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Strafford County Jail Pre-sentencing, New Hampshire

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Pre-sentencing

Interview with Freya, Jen and Cathy

JM: Tell us about the pre-sentencing process:
Freya: arrested for DUI, bailed out by friend, given arraignment date, pled not guilty (did not have to appear), given court date 4 months later.
Jen: Pre-sentencing took a little over a year, and 5 seperate court dates.
Cathy: I was out on bail until my sentencing hearing.

JM: Did you have police stop by your house for questioning? If not please give us details on how you came to be arrested.
Freya: not
Jen: Yes-several times.
Cathy: I self-surrendered to the police, was officially arrested, had the mug shot taken and was fingerprinted.

JM: What was court like? Please give as many details as you recall.
Freya: I dressed up in a suit and tie, got there 20 minutes early, and my lawyer met with me and then with the prosecutor. They produced a plea bargain which I thought was fair and acceptable because of my lawyer's skill and knowledge of my case and what I had done to help myself by going to a 28 day program and AA meetings. When in the courtroom, I always addressed the judge as "your Honor", as my lawyer suggested. The judge reluctantly agreed with the sentence that had been worked out with the prosecutor.
Jen: Had public defender-was told I would probably get a suspended sentence due to low level of crime-Judge said she was going to make an example out of me and gave me 6 months in jail w/ 2 years probation.
Cathy: I had multiple status hearings over 4 years. Sentencing hearing was stressful and scary as it wasn't a given that the judge was going to accept the plea deal on the table, which was VERY lenient considering the charges.

JM: What were your original charges? What did you end up being convicted of?
Cathy: 4 counts of Class A felony theft. I pled guilty to 1 count of felony theft and had the rest suspended for 10 years.

Read about sentencing in the Strafford County Jail

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