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Interview with Eric

JM: Tell us about the pre-sentencing process:
Eric: Pre-sentencing happens about a week before you are sentenced. Someone from the probation or parole department meets with you and asks you questions about your criminal history, family, substance abuse history, what kind of home situation you have, what kind of job you have, your employment history, your education, and what friends you have. They ask for specifics and tend to concentrate on negative things and quickly pass over the positive things. Then if you are lucky they tell you what they are going to recommend to the judge. If not, then you go to sentencing mostly in the blind because the pre-sentence report is not finished until just before the sentencing date.

JM: Did you have police stop by your house for questioning? If not please give us details on how you came to be arrested.
Eric: I was on parole at the time and my parole officer had found out that I was driving without a license. I left work and on the way home was pulled over. When the officer came up, behind her was my parole officer. The parole officer had me arrested for parole violations and the police officer made the arrest.

JM: What was court like? Please give as many details as you recall.
Eric: Court in Grand Traverse County for me was not a very good experience. It does not matter the fact that you are not guilty or that there is no proof that you are, the court appointed attorney constantly, repeatedly tells you that you MUST take a deal. I have actually gotten into fights with court appointed attorneys because they just want you to plea to a charge even when you absolutely should not. So that's what happens. You take pleas.

JM: What were your original charges? What did you end up being convicted of?
Eric: My original charges were, after my arrest, Failing to Register my Vehicle (Sex Offender Registry) and Habitual offender 4th, a life offense. My final plea was Failing to Register, a four year felony.

Read about sentencing in the Grand Traverse County Jail

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