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Interview with Ricardo, Lori, Carlos, Kirk, Tyler, Enrique, Anna and Tami

JM: Tell us about the pre-sentencing process:
Ricardo: I was arrested and given a unreasonable bail amount for the charge of graffit( something like 80,000) so I was unable to be released on bail. I was arraigned within 72 hours and set for court two weeks after my initial arrest. I had no choice but to remain in the county jail until sentencing day 3 weeks later. I was given time served for the charge and only needed to sit out the fine, 50 dollars a day.
Lori: I took myself to the local police station to report what had happened. I did not understand that I had according to the law had stolen a gun. I felt it cold, harsh, and humiliating. Waiting for long periods of time...having very little information and did not have many to share with as too many were too involved with their fears.
Carlos: Pre sentencing is the hardest part for me. You get very anxious waiting for others to decide your fate. You feel like you are being screwed by the system. There is no justice
Kirk: Court runs usually once every 2 months so there is a long wait in between your court dates leaves you with a lot of time to wonder what's going to happen next you do have access to the law library so you do have a way to find out what you might be facing.
Tyler: the pre sentencing process was about a week long, at first before getting booked they took about 5 hours for them to get my fingerprints and to book me in, when I got booked in they gave me rotten sandwich that had mold on the bread, I showed the bread to the nurse in the intake .
Enrique: Was arrested at work taken to jail then after a month was released due to no indictment. Got a job again and after one week at work and four weeks out i was arrested again because i got the indictment. I spent months going to court for nothing then would be sent back till the next month.
Anna: It is a long process to even start to go to court while you are being detatined. If you are unable to bail out then you have about a 1 to 2 month wait. The first time you go to court it is only for an arraignment, then you have to go back about 2 to 3 weeks later to begin the plea process.

JM: Did you have police stop by your house for questioning? If not please give us details on how you came to be arrested.
Ricardo: No I was arrested on the spot.
Lori: No, as mentioned I was arrested upon me inadvertently turning myself in. I was distraught/overwhelmed. I was not told immediately what was perceived as wrong. It was confusing for me. I again only asked what had happened and what had done...they were cautious around me and eventually i was charged even though I took the gun to protect the children and me.
Carlos: They came by to accuse more than question. I was automatically guilty even before they heard my side of the story. I've been threatened to be beaten by police even for invoking my right to be silent.
Kirk: I was arrested for burglary of a habitation I was at a bar and my ex girlfriend called the police and told them I had broke into her house she told them where I was and they came and arrested me they had no evidence when I was arrested just her word
Tyler: I came to be arrested because I was already wanted for a probation revocation, the officer that arrested me already knew me, he saw me driving on the freeway and pulled me over , he didn't say a word and just puled his gun out and opened my door .
Tami: yes they came to my house to question my family after i had been arreted for possession of marijuana. they asked them if they could search. my family said no but then they told them if they found anything and got a warrent my family would be liable so my family let them search
Enrique: A search warrant was issued they came to my house i was not home then they showed up at my work and took me into custody there. The worst part was being a manager and having the U.S. Marshals coming to my work surrounding it and calling me out after coming to my house and walking in with not warrant and not let in my anyone the door was open.
Anna: I was arrested for theft at a local store, I was caught shoplifting at a wal mart and the police were then called to the store and I was transferred from there to a local police station and was questioned by a detective at that time who took a statement from me.

JM: What was court like? Please give as many details as you recall.
Ricardo: I was wearing green pants and green top. Kinda like green jail scrubs, green being misdemeanor.
Lori: What I recall is that it was much anticipated and at the same time you feel helpless. All was in order according to charges being read. I only recall not having an attorney...only charges read out. Just a daunting experience...grey in color and dull w/minimal supports inside the jail. helplessness and overwhelming
Carlos: The lawyers are crooks! I would never get a lawyer again! They work for the courts not for you. Judge talks to you like your stupid. Your guilty until proven innocent. They make sure the lawyer talks for you so you cant defend yourself. They make sure to make you look guilty by having you wearing a jump suit and hand cuffed even your ankles. Sucks knowing your side of the story will never be told.
Kirk: The court process is very long it begins at 2 am and you usually don't get back until around 5 they feed you only a bologna sandwich during the day while your gone rather than meet with your lawyer In private you have to discuss your case with everyone around
Tyler: court was pretty long and stressful, they have you waiting in a small room about about 8 feet by 10 feet with about ten other inmates, you don't have privacy to use the restroom and sometimes there is no toilet paper and the toilet is sometimes not cleaned right .
Tami: my court experience was fair. i had a lawyer to represent me. it took about a year until my sentencing was put into place. it always took about 3 hours every time i would go because i had to wait for my case to be taken care of and my layer to come
Enrique: Court was really done between my DA and my attorney i never spoke to the judge until i plead. Since i was incarcerated they took there time with my court dates i spent months on this crime that had no evidence or witnesses to it. When they realized i was not going to confess for the crime i didn't commit they set it to jury trial this was in early December they set my trial until June.
Anna: It was packed, there are alot of inmates as well as people out on bail waiting to make a plea bargain or sign for their time. I see alot of the lawyers that may have alot of clients that tend to be late or not show up for their clients.

JM: What were your original charges? What did you end up being convicted of?
Lori: Theft of a Firearm...this is the original charge as initiated by the plaintiff. As I was advised I was told that the person who pressed charges had left all guns everywhere. she never put the guns away....we, e.g. the girls, took to hiding them
Carlos: I've been charged with many different charges from unauthorized use of a vehicle to drug possession to domestic violence
Kirk: Burgelry of habitation and I was convicted of the same
Tyler: my original charges where possession of a controlled substance, and probation revocation, I was convicted of probation violation and was re instated.
Tami: dwi, pom x 3, delivery x2, tamp w gov doc. convicted of dwi
Enrique: Robbery was the original charge in the end i pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault
Anna: theft with 2 prior convictions, so it was a felony, i was convicted of it and served a 6 month state jail sentence, which in reality ended up being around 6 1/2 to 7 months because of the paper work process.

Read about sentencing in the El Paso County Jail

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