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Interview with Trisha, Jared and Lucia

JM: Tell us about the pre-sentencing process:
Trisha: I was convicted of a felony. First you are arrested and go into booking. Pic is taking, fingerprints are taken. Next you go into a pea pod, that is classification for up to 7 days. While you're in pea pod you are waiting to go to your video hearing, where bail is set. Next you go to preliminary hearing. Go to the courthouse shackled, in a van. You will have a preliminary hearing usually within 2 weeks of arrest. This hearing is to determine if there is enough to go forward with a trial.
Jared: Such a long process but its what they do. You just sit and a room and you can't talk to your public defender but he is there.You are confused if yyou've never talked to your lawyer.its frustrating. They offer you a deal and if you don't take it ,they send you back to the county to wait for next sentencing date.
Lucia: It was very crowded, many different offenders in the room. Judge Freelander was the judge that day. Most of the offenders had already been put into pods and had undeterminite dates to be released. I was one of the only three women in for the day. Many of the people in were in for violating probation.

JM: Did you have police stop by your house for questioning? If not please give us details on how you came to be arrested.
Trisha: Didn't answer.
Jared: I was walking down the street and a good semeritan called the cops because I smelled like weed.I ran when the cops arrived on the scene. I threw the weed and gave myself up. A watching witness yelled to the cops that I threw the weed in her yard. They read me my right and took me in.
Lucia: I was arrested for an excessive DUI for driving the wrong way down a one way street at the beginning of summer. I was arrested on site, with my car towed, and breathalized at the station. After failing the breath test i was moved into booking and then shortly after was moved into weekend housing.

JM: What was court like? Please give as many details as you recall.
Trisha: The court system moves pretty fast. This is a yuppy area, tourist town, upper class. They are really strict on crime. I did five years on an accessory to felony. My friend stabbed a guy and that's was what I got.
Jared: Sitting in shackles waiting on your name to be called. You hope that the person before you don't name the judge mad. Your seperated from the court room until your time is called. Your lawyer/attorney doesn't want to see you or talk to you until five minutes before your facing a felony charge that could change your life.
Lucia: I was the only person being brought in from jail for court at the 11am time slot. I was the last person to be called up. My public defender and the judge along with prosecuting attorney entered the room late as they were discussing the cases in a separate room. my parents were there. very upset but still very supporting.

JM: What were your original charges? What did you end up being convicted of?
Trisha: The longest I was in there was for acccessory to a felony. I did 9 months waiting to go to prison on that charge. Accessory to felony, aggravated battery, charged and convicted
Jared: I was originally charged with poss. Of marijuana and obstruction of justice and destruction of evidence I was convicted of poss.of weed intent to distribute felony the rest misd.
Lucia: My original charges were excessive DUI. First they were going to charge me with 10 days in jail, 5 days sheriffs labor, 2 years unsupervised probation, and drug and alcohol classes. In the end i ended up doing 2 months jail time with 2 years unsupervised probation and drug and alcohol classes.

Read about sentencing in the Kootenai County Jail

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