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Joshua Sachs

Joshua Sachs’s Answers

5,165 total


  • Is my attorney Incompetent? (Federal Case)

    After hiring my Attorney, he was elected Judge for the local municipal court. I had evidence that had not been turned in at the time he recommended that I take the Plea. At the signing of the Plea, The Plea stated that I had partaken in what I had...

    Joshua’s Answer

    Are you asking whether you received constitutionally ineffective assistance of counsel? In order to establish ineffective assistance you would have to demonstrate both (a) representation by the attorney that fell below professional standards and (b) actual prejudice. It is impossible to tell about (a) from your posting. As to (b), where is the prejudice in your case? How did your attorney's error, if error there was, hurt you? If you can't show that you are going nowhere with this.

    An online Q&A forum is no place to explore this issue. You need to consult an attorney familiar with federal criminal practice. for an evaluation what happened and what, if anything, you can do about it.

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  • What does it mean when a case says reclosed.

    I was looking at my case records and saw that it says reclosed on one of them and was curious to what this means.

    Joshua’s Answer

    Saying that a case is "closed" has no legal meaning. It is an administrative entry used by the clerk. Same thing with "reclosed" presumably. This is the first time I have encountered it in over forty years of practice. I assume it means that the clerk put the file with the closed cases, that it was reactivated for some purpose or other, and then put back in the closed pile.

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  • In a federal criminal case when is the judgment of conviction final over?

    Regarding a habeas corpus Is the judgment of conviction the day a person is convicted, the day of sentencing, or the day all appeals have been exhausted?

    Joshua’s Answer

    I think you are asking when a state court conviction becomes final for purposes of calculating the filing deadline for a 2254 petition.

    If that is indeed your question, the answer is that the conviction is final when (a) the United States Supreme Court denies the defendant's petition for writ of certiorari on direct appeal or (b) if no petition for writ of certiorari is filed then the conviction is final at the expiration of the time for filing such a petition, which would be 90 days after the denial of relief on direct appeal in the state's highest court. The time for filing the petition is calculated from that date, but time during which a properly filed petition for state collateral review is pending tolls the filing period.

    This is a complicated and potentially difficult calculation and should be made by an attorney familiar with both federal habeas corpus and with your state's criminal appellate and collateral procedure. When I worked for the Illinois State Appellate Defender we had a rule that habeas corpus deadline calculations had to be checked by a second attorney. You don't want to get this one wrong and it is easy to do. Please don't try to do it on your own.

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  • My friend has. a conviction of 40 years . We want to appeal his case and take it to retrial. He was 17 and is now 20 years old.

    He just got convicted to 40 years. He was 17 and is now 20. How can we go about appealing his case and having a retrial with an attorney ?

    Joshua’s Answer

    Every state has strict rules for how and when an appeal must be initiated. Every state has strict rules governing how potential issues on appeal must be raised in the trial court so that an appellate court will even consider them. Failure to comply with these rules can sink an appeal before it begins, even if the defendant's claims might have potential merit.

    You must immediately consult an attorney familiar with criminal appeal practice in California. Appeal deadlines in many states are measured not in months or weeks, but in days. Get on the telephone today. You are fortunate that California recognizes legal specialties, so you can look for lawyers who are certified in appellate practice. Perhaps there is even a criminal appellate certification. Let no grass grow. Move on this today.

    You might begin with the Find-a-Lawyer function at the top of this page.

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  • Can i be charged as an accesory to felony theft?

    I work as a cook at a small bar & grill in Palos, Illinois. Earlier today a gentleman came in through the back door to the kitchen, asked for my boss by name, identified himself as a representative of a gaming company and that he was here to pick ...

    Joshua’s Answer

    It is not up to your boss whether criminal charges are brought against you or not. If the police believe there is a basis on which to charge you they will so report to the State's Attorney of your county, and it is the State's Attorney who will decide whether to charge or not. Your boss can scream and threaten all he wants, but he cannot overrule the State's Attorney's decision not to charge you. But by the same token the State's Attorney can charge you though your boss beg for you on bended knee.

    All that having been said, if there is no more to this than what you have told us (and please, please, do not post any more facts about the matter on this public website) the State's Attorney might well decide that a charge could not succeed and is not worth pursuing. I say, "If".

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  • Will I win me appeal? Your opinion.

    I was convicted of a second degree felony. I have 100% proof the the prosecutor used false evidence hat was material against me to secure a conviction. And I can prove that the false evidence affected the judgement of the jury.

    Joshua’s Answer

    You need an answer from a Texas attorney. In most states evidence that was not before the trial court cannot be used for any purpose on appeal. Texas may or may not have a collateral remedy that might allow you raise your claim.

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  • Criminal case: Do I lose my right to bring up issues in later appeals if I don't bring it up now at the state appellate level?

    I am told by my appellate attorney in a criminal case not to bring up ineffective assistance of counsel at the state appeal level, even though I have strong merit/grounds. She says that I can bring it up on a Personal Restraint Petition if I lose ...

    Joshua’s Answer

    That is a much more complicated question than you may realize, especially if you are asking (among other questions) what you may have to do in a state court now in order to avoid a procedural forfeiture in federal habeas corpus proceedings far down the line. This issue is much too important and much too difficult to address in an online Q&A forum and, as my colleague has noted. we should not be second-guessing the attorney who is representing you and knows both your case and your state's law, which we do not.

    You could ask for a second opinion from an attorney familiar with criminal appeals and collateral review in Washington. If you decide to do so, candor and courtesy require that you tell both your present attorney and the consulting attorney what you are doing.

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  • Can one application to the court be used to obtain two separate Title III wiretaps. Thank you

    One application was used to obtain several wiretaps on different people in the same case

    Joshua’s Answer

    I have certainly seen it done. The government's application would have to establish the necessary grounds and satisfy the necessary standard as to each telephone. If that is done it is hard to see the problem with authorizing taps on multiple phones of multiple users in a single application and order. But I have not actually researched your question.

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  • If an offender took a plea deal, can he appeal his case if he found that his attorney was negligent in negotiating his deal

    My friend is currently doing 7 years as a first time offender for a non-violent crime. He took a plea deal as his lawyer advised, but a family friend who is an attorney reviewed his case after he was sentenced and we believe there are some gaps i...

    Joshua’s Answer

    It is certainly possible to have an attorney review what happened. I suggest that you choose an attorney who is familiar with criminal defense, criminal appeals, and criminal collateral remedies in the state in which your friend was convicted.

    My instinct is that this is going to be a very, very tough sell and a very, very long shot, for both substantive and procedural reasons; but by all means check it out with somebody who really understands this rather difficult subject.

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  • Is It A Time Limit For Texas Death Row Inmates Concerning If The Fifth Circuit Will Review Their Notice Of Appeal.

    (Example): A U.S. Federal District Court Of Texas deny you a Certificate Of Appealability (COA) which would've made it Mandatory for The Fifth Circuit to review your Case but you file a Notice Of Appeal with The Fifth Circuit. How long do The F...

    Joshua’s Answer

    There is no time limit under federal law and I have known it to take several months for a federal court of appeals to rule on an application for a certificate of appealability, and this has been so either way, whether a separate application has been filed or whether the court is simply treating the notice of appeal itself as an application for COA. My experience on this issue, however, has been limited to the Seventh Circuit and I cannot tell what the practice in the Fifth Circuit may be.

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