far less) than 15 years.


As an example, here in Michigan, delivery/manufacturing is a 20 year; guidelines on someone with history might be 40-60 months - so about 4-5 years.



It does not surprise me that there are no offers. A lot of communities are tough on particular drug offenses - particularly meth and heroin. Is there still a benefit to pleading? Possibly. There is something to be said at sentencing for taking responsibility early. But unlike the federal system where the guidelines allow for a specific departure for that, in state systems, it's almost always up to the individual judges. Some judges do take a person's ownership into account and sentence lower - either because they genuinely see that as the moral thing to do or as a slight reward for getting off their docket; some don't.
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Old 10-01-2019, 08:19 AM
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It may be too early in the process for pleas. You didnt state, but sometimes the longer you thru the court system, sometimes that can work in your favor.\
you might also check some of the sticky's in this forum and read thru them.
Like this one
http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=688727
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Old 10-01-2019, 09:16 AM
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I don’t mean to be harsh but an addict selling drugs to feed his addiction is still a drug dealer in the eyes of the law. Many people get clean and go into treatment while awaiting trails on charges. Some stay clean for life and change their life BUT that doesn’t take away the crime in the systems eyes. You will get some judges and DA’s that will take this into consideration and some don’t care they only look at the crime. You got a lot of really good advice here from people who have been through it I hope you go through the proper channels to deliver your letters. It’s hard when our loved ones are only seen as their crime and not as the human beings they are by the courts. I wish you the best.
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Old 10-01-2019, 10:08 AM
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Our stories are similar in regard to an accident and being hooked. I get it, but as Kimmi said it doesnt take away the wrongdoing. The ownership here is that they did something horrible and disgusting to others. We can rationalize it because we love the person, but it doesnt make it go away.

When they choose their addiction over everything else, they were not the loving and kind husband, father. Boyfriend, uncle, son etc.

Be careful with trial because if they have solid evidence sometimes they punishment is even harsher. The lawyer should have received the discovery and should talk to him about how much is there. Amount sold, how many times, etc all plays into it. If multiple charges, they could get max time on every single one.

Love them and support them, but the poor him story may not get him very far. My advice to my fiance was to own it. Own all of it. It took time for him to come to terms with all he did wrong. He purposefully stays away from drug addicts and has been since day 4 in county.

Prison has actually taught him a lot about himself and his priorities.

But like you, in the beginning, I was crazed to help him. There was nothing I could do, since he dug himself a huge hole. He did and there was nothing I could do to stop the train wreck he created.

Hopefully with time a deal will be placed on the table or sentences can be run concurrently. My fiance's lawyer initially thought 12-15, first deal was 8, final deal was 6.

1st time offender as well.

I loved him and supported through everything, but I didnt get involved. There may be a lot you dont know about. I didnt initially.
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Old 10-01-2019, 11:58 AM
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Its a lawyers job, regardless of it being a PD or not to argue the best possible case for their client. If you feel your lawyer wont do that - what are his or her justifications. There may be a reason - such as the judge doesnt care, or has notoriously been harsh on drug dealers or users. I agree with others that 15 years is crazy for just a little sale. Other than that, if youre willing to spend money on treatment for someone that is already clean perhaps you can spend that money on a lawyer. You can probably find one for a decent rate for this type of charge - if its as simple as it seems to be.
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Old 10-01-2019, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
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Its a lawyers job, regardless of it being a PD or not to argue the best possible case for their client. If you feel your lawyer wont do that - what are his or her justifications. There may be a reason - such as the judge doesnt care, or has notoriously been harsh on drug dealers or users. I agree with others that 15 years is crazy for just a little sale. Other than that, if youre willing to spend money on treatment for someone that is already clean perhaps you can spend that money on a lawyer. You can probably find one for a decent rate for this type of charge - if its as simple as it seems to be.
The lawyer is not her lawyer. The lawyer does not have to talk with her. She has no right to information concerning the case from the lawyer.

OP

If your man doesn't like his lawyer, he can fire her. If you want to try to find him an attorney, ask him if he wants this. If so, try. If not, don't try.

You are getting that he is facing a max of 15 years on both charges. At Arraignment, he is told the max sentence for each charge. This is not the sentence he will get unless the activity was especially grievous and he has a long record, or this is a particular issue for that County.

