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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    Default Charged with Trespassing at My Own Home That I Own

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: WA

    I bought a house in Washington, have owned it for years. Two family members were living with me, both incapacitated (mental impairments). Both lived with me without any sort of rental agreement and no rent was ever paid, requested, etc..

    One of the family members I have or did have a PoA for, for obvious reasons (such as taking care of their finances, taking care of them, medical needs, etc).

    The other family member, who also has impairments, I did not have a PoA. This family member was lashing out, and being erratic, and would often get into arguments with me. This person is very disturbed. One day they got a credit card offer in the mail and assumed I stole their identity, and this person called the police and tried to have me arrested over it. Numerous incidences like this kept occurring.

    One day, this family member, jumped at me unexpectedly while I was cleaning the house, and this person screamed assault, assault, and called 911 and got me arrested! The police, having been to the house numerous times over what they considered to be "civil" or "personal family matters" and not "police matters', were irritated and becoming more and more irritated each time this family member called them. They did say something like, the next time we come out, someone is going to jail. And that did happen.

    I was charged with a no contact, a restraining order, from the family member that claimed I assaulted them(though that was dropped, but not the no contact and restraining order) and trespassing on my own property. And the police also added a no contact order, a restraining order, and for some odd reason, also charged me for assault against the other family member, who had nothing to do with any of this, the one I had a PoA for.

    It got really messy. I had a lawyer, but they were more of a detriment. At one point I had all the charges dropped, but then they were re-added later because the prosecutor decided to tack on some new charges, which I was told allowed the prosecutor to add back the old charges.

    In the end, I took the advice of my lawyer, a public defender, who recommended pleading guilty to everything so they wouldn't have to go to trial in my defense, and because they said the judge doesn't like it when you go to trial. I couldn't ever get the lawyer to understand my side of things. It was frustrating, aggravating, and duress played a part in following the public defenders advice, as it seemed like the only option.

    After pleading guilty and being sentenced, if i wanted to try and reverse and withdraw the plea, I think I may only do so if i can prove I did not have access to effective assistance of legal counsel or that I was influenced to go with a plea that I did not want to plead. I asked the public defender if i could fire them, and retain another public defender. The answer was no, and I was told they were the only one available, which may be true. The city and county is very very small..

    Is this an option or is the verdict now final because i plead and was sentenced?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    19,592

    Default Re: Charged with Trespassing at My Own Home That I Own

    Unfortunately, your options are limited once you plead guilty. I can almost assure that the judge didn't accept the plea without making sure it was informed, knowing, and voluntary. These are the keys to making such pleas stick. Your only option is to try to see if you can find another attorney. Your statement above indicates a pretty glaring misunderstanding of the law.


    You might try WashingtonLawHelp.org for some more focused advice.

    What were you "sentenced" to? On what charge?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    6,805

    Default Re: Charged with Trespassing at My Own Home That I Own

    Quote Quoting ron21
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    In the end, I took the advice of my lawyer, a public defender, who recommended pleading guilty to everything so they wouldn't have to go to trial in my defense, and because they said the judge doesn't like it when you go to trial. I couldn't ever get the lawyer to understand my side of things. It was frustrating, aggravating, and duress played a part in following the public defenders advice, as it seemed like the only option.

    After pleading guilty and being sentenced, if i wanted to try and reverse and withdraw the plea, I think I may only do so if i can prove I did not have access to effective assistance of legal counsel or that I was influenced to go with a plea that I did not want to plead. I asked the public defender if i could fire them, and retain another public defender. The answer was no, and I was told they were the only one available, which may be true. The city and county is very very small..
    A search of Google Scholar in WA turns up 937 cases (plea agreement inadequate counsel). I have read through several. Apparently, inadequate counsel in WA was and remains a problem where a plea agreement is allowed to be withdrawn on appeal because of several points; the main one being inadequate counsel because the public defender does not investigate the facts of the crime, does not interview witnesses, does not interview the arresting officer(s), does not explain or gives erroneous information about the consequences of the guilty plea, does not create a personal CONFIDENTIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH CLIENT .

