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Old 01-03-2009, 12:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shootnearroadway View Post
It's always nice to get a well-informed, unbiased opinion.

As for my 'stellar attitude' and 'mature perspective,' well, I'm just wrestling [out loud] with my own feelings of responsibility, accountability, and a sense of justice. It's a process.

Thanks, again, for your help.
One other thing you may want to consider. Some jurisdictions, such as mine in South Carolina, allow first offense misdemeanors to be expunged from your record after a period of time. You should be able to ascertain from this information if you are eligible ( or will be after the statutory time has transpired) to have your record expunged.

[COLOR=#22229c]Subchapter VII. Expungement of Criminal Records[/COLOR]

Another thing I wanted to add---many attorneys advertise heavily that they can expunge your records. The uninformed public seizes upon it and grasps it with both hands, the result of which is a significant amount of legal fees ensue.

The reality is the expungement process is very simple and straightforward. It is merely a matter of: 1. filling out the paperwork found at your local solicitors office ( my solicitor has a link on his web page that reads DOWNLOAD FORMS) and 2. filing the forms with the fee ( usually in the $150-200 per charge vicinity ). It is that simple.

One thing that concerns me because I haven't researched your state in particular, is that your charge is related to firearms and in some states firearm related charges are not eligible for expungement, although most misdemeanors are, and often times ANY first offense misdemeanor is eligible ( except sexual crimes). Did you have an attorney? And if you did, did they advise you to accept this plea---something that * possibly * may not be able to be removed at a later date?

My personal feeling is that it can be removed, but it's worth asking about to see if it is firearm related crimes are not. IF you find out that it cannot be removed at a later date, I would appeal the decision based on the conflict of interest with the judge who did not recuse herself and have another opportunity to change your plea (if this is a possibility and it is important to you to have this removed from your record). Of course, if your appeal timeframe is past, or if you aren't interested in appealing, then it is a moot point.

Just a thought....(I try to pace myself---I get them so rarely).
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Last edited by GentleGrace; 01-03-2009 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:24 AM   #12 (permalink)
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GG,


Thanks, again, for taking the time to respond.

I've discounted filing an appeal, but am filing a motion for a reduction of sentence. Especially, since I live only 20 miles from the Maryland state line, and work in that state, so interstate travel is too restrictive while on probation. This motion will also be requesting that the no unlaw contact order be dropped, and that the current Judge recuse herself from the case for the previously stated reason.

Addtionally, I'm filing a petition for the return of property, i.e, my handgun. What I will be suggesting to the court, in lieu of my current sentence, will be to return my handgun, and order I complete a "state certified" firearm safety class.

Since my handgun did accidentally discharge, I'm not going to challenge my guilt, however, I do not feel that the punishment fits the crime, and is too harsh, in this case. Some people mayl disagree, but I'll be satisfied with exercising all of my rights under due process of law.

Thanks, again.
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:44 AM   #13 (permalink)
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In asking for a reduction in sentence. I do not believe you can ask for the other things you mentioned to be altered since a reduction in sentence addresses just that. Asking to amend the other things such as having your weapon returned after taking classes, etc. would fit under the action of an appeal, not a reduction in sentence.

When you present a motion for the court, it is very specfic: Reduction of sentence. What you are proposing is a good idea, but the court is under no compulsion to consider it without an appeal since your goal is to challenge everything besides the admission that the gun did go off.

I would ask an attorney before putting the time and money into this only to get to court and find out they cannot consider your request.

I may be wrong, but an appeal may be necessary----you may not want to appeal the fact the gun discharged, but you are attempting to use other things such as the judges identity as grounds to alter what happened in court that day. I may be wrong--but I don't think so.

I would certainly be interested in knowing how this turns out.

Thank you for the reply and I wish you well.
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Last edited by GentleGrace; 01-06-2009 at 06:50 AM.
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