Letter to Friend Explaining Court Processes
You receive the following letter from a former friend:
I find myself in quite a predicament due to my own misfortune and bad judgment. My 6-year-old son and I were recently left homeless after I was laid off from my job and my house was taken by the bank.
I enrolled my son in a nearby elementary school when school started in the fall. I used the address where I lived last, because I don’t have a current address. The school district discovered that I wasn’t living at that address and charged me with fraud. I was arrested yesterday and haven’t yet been to court. My son was placed in the care of protective services.
I just want to get out of jail as soon as possible to reunite with my son. I have some questions, and I was hoping you could do some research to find the answers for me.
- The police never read me my Miranda warnings. Will my case be dismissed as a result?
- The police also haven’t questioned me yet. Should I agree to talk to them, if asked?
- Is this considered a state or federal offense?
- Will this be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony?
- Do you think I really need an attorney? After all, I am guilty, and I can’t afford one.
- I also don’t have any money for bail. Are there any options that would allow me to be released from custody prior to trial and that would not require money?
- How do I get to see the police reports?
- What is the difference between the grand jury hearing and a preliminary hearing? Which would be better in my case?
- Do you think that I should just plead guilty so I can get this over with and reunite with my son? Why or why not?
- Who decides if I’m guilty: the prosecutor, judge, or jury?
- What happens if I am found guilty? What type of sentence do you think I’ll receive? Why do you think I’ll receive that sentence?
- What are my options if I don’t agree with the verdict or the sentence?
Write a 700- to 1,050-word letter to your friend answering your friend’s questions.
Cite and reference the assigned text and at least one other scholarly and reliable source in your letter. Do not use dictionaries or encyclopedias as source material for this assignment.
Format your letter consistent with APA guidelines. The use of first person (I, we) and second person (you) is appropriate for this assignment.