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  #1  
Old 03-03-2018, 10:20 AM
RL8 RL8 is offline
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Default Intro--RL8 from Washington state

Good day to everyone,
My family is new to the prison system and my husband is pre-trial at the moment. We have never been through this kind of situation before and itís beyond overwhelming for us. A lot of frustrations and confusion. Grief and disparity. Sadness and helplessness. Iíve reached out to this site in hopes to receive resources and support for my family. My husband is being accused of some pretty heavy accusations and apparently may be looking at quite some time, due in part to the mandatory minimum sentencing laws. This has taken a huge emotional toll on us and our child. We are a very close knit family and have never been apart from each other more than a day or two. We have been apart from each other since August 2017, only with the 4hours a week given for visitation to keep us from going completely insane. Lest to say, this has been affecting us deeply and brings about many questions and concerns regarding how other families in similar situations cope.
I hope that being a part of the forums and becoming a contributor that some or most of my inquiries about the prison system will be answered or give some support or added wisdom at the least. Iím very thankful for these organizations and commend those who have given their free time and expertise to help others in situations that seem endlessly painful and/or beyond frustrating. It gives hope for humanity in a seemingly unjust world
Thank you for welcoming me and being a part of something so important for the affected families and inmates.
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:25 AM
fbopnomore fbopnomore is offline
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Welcome to Prison Talk. Are his charges Washington State, or federal?

You will find lots of nonjudgmental support and assistance in understanding what lies ahead here. Be sure to ask your questions in either the federal
http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=186

or Washington State
http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=172

or Husbands in Prison forums
http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=44
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  #3  
Old 03-05-2018, 08:30 AM
CoachDaddy858 CoachDaddy858 is offline
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Hello RL8. I was released from Federal Prison in July of 2016. It was my first time. I hadn't even gotten a speeding ticket before. It was for a financial crime and I plead guilty for wire fraud. I served a 21 month sentence.

The pretrial was probably, even compared to the prison stay itself, the most grueling. The disparity in uncertainty is the most uncomfortable feeling. Your lives are in someone else's hands and you feel helpless. Still to this day I feel that my family suffered more through pretrial.

But I would love to give you any and all insight on the process as I had experienced it. I think it would be much more valuable if you asked me questions and I would answer them one by one as best as I can.

Just know that this CAN be a time where you family becomes even more close. It CAN become a time where your values and priorities are set straight. More straight than if something like this never happened. I know it's hard to see that right now, but I believe it CAN be for you as it has been for us.

Hope to hear from you soon,

Rudy
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Old 03-05-2018, 10:55 AM
RL8 RL8 is offline
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Default Beyond overwhelmed

Thank you coachdaddy858! Itís so overwhelming for us, and at this point itís frustrating not knowing what will happen to us or how to even move forward with so many unknowns. My husband is a very hardworking man, who made some mistakes. And unfortunately he is being accused of some serious allegations that may put him away for a while. Over ten years, Iím not sure the exact number, but with mandatory minimums and such it could be a long time. Heís mostly frustrated with not being able to have any resources to him or not being able to thoroughly look through his case and find things that may help the attorney we hired. He feels the attorney isnít doing anything and believes he should be more forthcoming of what to expect, explaining things to him about his case, how he can help, etc... Weíve never been through anything like this so my husband has lots of questions about his charges, and he feels his attorney isnít producing the information or explanations he is seeking. I know he is panicking and is frustrated that he has no control of anything right now, but I try to reassure him the attorney is working on his case, and probably canít really explain too much since itís pretrial but I donít know anything either.
Do you have any experience with the pretrial process that you may have went through that helped you get through things? Especially regarding the attorney/inmate relationship and what my husband can ask his attorney that may give him some sense of any progress in his case?
Itís all taking a huge toll on us being apart from each other too. His whole world is me and our daughter and everything heís ever done in his life is for us. He has completely been destroyed by this and Iíve never seen him so depressed. I worry for his wellbeing and his emotional state. Itís one of the most worst feelings of having no control and feeling helpless for your loved ones.
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Old 03-05-2018, 01:11 PM
fbopnomore fbopnomore is offline
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I'll respond as if his charges are federal. If he is barred from using any computer, you (not he) can follow the progress of his case on Pacer.
https://www.pacer.gov/reg_pacer.html They charge, but you don't have to pay until you exceed a minimum? billable amount.

The value of that web page can become more important later in his journey through the courts, specifically by verifying that his lawyer is filing what he tells him he is filing. Mine didn't, and I was unaware of what wasn't being done until it was too late. The federal government prosecutors will do everything they can to prevent your husband from assisting in his defense.

In pretrial, his lawyer will be reaching out to the prosecutors to negotiate the best possible "plea bargain". Many times, the same crime can be charged under a number of different statutes, some that carry mandatory minimum sentences, but also others that don't. It is totally up to the prosecutor and the ability of your lawyer.

Once your husband knows if one will be offered, and the terms if it is, he will have the unenviable choice of pleading guilty, or going to trial. That is when his lawyer's knowledge will be very important by explaining the probabilities of what either choice will bring. Over 95% of federal criminal trials result in guilty verdicts, and often carry much longer sentences because of the unwritten "trial penalty". The choice will be his to make.

