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Brett D. Schandelson

Brett Schandelson’s Answers

21 total

  • Do I have the right to get good-time credit for time served on house arrest ?

    I was placed on informal house arrest when released on bail for revocation of probation. A year later I was sentenced. I was not given credit for house arrest. I looked into it on my own and found that the 1999 Montana Legislature had a bill HB 48...

    Brett’s Answer

    Under MCA 46-18-203 you would be entitled to receive credit for time served on home arrest as a result of a revocation, however, it appears that your home arrest was as a condition of bail, which you posted, not as commitment. Whether that is an important distinction or not would have to be answered by an attorney after a through review of your sentencing paperwork. However, in order to ensure you received credit, if proper, you would need to appeal your revocation and you only have a limited amount of time after re-sentencing to do so. You should make an appointment with an attorney ASAP.

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  • Can we recieve court documates related to sentencing or the Clerk of recorder transcripts for free and where?

    My son was charged with 2 felonies for driving on the school football field, but court sentencing did not occur until he was an adult and he was sentenced as an adult, he served 6 months in county awaiting bootcamp opening which he completed 120 d...

    Brett’s Answer

    You can go to the Clerk of District Court and request to view the file, but depending on how long ago this was, there may be a fee involved. Ordering transcripts will almost certainly require a fee, and they can get quite costly. As to your final question, if he was tried as an adult, and not in youth court, then the limit on Court jurisdiction is the sentence he received, and not how old he is. If you have further questions, you should speak with a criminal defense attorney or the public defender's office that previously represented him.

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  • How do i get a court appointed attorney before actual arrest?

    I received a citation for family member assault. Officer called an hour after I learned of child and school reporting abuse. Officer said he was investigating alleged abuse and wanted a statement. I said I had to get ready for work, he said I shou...

    Brett’s Answer

    You cannot get court-appointed counsel until your initial appearance on the charge. At that time the Judge will appoint the Public Defender's Office if you ask for an attorney and cannot afford one. Between now and your initial appearance you should remain a law abiding citizen. If you received a PFMA but were not arrested and required to bond out, you might be able to remain at liberty while the case is going on, subject to conditions of release. Your first question is best left for your eventual counsel.

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  • I have a bench warrant for not appearing before judge

    i really thought that i had 3 more days before appearing before judge on a citation. what should i do? will i serve jail time? should i get a bail bondsman? any other advice?

    Brett’s Answer

    Since you say citation, I will assume this is a bench warrant out of a City/Municipal Court or a Justice Court. Provided you self-report to the court with an attorney, you will likely not head to jail, though obviously the facts of your case and the individual judge may change things. You should contact an attorney TODAY or ASAP to get in to see the judge, as it is always preferable to see a judge in person, and not over video or in orange.

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  • What if you found that the DUI Test video at the jail is tampered with? Do you file a USC 1983 civil suit?

    I found that the DVD of the DUI test at the jail had been munipulated to the point that the officer claimed I had refused the test. I spoke to the officer during the test explaining that there was something wrong with the mouthpiece yet my voice n...

    Brett’s Answer

    You need to deal with the criminal matter first and foremost. Focusing on whether you can sue the government is almost never going to help you in the criminal matter. These issues can and should be addressed in the criminal matter first, in an effort to get the case dismissed and/or to suppress evidence. Your public defender should be capable of raising these spoliation issues, and if not, then you should seek other counsel.

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  • I entered a convenient store at approx: 7:40 Pm five minutes later I'm arrested for DUI, should'nt you be physically in control?

    I'm in a convenient store at 7:40 Pm using the ATM, the Officer enters the store about 7:45 Pm. I then go to the counter with my Cheetos as the Officer approaches me from behind and says: I would like to speak with you outside please! I agreed and...

    Brett’s Answer

    What now is that you need to consult with a qualified Montana DUI attorney.

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  • My ex-girlfriend filed a restraning order on me so I cant see my son, What do I do? are there any pro-bono lawyers in missoula?

    my ex said that i beat her and my son when we lived together but i have never raised a hand to anyone. also my son never once lived with us after he was born, my ex had me sign papers that said we had given up the baby for adoption but she never g...

    Brett’s Answer

    You need to retain counsel quickly. If you cannot afford an attorney, you should check with Montana Legal Services to see if you qualify for their services. (www.mtlsa.org) Keep in mind that many, many people do not qualify for their services, in which case you would need to retain an attorney.

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  • Medical Reimbursement

    Is it standard practice for an attorney to take a 1/3 of medical reimbursements that were paid 100 % by the victim for medical or mental health treatment ?

    Brett’s Answer

    The fee your describing is what is called a contingency fee - basically, the lawyer doesn't require any money upfront and fronts all the costs and expenditures during the case, in exchange for a percentage of whatever is recovered. If those reimbursements were part of a settlement is wouldn't be surprising an attorney may make a claim against it.

    Whatever fee agreement you have in your case would be governed by the written contract (as a written contract is required under these circumstances in Montana). If you have problems or questions about the fee agreement, the attorney you retained is probably the best place to start.

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  • What is the best way to get paraphernalia and drug charges dropped?

    I was driving my roommates car because I had left mine downtown the night before when I got pulled over for not having a license plate on front. The second officer smelled the pot I had in the car at the time and asked me about it. I lied at fir...

    Brett’s Answer

    Depending on your criminal history and which Court you are in (if you are in Missoula, I'm betting Municipal Court) you would be eligible for a deferred sentence under Montana law, at a minimum as to the possession. A deferred sentence means that once you complete whatever conditions are imposed, the conviction would come off your record. There may be other was to get the charges directly dismissed or dropped by the prosecutor, depending on the facts.

    If you are not eligible for a public defender or are able to and desire to hire private counsel, you should make an appointment with a criminal defense attorney. Most of us give free consultations too, so you won't be on the hook for anything just to talk to an attorney. You could get some real benefit by being represented by an attorney.

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  • What can be done if a lawyer fails to communicate with you and will not return your phone calls on an active case?

    Is there any recourse a client can take if an attorney fails to represent their client in the clients best interest ?

    Brett’s Answer

    This is the most common complaint of lawyers - lack of communication. In order to move your case forward, you basically have two choices:

    1) Try to work it out with current lawyer by continuing to contact him/her, leaving messages, and generally letting his or her staff know you're upset and would like to speak with the attorney. Usually making that effort will get your case back on the lawyer's radar so you can get an update or take whatever action needs to be taken.

    2) Hire new counsel who would request the file from the current attorney and begin to represent you.

    You can also make a bar complaint with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (www.montanaodc.org) or seek advice of another attorney. Note, however, that most lawyers in the same area will typically not be too interested in going after a lawyer they know, so if that's the route you decide on pursuing, I would suggest you look in another town.

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