    Later, in Strickland, the Supreme Court made clear that the Constitution guaranteed the poor not just an appointment of counsel, but also effective assistance of counsel. Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 688, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 80 L.Ed.2d 674 (1984).
    we review this decision for abuse of discretion. State v. Marshall, 144 Wash.2d 266, 280, 27 P.3d 192 (2001) (citing 964*964 State v. Olmsted, 70 Wash.2d 116, 422 P.2d 312 (1966)). Under the criminal rules, "[t]he court shall allow a defendant to withdraw the defendant's plea of guilty whenever it appears that the withdrawal is necessary to correct a manifest injustice." CrR 4.2(f)
    This case is not on point with the crime but explains the principals of inadequate counsel:

    https://scholar.google.com/scholar_c...en&as_sdt=4,48

    So I would advise OP to get a different attorney and get advise about withdrawing his plea. Contact some legal aid organizations to see if you can find an attorney that will represent you pro bono.


    Quote Quoting flyingron
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    I can almost assure that the judge didn't accept the plea without making sure it was informed, knowing, and voluntary.
    That is a matter to determined on appeal if the court won't withdrawer the plea as the case linked to above (and many more).

    Public defenders in WA are under flat-fee contracts. The more they convince their defendants to plead out, the more they make.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    10

    Default Re: Charged with Trespassing at My Own Home That I Own

    Wow. Thank you very much. I posted two replies but it went to moderator approval? Not sure if it will happen with this too...Frustrating.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Default Re: Charged with Trespassing at My Own Home That I Own

    Don't put links in them.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2020
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    Default Re: Charged with Trespassing at My Own Home That I Own

    Nothing I say is being approved. I give up. thanks though.

    Quote Quoting ron21
    View Post
    Nothing I say is being approved. I give up. thanks though.
    This is much in line with my experience. Not only did I make many reasonable requests to have the Public Defender investigate the alleged crimes, I had written out my defense arguments several times, that matches up with allowable defenses according to the Washington State laws. I was not aware of the state laws at the time, but my legal counsel should have been.

    Quote Quoting ron21
    View Post
    Nothing I say is being approved. I give up. thanks though.



    This is much in line with my experience. Not only did I make many reasonable requests to have the Public Defender investigate the alleged crimes, I had written out my defense arguments several times, that matches up with allowable defenses according to the Washington State laws. I was not aware of the state laws at the time, but my legal counsel should have been.


    This is terrible to hear. It explains a lot. I understand public defenders are likely understaffed and with heavy caseloads, but it is immoral to be persuading your clients to plead out guilty for monetary gains. I think that is partially what happened with my case.

    I’m not sure how the court system works. I had to spend several weeks in jail before I finally got out. One Saturday, and I remember this because I thought court wasn’t held on a Saturday, I was escorted into the court room. The judge was not there, but via telephone. And my regular public defender was absent. This other public defender was very good, they got all my charges dropped right then and there on a Saturday. I wrote letters to him, as well as the main public defender I had, because I wanted to fire this person and go with the person who got all my charges dismissed (they did get added back later with new charges.) And of course, I was met with denial, saying there was nobody else, and that the other guy only does felony cases.

    I’m not sure what my rights are regarding evidence from the prosecutor. I saw that my public defender had a notebook full of letters and statements from the family member accusing me of assault, and wrote out exactly how it all happened. What they wrote out in a statement was exactly what I was claiming. The only thing it did was answer why it happened. I was never made aware of why until I read their statement that this person. What I read was by chance and I was reading upside down, I never got to see the entire statements and was told I can't read that and was denied access to copies of it, even redacted. But Apparently, what i did read, the incident occurred because one family member was on the phone while I was cleaning a room and vacuuming. And the other family member came at me to turn off the vacuum because it was making too much noise. I reacted in a self defensive and pushed them away from me, without even thinking about my actions. It was I think justified, and nobody claimed injury or that I had harmed them, but I got jailed over the incident.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    Default Re: Charged with Trespassing at My Own Home That I Own

    Quote Quoting ron21
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    Nothing I say is being approved. I give up. thanks though.
    This post was approved.

    Have you posted anything that didn't have a link in it?

  8. #8
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    Feb 2020
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    10

    Default Re: Charged with Trespassing at My Own Home That I Own

    I tried several times, with short posts, no links, no quotes. A very short post was approved, and I was able to expand on that. If i posted a few more lines, it would say moderator approval needed.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Charged with Trespassing at My Own Home That I Own

    Clearly you are able to post because you keep doing just that. In less than 10 words what are you trying to post that is failing to post?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    Default Re: Charged with Trespassing at My Own Home That I Own

    Clearly not if some are being sent for moderator approval, which appears to be due to length.

    FYI, the post above which has more length to it, is what I tried to post, and was sent for mod approval. Tried different ways to post it, and found that a short post posted. Then using edit worked to add more.

    Like with this post. I had to use edit to expand on it.

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