This will probably be the worst nightmare of your married lives, but always remember that it will end. Probably not as soon as you hope, but eventually. My situation was very similar to yours, but even though I was unable to budge them off of a MM sentence, I made it through and I have since been able to resume a mostly normal life with my family.

Stay strong and support each other and your children.
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Old 03-06-2018, 05:53 AM
jadah jadah is offline
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Welcome to Prison talk online RL8. I am so very sorry you are in this situation, but you'll find good support here. HAng in there and keep reading.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:50 AM
CoachDaddy858 CoachDaddy858 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RL8 View Post
Thank you coachdaddy858! Itís so overwhelming for us, and at this point itís frustrating not knowing what will happen to us or how to even move forward with so many unknowns. My husband is a very hardworking man, who made some mistakes. And unfortunately he is being accused of some serious allegations that may put him away for a while. Over ten years, Iím not sure the exact number, but with mandatory minimums and such it could be a long time. Heís mostly frustrated with not being able to have any resources to him or not being able to thoroughly look through his case and find things that may help the attorney we hired. He feels the attorney isnít doing anything and believes he should be more forthcoming of what to expect, explaining things to him about his case, how he can help, etc... Weíve never been through anything like this so my husband has lots of questions about his charges, and he feels his attorney isnít producing the information or explanations he is seeking. I know he is panicking and is frustrated that he has no control of anything right now, but I try to reassure him the attorney is working on his case, and probably canít really explain too much since itís pretrial but I donít know anything either.
Do you have any experience with the pretrial process that you may have went through that helped you get through things? Especially regarding the attorney/inmate relationship and what my husband can ask his attorney that may give him some sense of any progress in his case?
Itís all taking a huge toll on us being apart from each other too. His whole world is me and our daughter and everything heís ever done in his life is for us. He has completely been destroyed by this and Iíve never seen him so depressed. I worry for his wellbeing and his emotional state. Itís one of the most worst feelings of having no control and feeling helpless for your loved ones.
Hello. I am sorry for the late reply. I know it IS the most difficult time because of the uncertainty. I actually feel that the pretrial process was worse than my incarceration because of the uncertainties.

So I will give you some insight based on my experience and others that I had spoken to while in prison. I will attempt to be as honest as possible so please understand it may not be exactly what you want to hear.

I don't know if you attorney is retained or appointed. Mine was retained to a certain degree because I was not able to pay him the entire fee. I am still doing that. But your husband is more than likely correct in the fact that the attorney is probably not doing much. I don't know what your husband's crime is but if there are mandatory minimums I am assuming it is "D" related. My crime was financial so it was based on guidelines that had no "mandatory minimums". In that case if there is evidence that your attorney feels that is incriminating.... he is merely waiting for a deal from the prosecuting attorney. Specially appointed attorneys who get paid a flat fee for representing defendants, they spend as little time as possible on the case. That probably sounds like I am saying that attorneys are ALL scumbags when I am not saying that at all. Your attorney is stuck in a system that is not designed to go to trial. Not intended to present evidence towards innocence and find the truth. We are in a "crime control" legal system. That system is designed to get everyone to plead guilty and hope that most of the people are guilty. We are no longer in a due process legal system where everyone is entitled to go to court and state their case.

I am not making this up. You can research it. This is the official stance of our federal justice system. "Crime Control" NOT "Due process".

It is all based on economy and budget. Our justice system just does not have the money to be able to hear everyone's case. Our laws are written in a way that 80% of all Americans have broken a law in their lifetime at least once. That 1 out of every 19 males in our country will be incarcerated at one time in his life. Again I am NOT making this up. You can research it. We as a country imprison the largest amount of our people than any other country. AND what' worse is that we have the absolute highest rate of re arrest. It's a broken system. And unfortunately your family is caught up in it.

Again I do not know any details of your husband's indictment, but I am assuming there are multiple counts for the single act. Maybe even more than a dozen? Citizens are misinformed in that when the government indicts someone it's because they have a "strong" case against them. That the only time the government indicts is when the evidence is overwhelming. But that is just not true. The truth is that they stack the odds in their favor with multiple counts of the same act and each count carries a sentence if found guilty. Look at it this way....if you have never shot free-throws before in your life and you had the opportunity to shoot 12 times, the chances of you making at least one is very good! So in charging someone multiple counts of the same act, the government has a good chance that the jury will find you guilty for at least one of them. The biggest and most common is "conspiracy". Conspiracy mere states that you were in the same room when the crime happened. That you heard of the plans, even if you didn't participate, and did nothing about it.

This pretrial process is a long and grueling process. It seems it's designed to create desperation and a sense of helplessness so that the accused will plead. I am almost sure that sometime in the near future you husband will be offered a plea deal. I pray that you will make the best decision for your family.

I don't have any answers, I am sorry. All I have is experience. But what I can tell you is that this can be a time that your husband can use. A time to get his priorities straight. A time to figure out what life is all about for himself. That's what happened to me. I feel that I am a better husband to my wife and a better father to my children because of my time in prison. My family is stronger and closer than ever before.

Would you be able to give me your first names so I can include you in my daily prayers? There is one thing for certain, that if God decides to make this go away He can. But at the very least He can be there in the fire with you when it happens!

I am always here for any help I can give.

By His grace,

Rudy
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