Child Abuse Registry: Why Fight? Victory Without a Contested Hearing in 20 minutes.

Case closed in 20 minutes before the judge. A technical discrepancy created an issue which got a Child Abuse Registry (CAR) hearing ended in less than 20 minutes from roll call to decision. Technical discrepancies occur frequently.

That doesn’t account for the couple of hours spent reviewing, preparing, and writing. But preparation and experience create better opportunities.

Anyone who receives a notice needs to fight that placement.

Receiving a Notice for the Child Abuse Registry is intimidating and scary. DFCS/ Department of Human Services must prove the parts of the “substantiation.” Knowing how to fight the allegations is important.

The MOST IMPORTANT STEP is filing the request for a hearing. If you fail to request a hearing, nothing can be done. Requesting a hearing is critical.

Once the hearing is requested, all manner of things can happen, technicalities can create a reversal. Attorneys who practice in Child Abuse Registry cases know the ins and outs of how these cases work. Finding the weaknesses in these cases, which are new and unique, requires time but in the end hiring attorney makes a difference.

Filing for the hearing is the most important step.

© Nancee Tomlinson 2018 Read More

Court Ordered Rehabilitation-Pretrial

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More or more often, Courts order drug/alcohol rehabilitation as a condition of any bond set for known drug abusers. These defendants happily agree. After spending months in rehabilitation, the defendant returns to Court to discover any negotiated resolution of their case requires time in prison.

“What? I’m a new person. I’ve changed.” And yet, the State seeks to punish a defendant for their past behavior.

Yes, unfortunately this is how process works right now. Courts are embracing the idea of helping individuals with their addiction but prosecutors and judges still seek to punish the behavior with prison sentences.

Can I get credit for the time I spent in rehabilitation towards my prison sentence?

Using mitigation techniques, though, a defense attorney may use a defendant’s life history, change in circumstances based on rehabilitation, and improved record  of behavior to persuade a prosecutor and/or judge to give that defendant a second chance, or in many cases a third or fourth chance.

If the prosecutor and/or the judge is willing to reduce the serve time offer based on a defendant’s successful completion of the program, then yes, a defendant can receive credit.

No credit from the Georgia Department of Corrections, that administrative agency makes the determination of how much credit a person receives on the sentence imposed. Usually, that decision only includes credit for time spent in an actual jail before bond is posted. The posting of bond is the critical point.

The Board of Pardons and Paroles may use rehabilitation as factor in the parole determination.

Simply because a Court ordered a defendant into rehabilitation as a condition of bond does not create a circumstance where credit towards any sentence  will be given.

© 2016 Nancee Tomlinson

Negotiation

The week of February 8, 2016, Nancee Tomlinson spent the week advocating for a 17 year old who was charged with murder. Ed Tolley and Nancee Tomlinson resolved the cases for their clients to Aggravated Assault pleas.

Both young men were charged with Malice Murder and Felony Murder, both of which carry a life sentence (30 years before parole is considered), Aggravated Assault, and three counts of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Crime. Nancee negotiated a plea to Aggravated Assault and False Statements with a 15 years to serve 5 year sentence.