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California Prison & Criminal Justice News & Events + 3 Strikes Do you have news relating to California's Prison or Ciminal Justice System and related efforts? Post them here! Also discuss 3 Strike laws.

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  #1  
Old 08-04-2012, 09:43 PM
SheO.Who SheO.Who is offline
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Default Husband facing 25 - Life

My husband was arrested for a DUI in March of 2012 and is still in County Jail waiting for a hearing. This is his 4th DUI and was on County Supervision when he was arrested in March. They are trying to strike him out. His PD is wanting him to take a deal, or should I say "plea bargain" of 10 to 15 years. The DA wants him to get 25 to life. He has priors dating back to 1988. We asked the PD to use the Romero Motion, to strike a strike, but he said that it would just piss off the judge and he would then sentence him 25 to life. His bail hold was just lifted and now my husband is wanting me to bail him out. He believes that if he bails out, he will go straight to a program for his alcoholism and work until the court date and this would help his case by showing the judge that he truly wants help for his addiction. Of course this will be extremely expensive for me. Would it be best for him to bail out or to just stay inside? Could it hurt him or help him?
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by SheO.Who View Post
My husband was arrested for a DUI in March of 2012 and is still in County Jail waiting for a hearing. This is his 4th DUI and was on County Supervision when he was arrested in March. They are trying to strike him out. His PD is wanting him to take a deal, or should I say "plea bargain" of 10 to 15 years. The DA wants him to get 25 to life. He has priors dating back to 1988. We asked the PD to use the Romero Motion, to strike a strike, but he said that it would just piss off the judge and he would then sentence him 25 to life. His bail hold was just lifted and now my husband is wanting me to bail him out. He believes that if he bails out, he will go straight to a program for his alcoholism and work until the court date and this would help his case by showing the judge that he truly wants help for his addiction. Of course this will be extremely expensive for me. Would it be best for him to bail out or to just stay inside? Could it hurt him or help him?
In my opinion, this is happening for a reason and sometimes when we bail our LO's out, we are not holding them accountable for their actions. I would caution you on doing that for him. He needs to learn a lesson in all of this.

If he is really serious about being in recovery, once he is sentenced, he can then focus on all the programs they offer for him.

I know it is difficult for you to be in this situation and my heart goes out to you. This all boils down to what he wants to make out of whatever sentence he receives. If he is really serious about getting sober, he will look within himself to find out where things went wrong for him and do everything in his power to heal his past and rise above it.

I hope that everything works out for both of you.

P.S. A lot of people say that prison is not a place for rehabilitation, but I beg to differ. If an individual is sentenced and makes a concious choice to learn everything they can about what lead them to committ their crimes, and how to live their future in a positive way, they CAN make a changes and the changes can be lasting.

Peace~
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Old 08-04-2012, 11:49 PM
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Negotiating a third strike requires local knowledge. What happens in one county may be entirely different in a different county. That's one of the joys of 3 strikes.
It's impossible to say if you are getting good advice, but if the attorney has experience in that court there's a very good chance the advice is solid.

Romero is based on seeking a finding that the defendant is "outside teh spirit of the 3 strikes law". The argument is based on who teh defendant has been (the rap sheet), who is is now (has there been some sort of substantial change that isn't reflected in the rap sheet), and who he is going to turn out to be. Based on what you are presenting here, chances at a Romero sound very uphill at best.

Many times a trial lawyer knows what a Judge would do on a Romero because the case has been conferences and the plea bargain has been vetted in front of the judge. Sometimes a lawyer knows what a judge will do based on past cases.

I suggest that the defendant ask the lawyer why Romero would create a "backfire" and make matters worse. The defendant should ask if there's going to be a different judge if the case goes to a trial court, and what that judge would do (and why).

Also, there's more going on here than you have revealed. the felony DUI with 1 strike can't receive more than 6 years be itself. 15 years means there is a substantial sentence from a case he was on probation for, or very large sentence enhancements.

If the 2 strikes applies to the case he was on probation for, then he is facing 50 to life on 2 counts, not 25 to life. That's without enhancements other than the 2 strikes and without additional count.

Getting him bailed and into rehab is probably his only chance to prove himself. Whether it'd make a difference, I can't say. That's where local knowledge comes into play. Sometimes it makes all the difference, sometimes it is too little too late.

