I have a relative in Memphis, Tn who was arrested in November for initiation, possession, and promotion of meth. He does not have private counsel but is using a public defender. I have called multiple times and even written a letter to have questions answered without success. The prisoner also has never spoken with his public defender. At his last court appearance he was offered 8yrs community correction probation. He did not know what this was and the PD brought documents to him (first time he has seen the PD) to sign. He did not sign not knowing what this was. How long do you have to make a decision to take this offer? What should we expect to happen at the next court appearance?
Criminal Defense Attorney
Your relative is represented by and needs to communicate with his attorney about these types of things. Your relative's attorney does not have to speak with you, and could actually be prohibited from doing so. Community corrections is like probation but more stringent. I have attached a link that explains more about the program to my answer.
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I agree with my colleague that an attorney has no obligation to speak with a client's relative and in fact cannot talk about case information without a client's express permission. This is the basis for the attorney/client privilege. You can offer to assist your relative to the best of your abilities within this context. If your relative is not satisfied with his attorney, perhaps you can help pay for private counsel.
I have been licensed to practice in the State of Oregon since 1990. I am not offering legal advice regarding your question, only general information regarding the law. You are not my client nor am I your attorney unless we sign a retainer agreement.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
While my colleagues are correct that the relative's counsel shouldn't discuss the case with you, it is understandable that you would have questions.
In Sumner County, the community corrections program is referred to as the "delayed entry" program because it is such a strict program.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Community Corrections, otherwise known as "street time," is a probation that allows for a non-violent felony offender to stay out prison by agreeing to comply with very strict rules and supervision. Instead of serving time in prison, the offender gets "street time" credit. If you break the rules, you go to prison to serve the rest of the sentence. This is different from probation, which has no "street time" credit. Only certain people can qualify for community corrections and once its revoked you never get a second chance. Community correction is an intensive prison alternative that seeks to reduce the costs of the prison system while giving offenders the chance to move on with their lives, work and be with their families while staying out of trouble.