Last January I was burglarized. A man entered my unlocked living room and stole around $1000 worth of electronics equipment. The police caught him a week later and I was returned most of my stuff, minus a few items which I filed a restitution form for (in the amount of $220). He was sentenced to spend time in prison and has since skipped town in a stolen vehicle and been caught in New York state, and returned to this county for his hearing.
I have been keeping up with the case via the online court documents (scanned copies of the court papers, warrants, etc) and have kept a close watch on how things develop.
After checking the documents today, I realized a couple of startling facts and I would like some input on what I should do.
First off - this man also hit 4 rooms in my complex over a 2-day period. The crimes were committed in exactly the same way - unlawful entry into an unlocked room and theft. Those rooms are all listed as individual cases, but while theirs are treated in his sentencing as burglary charges, my specific case convicts him only of "knowingly concealing stolen property." This makes a difference in his sentence, as the other cases net him a 7-year sentence but mine is only getting him 5 years. Not that it makes a big differnce, but I would like to know what sets me apart from the others.
I am acquainted with the other victims in this case, and we all filed reports with the police and in the court on the same days, yet my case is treated almost a month before everyone else's is in the courts.
The big thing that bugs me, though, is that while in the other cases he has been ordered to pay restitution (ranging from $100 to $500), in mine he has not been given that order. I did lose property in this crime just like the other cases, but why am I specifically omitted in the restitution claims? This is why the other facts of my case (being listed differently and having a different conviction) stand out and alarm me.
Should I contact someone in the county court to resolve this issue, or just be glad that I got out of it the way I did? I don't care at all about whether his sentence gets changed or how long he spends in jail (the sentences run concurrently so it wouldn't make a difference either way) but I would like to see some financial recovery in this situation because I lost some property I can't easily replace, and the other cases are getting money back.
Anyone familiar with police/judicial/legal procedures have any thoughts?
Posted:Unlocked? Okay...now that that was said....
Check the proescutors names for the other clients. It sounds like they are being repped by the same attorney, and handled all at once. If that is the case, you might want to get in on it.
You got some of your stuff back. What is the worth of the items that are still missing? That has an effect on the case. If it is under a certain amount, whivh varies state to state, it is concidered a misdemeanor or lesser charge. The evidence in each case might also be different. Is there conclusive evidence that he alone did this in your case? Their might be in the others. This will effect how yours is presented verses the others. In which case he will be charged with the crime that has the greater penalty. Misdemeanor petty larceny comes with restitution, possible jail time (jail being anything under 1 year) or probation. Possession/Hiding of stolen goods comes with a longer term in prison and parole.
Why yours is first...who knows? If they are being represented as a group or by the same attorney, this could have something to do with it. That is just speculation though.
Anyway...call around and check it out. Ask your attorney. Ask the arresting officers and investigators that you dealt.
Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir "Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall "And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK
Posted:Well, the entire case is being prosecuted by the local system, there's no personal lawyer or anything involved on either side.
Of all the cases, mine involved the highest value of property stolen, which is why I wonder about mine leading to the most minor charges. Checking the documentation, another case actually got all of their items back with no restitution (a bicycle) but still got the larger sentence. Another that got the larger sentence had about twice the amount of restitution as what I had requested... so I'm right in the middle as far as financial losses in this series of cases.
Mine was also worse in that myself and one of my roommates were actually present at the time of the crime (I was showering and my roomie was asleep) and the investigator even tried to elevate the crime to first-degree because we were the only room with residents present (don't wanna think what THAT could have led to). Don't think they actually pulled this off but still... I think that lends my case a certain degree of seriousness above the others.
Another friend of mine caught the guy snooping in his room that same morning (he made an excuse that he was looking for someone and politely left) and gave the police a description that matched when they caught him, so it's pretty conclusive he acted alone. The burglar's own roommate even had no idea where he got all this stolen property from, according to the search warrant.
I emailed the county clerk and hopefully she should get me pointed in the right direction with this case. Thanks Pele! You're a sweetie, as always!
Posted:If its being handled by the public defenders and District Attorney's offices (public system) then you might wanna talk to the D.A.'s office. At the very least they should be able to provide you with an explanation, at most, they'll get you on track with everyone else.
Fire is the test of gold; adversity, of strong men. - Seneca (5BC-65AD), Epistles