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Originally Posted by SheO.Who View Post
My husband was arrested for a DUI in March of 2012 and is still in County Jail waiting for a hearing. This is his 4th DUI and was on County Supervision when he was arrested in March. They are trying to strike him out. His PD is wanting him to take a deal, or should I say "plea bargain" of 10 to 15 years. The DA wants him to get 25 to life. He has priors dating back to 1988. We asked the PD to use the Romero Motion, to strike a strike, but he said that it would just piss off the judge and he would then sentence him 25 to life. His bail hold was just lifted and now my husband is wanting me to bail him out. He believes that if he bails out, he will go straight to a program for his alcoholism and work until the court date and this would help his case by showing the judge that he truly wants help for his addiction. Of course this will be extremely expensive for me. Would it be best for him to bail out or to just stay inside? Could it hurt him or help him?
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:29 AM
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From your hubby's record, he's got a serious problem. Which makes for a hard decision on your behalf. With all that being said, I think the plea is still extremely harsh, for what's written here. I'm wondering too what's in his past criminal history.

I would definitely be asking the defense attorney some serious questions. It's their playing field and they'll know the players involved. Pissing off a Judge is never a good thing.

Ask the PD what their thoughts are if he's bailed out and put into a county-known rehab center. I say that, cause I'd be hitting the rehab center the Judge feels is a winner.

Only you can make that decision based on what you know and what your willing to accept.
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:11 AM
JavisLady JavisLady is offline
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I have no knowledge of the law and am just speaking from the heart. I wouldn't bail him out, it's his 4th DUI, he hasn't learned a thing from the previous 3 and I'm sure that's why the "Romero" won't be a help here as the Judge will just see it for what it is, there has been NO change in this man and you are just trying to get him a lighter sentance. The Judge will also be considering the chances of your husband driving DUI again - with his track record, hello!! He most likely will and then he could easily kill an innocent person - so the Judge need to consider the innocents out there also, not just your Husband.

Your husband made a choice to drive DUI and leave you and any children you have hanging with no help from him. I know this sounds harsh, and I'm honeslty not a harsh person, but I've leared that actions speak louder than words so what does that tell you about your husband's actions? He was already under supervison and basically didn't give a sh*t so went out and did it again.

As for the plea - my husband is doing the 25 - Life and I can tell you that under any circumstances don't play with that "Life". ANY sentance is better than having that "L" attached, for lots of reasons.....

Last edited by JavisLady; 08-05-2012 at 11:20 AM..
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  #6  
Old 08-06-2012, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gryphon View Post
Negotiating a third strike requires local knowledge. What happens in one county may be entirely different in a different county. That's one of the joys of 3 strikes.
It's impossible to say if you are getting good advice, but if the attorney has experience in that court there's a very good chance the advice is solid.

Romero is based on seeking a finding that the defendant is "outside teh spirit of the 3 strikes law". The argument is based on who teh defendant has been (the rap sheet), who is is now (has there been some sort of substantial change that isn't reflected in the rap sheet), and who he is going to turn out to be. Based on what you are presenting here, chances at a Romero sound very uphill at best.

Many times a trial lawyer knows what a Judge would do on a Romero because the case has been conferences and the plea bargain has been vetted in front of the judge. Sometimes a lawyer knows what a judge will do based on past cases.

I suggest that the defendant ask the lawyer why Romero would create a "backfire" and make matters worse. The defendant should ask if there's going to be a different judge if the case goes to a trial court, and what that judge would do (and why).

Also, there's more going on here than you have revealed. the felony DUI with 1 strike can't receive more than 6 years be itself. 15 years means there is a substantial sentence from a case he was on probation for, or very large sentence enhancements.

If the 2 strikes applies to the case he was on probation for, then he is facing 50 to life on 2 counts, not 25 to life. That's without enhancements other than the 2 strikes and without additional count.

Getting him bailed and into rehab is probably his only chance to prove himself. Whether it'd make a difference, I can't say. That's where local knowledge comes into play. Sometimes it makes all the difference, sometimes it is too little too late.
My husband was released on Parole in August, 2009 for a DUI. He was sentenced for 16 months and did half time for that. He then got violated in 2011 and did 6 months for that. Now he's got this new DUI. He goes to court on Monday, Aug. 13th and he will then decide if he will or can bail out. This is where we have to figure out if we should spend the money on bail so he can get a program and try to prove himself, or if we should spend money on an attorney. Can the PD do the job to try to save his life with 10 - 15 instead of Life, or should my husband bail out and try to fix what he can and work to pay for another attorney? I talked to my husband this morning and he said that this could be his last chance to prove he really wants help with his alcoholism. His past strikes are from 1988 and 1990 I believe.

