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  1. #1

    Default What Suggestions Should You Give to Somebody Facing Criminal Charges

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Kentucky

    I have a very close friend who was picked a little more than a week ago. Five charges, all 1st degree felonies, all 1st offenses. I bonded them out as quickly as I could as soon as I learned what happened. I spoke to some attorney friends and have studied a little online. My attorney friends have mostly the same opinion. Five 1st degree felonies, no victims, all 1st offenses; probably going to be probation (no guarantee, but a decent probability).

    When I picked her up and she had been given time to calm down, I explained what was probably going to happen. I made a list of things she needed to prepare for and things she could begin doing proactively to demonstrate her willingness to play ball and help ensure probation and get on the good side of this immediately.

    1. Get a real "punch a clock" job right away you can walk to. (She's a brand ambassador/handing out leaflets at events type and travels out of state fairly often for events for several different agencies and that kind of job probably won't work for the PO. Also, she was picked up in a car she bought over the summer but didn't register with no license and no insurance)

    2. Find a place to live where a PO can show up any day of the week without any (or little) notice and find you there and be able to talk to the people you live with if there are any. Probation is probably going to last at least a year and maybe more. So find a place you know you can stay at for at least that long. (She's currently, by definition, homeless. Known her for more than two years and she's never had a place and lives on the kindness of others letting her stay here and there for a few weeks at a time)

    3. Immediately call drug counselling and go or, at the very least, find a weekly narc-anon meeting to attend and document it.

    4. Identify the "Who, What, Where" in your life that can get you back in trouble or get you near trouble and avoid them.

    5. Probation isn't a vacation. It's jail on the outside. Life as you knew it is effectively over and you need to quickly set yourself up for success. One violation, one time in the wrong place in the wrong time, and you may find yourself back in jail for the duration of your sentence. (When I said this to her, she replied, "Then why is everyone telling me that I'm going to be okay??" I told her she'll be okay because she won't be in jail but most of what she has known as her life of the past is going to have to be different if she gets probation)

    Am I missing anything? Too much? Not enough? I really appreciate any advice you can give me to pass along. This person is important to me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    2,716

    Default Re: Seeking Advice for a Friend

    If she has a drug problem Chances are she need more than Narcotics Anonymous. If she doesn't have insurance. She can apply for Medicaid. Also having a drug problem is going to prevent her from getting alot of jobs.

    If she has no means of support, no skills and a,drug problem. How is she going to pay for a,place to live. I wonder if your expectations are realistic for her. She more than likely needs counseling for things in her life that have lead to her being so unprepared for life. Does she have a,GED ? Or did she graduated from high school? If not that is another stumbling block to getting a job. The court may or may not be able to put her in touch with local resources that might be helpful.

    Don't give up on her. She has a very hard road ahead of her. How old is she ?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    California
    Posts
    267

    Default Re: Seeking Advice for a Friend

    First Kentucky grades its felonies with letters with the most serious being class A and the least serious being class D. I suspect you meant your friend had class D felonies which does include a lot of drug offenses but they do carry a potential sentence of 1-5 years. That she might get probation does not mean she won't serve more time in local custody. Your friend needs a lawyer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    1,252

    Default Re: Seeking Helpful Advice

    You missed one very important thing. Stop talking to you or anyone else, other than her lawyer, about her case.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    1,252

    Default Re: Seeking Advice for a Friend

    The one thing you didn't tell your friend is she should not be talking about her crimes with anyone but her lawyer. Including yourself.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    979

    Default Re: Seeking Helpful Advice

    You're also missing another important thing here. Your friend was not "making it" on the outside before. Parole and probation programs are for people who can make it on the outside, who were living at least semi-successfully outside incarceration and now are wishing to continue that program (and can demonstrate this to the court) in spite of the charges against them.

    How good do you think is the potential for getting a good full time job and a secure place to live in the few weeks before this person's court date? If your friend were ever willing to go to drug counseling or even meetings, there'd be little chance she'd be in this situation (homeless, using drugs, driving an uninsured vehicle) in the first place.

    I think you're the one in denial. Giving great advice does not in any way mean that someone will listen to you or do what you suggest. I think your friend may need a little time incarcerated before she comes to the place where she is willing to get out of this lifestyle she has already been indulging in, not help to figure out a way to continue doing just what she has shown herself willing to do. Besides, probation is not "no consequences," it is strictly monitored and quite expensive, how is she going to pay her fines even if she does get that great job, gets transportation, get herself to D&A treatment, gets her life straightened out?

    Maybe you should first as mentioned, stop with the discussion on the internet of your friend's case, and two, back off with the "I'm going to fix this for you completely so there are no consequences for what you've gotten yourself into!"

  7. #7

    Default Re: Seeking Advice for a Friend

    Good points.

    She may have a drug problem; though I doubt she'd admit it. Narc Anon is probably all she can afford and she has no insurance. Applying for Medicaid is something I didn't think of and I'll tell her to look into it. As for a place to live, she's currently "apartment sitting" for someone out of town for the next couple months and I think her plan is either she hopes this person will allow her to stay there for the duration or she may think she can continue going from one place to another (I've advised her, as I wrote above, that she needs to find a place). I'm not sure how she can afford a place doing what she's doing in the brand ambassador world which is why I advised her to get a "punch a clock" job she can walk to. She graduated high school and has some college.

    She's 34 and she really is a great girl. I'm not completely sure how she became so unprepared for life except that maybe her personality is very engaging and can make people feel friendly to her quickly, expanding her circle of acquaintances, and giving her options of places to crash for anywhere from a few days to a few months at a time so she's never really had to because she always had at least one person who'd allow her to stay with them.

    These are all class D felonies.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Seeking Helpful Advice

    Quote Quoting comment/ator
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    Maybe you should first as mentioned, stop with the discussion on the internet of your friend's case, and two, back off with the "I'm going to fix this for you completely so there are no consequences for what you've gotten yourself into!"
    Makes total sense. It's difficult to not give advice to a good friend. I really appreciate everyone's comments.

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