Question: ”Four years ago, I was sentenced to 36 months of probation, community service, 20 days in jail, plus $1,100 in court fines. A week later, I violated my summary probation, for a DUI hit and run. I left the state for four years. Now, I would like to return to California, and take care of my warrants. Am I facing jail time? Someone told me I am facing four years for the violation and one year for the DUI hit and run.”
Answer: in regards to whether you are facing jail time, the answer is “yes,” at least on the probation violation. The amount of time is variable, but far less than four years. With respect to your open case, it could be a year or more, depending on what was actually charged against you. However, more information would be needed before a more definitive answer could be given. I would suggest you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who is local to the court where your matters are pending, and further, who has handled these types of matters before, as not only will they present you with options as to your open case, but they may have a better idea as to what the specific judge has done in terms of sentencing on these types of violations in the past.
Question: ”My friend was responsible for a first time DUI with injuries; specifically the injured person suffered broken ribs. On the inmate information site, it says my friend has priors, I am certain this is a mistake. What can we expect the outcome to be?”
Answer: You should contact local, experienced counsel. There can be enhancements for causing great bodily injury in this scenario, and further, as it appears there may be prior convictions that you are unaware of, each prior charge further complicates things. Is he or she on probation? If so, this conduct will result in a violation of the same, and will serve to add additional custody time to his/her exposure.
Question: ”My 20-year-old friend robbed three people at gunpoint (no bullets inside the gun) and only stole their cellphones. This was not gang related, and there were no injuries. What is the minimum and maximum charge he is looking at?”
Answer: This is considered a robbery with an enhancement for use of a firearm, a very serious crime with a long prison commitment attached to it. Your friend is likely looking at 12 years, minimum. 2 years for the robbery and 10 years for the gun. The fact that the gun may not have been loaded is irrelevant. This is a very serious crime, that requires immediate counsel. Hire an attorney as soon as possible.
Question: ”Can a judge legally request a defendant to be diagnosed by a court appointed psychiatrist prior to a criminal trial, in order to establish whether defendant can stand trial? If no, can the defendant refuse such a request? Further, does a defendant in a criminal case have the right of content of text messages/ emails, to prove the alleged victim had fabricated the criminal case?”
Answer: To answer your first question, a judge may order an evaluation only after some sort of exhibition has caused him to call the person’s competency into question, in. Usually it works to the defendant’s benefit. In regards to the content of emails or texts – an attorney can obtain that information for you.