Last edited by SheO.Who; 08-06-2012 at 07:16 PM..
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:00 AM
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Sheryl P. Sheryl P. is offline
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Originally Posted by SheO.Who View Post
My husband was released on Parole in August, 2009 for a DUI. He was sentenced for 16 months and did half time for that. He then got violated in 2011 and did 6 months for that. Now he's got this new DUI. He goes to court on Monday, Aug. 13th and he will then decide if he will or can bail out. This is where we have to figure out if we should spend the money on bail so he can get a program and try to prove himself, or if we should spend money on an attorney. Can the PD do the job to try to save his life with 10 - 15 instead of Life, or should my husband bail out and try to fix what he can and work to pay for another attorney? I talked to my husband this morning and he said that this could be his last chance to prove he really wants help with his alcoholism. His past strikes are from 1988 and 1990 I believe.
I think with his history ,he is in a huge bind at this point no matter what you do.Honestly,I think the "trying to prove he wants help" time has passed.Even if he could work a program and stay clean while things were being ironed out,I highly doubt anyone would figure it came from a honest desire to be clean and not just becuse he is once agian in a jam.
The sad fact is that he has shown a repeated pattern of driving while intoxicated and has put others in danger.When he has had the chance to make changes,he made the decision to continue abusing alcohol.
Though you would like to believe he can "prove he wants help",he will probably not be taken seriously.
I would use the money on a very good lawyer and try like crazy to avoid any "to life" sentence.Anything is better than a "to life".
I truly am sorry for the heavy toll an addiction takes and having loved ones who are addicts,I hurt for both of you.
The good news is that he is still alive.Not all my loved ones were so lucky,
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:42 PM
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my guess is that the only kind of rehab that would impress the judge at this point would be a two year really tough program like Delancey, but they won't take him with an open case. I would not bail him out, and I wouldn't spend a ton on an attorney but I might try to find a local attorney who could figure out a way to get the case in front of a friendlier judge who would be willing to negotiate a settlement that is more reasonable.
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SheO.Who View Post
My husband was released on Parole in August, 2009 for a DUI. He was sentenced for 16 months and did half time for that. He then got violated in 2011 and did 6 months for that. Now he's got this new DUI. He goes to court on Monday, Aug. 13th and he will then decide if he will or can bail out. This is where we have to figure out if we should spend the money on bail so he can get a program and try to prove himself, or if we should spend money on an attorney. Can the PD do the job to try to save his life with 10 - 15 instead of Life, or should my husband bail out and try to fix what he can and work to pay for another attorney? I talked to my husband this morning and he said that this could be his last chance to prove he really wants help with his alcoholism. His past strikes are from 1988 and 1990 I believe.
Most public defenders who handle felonies have a lot of experience making Romero motions or the negotiation equivalent.

I can't see where you have 10 to 15 years of bargaining leverage. Felony DUI has an upper term of 3, doubled with one strike for now 6, plus a one year prior prison term enhancment for a total of 7 @80%.

If he bails uses his time very constructively that gives his lawyer somethign to talk about. Sounds like a case where a DA really may want to make no offers, though. Where I work, they'd make this a 25 to life case and tell me that the lack of an offer isn't something I'd take personally. That being said, when a lawyer is asked "what should I do?" in circumstances like this, the answer will always be "everything".

Is it worth spending the money on? Well, a cancer patient who seems terminal will want to try to longshot experimental expensive medication, and even feel they have a right to try it; but insuarance may not pay for it. It's like that. You can look at it emotionally, logically, objectively, or subjectively...and the answers will be different depending on perspective.
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  #10  
Old 08-07-2012, 04:53 PM
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My husband is also dealing with a 25 to life case not DUI though and I told my husband if he is offered anything 12 or less he is to take it... at least with that amount of time there is a light at the end of the tunnel if he gets 25 to life his chances of walking the streets again are slim to none please take that into consideration before not wanting to take the deal offered.... within time at least you can still get family visits if he gets the L on any sentence there will be no chance of family visits.. good luck honey <3
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