You are adding both 15 year possibilities together to get 30 years. 30 years is consecutive sentencing, meaning he has to serve one and then the other. Consecutive is also rare. Concurrent, meaning he serves both at the same time, is far more common.

The conduct was 3 years ago - when was he arraigned? When was his trial? Did he blind plea guilty at arraignment? Without an actual finding of guilt, you are no where near sentencing and sentencing may never happen if he is not either found guilty or admits his guilt in a court of law.

Letters, character and otherwise, are irrelevant until there is a finding of guilt. Nobody cares what he has done since, how sober he is, what a good father he is or anything else about his character until there is an actual finding of guilt and they move on to sentencing.
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Old 11-02-2019, 12:42 AM
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He has two sales of heroin charges both with total weight of .9 not even 1 gram. The judge is an advocate against heroin and accepts no plea deals. You can google Judge Maltz accepts no plea deals on heroin charges in st johns county. So yes this is crazy and the public defender helps none
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Old 11-02-2019, 10:44 AM
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You must never approach the judge. He or she will do the sentencing and there will be a time to plead for leniency in open court. But the action right now is between the state and your man. You can request another attorney if you feel this one isn't doing a good job. And that attorney works for you all so he or she can be given all the information to build the case. Write a summary that is easy to read and give it to the lawyer to help build the case.
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Old 11-02-2019, 10:49 AM
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I cover court news so spend a lot of time hanging around in hearings. If there is no plea deal, the case is strong and they are confident of winning it. However, it costs a fortunate to go to trial, so they may be playing a game where your man has to plead to something high to get out of the full sentence. I agree with others that there may have been serious harm on the other side of the drug sales, which will also make them less likely to plea.
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Old 11-02-2019, 11:29 AM
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Since the judge assigned to the case apparently has personal animosity for that specific crime (and probably others too), don't write him unless your BF's lawyer says it is a good idea. Catching the wrong judge is exasperating, but making that judge even angrier than he already is can make the sentence even harsher.
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:46 AM
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we have people in FL and am familiar with ole judge Maltz. He needs to be remove from his position, he no longer is able to do it with fairness and his sentencing is beyond a reason .


As an example
https://reason.com/2017/04/14/florid...for-possessin/

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Old 11-03-2019, 02:45 PM
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Once a "million year judge" arrives on the judicial bench, they are often there for life. The ones appointed to the US federal bench are put there for life, and incumbency is usually a sufficient reason for many Florida voters to continue to reelect awful sheriffs & judges.
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:20 AM
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Once a "million year judge" arrives on the judicial bench, they are often there for life. The ones appointed to the US federal bench are put there for life, and incumbency is usually a sufficient reason for many Florida voters to continue to reelect awful sheriffs & judges.

The truth is that until someone is on the receiving end of a tough judge, either personally or with a loved one, I would say a good portion of the population favors incarceration, a lot of it, and wants their judges to sentence accordingly. I don't think you'll ever find an incumbent judge voted out for being too tough; quite the contrary: when it does happen (and it is rare), it's usually because the judge is deemed soft.



Same thing with police brutality. People for the most part have no problem with aggressive police. The good people would want police to be tough equally; and no one wants the police to be tough with them or a loved one.
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:46 PM
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I wonder if a letter from the treatment facility saying they will accept him & outlining their treatment program would be of any help. If the charges weren't for any other offense & he would be eligible for 1st Offender then maybe they would be willing to consider an alternative sentence.
I'm not a legal mind but for someone with no previous record & who was already turning their life around, sentencing them to a 2 year inpatient treatment facility(at their expense) with the rest of the sentence on probation might be a good compromise. There would still be a consequence to their actions but the person would get the needed treatment to overcome any addictive thinking & it wouldn't cost the state money to house them for a certain number of years.
Definitely let the lawyer screen anything you want to submit. What we might think is ok or compelling might accidentally say something that makes it worse. If the lawyer agrees then letters from people in the community might help. Some lawyers have a sample of the type of letters to write. If he has a support system, employment, active in church or the community, all those are positives.
At the end of the day it's up to the judge. I have seen some DAs agree to a compromise deal that would keep the community safe, have him suffer the consequences for what he did & also look like they were tough on crime. Your loved one has to be the one that makes the decisions. We are just the ones that can voice our opinions to them & pick up the pieces.
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