My fiance was charged with a fire arm and has had 3 priors before, was give 6 years max. He has been in County jail since 05/01/11 and was sentenced on 09/25/12 to state prison. Will attorneys charge to look over his paper work in which show the charges for his priors? (penal codes) I would like to know if its even worth appealing before I sign any contrat with an attorney.
Criminal Defense Attorney
What is it that you want to appeal? That YOU feel he got too much time? Regardless of your feelings about it, he may have pled to save himself a longer prison sentence. You should talk to his previous attorney first, then decide whether or not there are grounds for an appeal.
Mr. Feasel is a former prosecutor in San Mateo County (CA) with over 10 years of criminal law experience. Nothing stated on this site shall in anyway be construed as legal advice, or as creating any attorney/client relationship. If you would like to hire Mr. Feasel to further investigate your situation, feel free to contact him thru this site.
You should talk to several appellate attorneys. They are not going to charge to just talk to you for a few minutes, but may charge to review the file. Will it cost a lot? How much is his liberty worth? That a three-time offender got sent to prison on weapons charge is not amazing, though.
Some lawyers cost more than others. To a large extent, you get what you pay for.
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Criminal Defense Attorney
Under certain circumstances, your fiance may be entitled to court appointed counsel that will represent him in his appeal without charge to you. Was your fiance represented by the PD's office? Did his prior attorney file a notice of appeal already? If the answer to both of these questions is yes (and you should contact his prior attorney to find out), then your fiance may have counsel appointed to represent him. Please note, this is an oversimplified answer, but it should not take you or an appellate attorney too much time to find out if the notice of appeal has been filed, and if your fiance is eligible for court appointed cousel. If you have a case number you can try looking the case number up on the Court of Appeal's website.
Also note, challenging priors on appeal can be difficult. And if your fiance was sentenced after he pleaded guilty, any appeal can be very difficult to win.
Criminal Defense Attorney
From what you write, I have to say it is most likely a waste of money to look into a possible appeal. Without knowing more specific information, it's hard to say for sure but a firearms charge with three priors of some sort would suggest 6 years is not an unduly harsh sentence. Nevertheless, there is a reasonably specific formula by which sentencing is conducted and, if you have full information on what he was found guilty of/pled to, I could give you a better answer.
You may wish to call me if you have that information. I would not post such specifics on a public forum.