JM: Tell us about the pre-sentencing process: Ricky: You have your arrest, arraignment, pre trial, and trial. You can
be arrested for a number of things, including a new charge, a
warrant, or failure to pay fines from a previous charge. At your
arraignment, Depending on the severity of a charge you can
be granted bail, ranging from personal recognizance, surety or
cash bail. You can also be held without bail. During your
arraignment, you also can be assigned a public defender if you
cannot pay for an attorney. Your pre-trial consists of the
prosecutor and your lawyer or PD bargaining for what is
known as a "deal" if no suitable arrangement can Be agreed
upon, or if your innocent you can eventually take it to trial.
Depending on the outcome of the trial you can either be found
innocent or guilty- if you are found guilty a sentence and or
fines are imposed.
JM: Did you have police stop by your house for questioning? If not please give us details on how you came to be arrested. Ricky: No. I was caught committing a crime. I was shoplifting from a
store and I was caught by store security. I was already on
probation, and had what is know as a "suspended sentence"
hanging over my head. I violated the terms of my probation
and suspended sentence by acquiring a new charge, and the
suspended sentence was partially imposed... I had a year
suspended sentence, but I was only sentenced to serve half
that, on top of penalties for my new charge.
JM: What was court like? Please give as many details as you recall. Ricky: My charge was a misdemeanor, which means I had to go to
district court. Had it of been a felony, I would of gone to
superior court. I spent the night in the providence jail and was
shackled and escorted to providence district court In the
morning. I spent most of the day in holding cells under the
courthouse. They were dirty and overcrowded. Groups of us
were shackled together, and led up to the courtroom where
our charges were read, and we went before a judge
JM: What were your original charges? What did you end up being convicted of? Ricky: My original charges were felony shoplifting and possession of
a controlled substance. I was convicted of misdemeanor
shoplifting and sentenced to a tears probation and a years
suspended sentence. 6 moths of my original sentence of a
year and a year was also imposed.