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Saving Clients over $100,000 in Fines

Supreme Court and the Eighth Amendment

Since the Supreme Court unanimously decided the Eighth Amendment applies to the States and not just Federal cases, prohibiting excessive fines and fees especially when State agencies seek to seize property or other assets from individuals charged or convicted of a crime, Boeheim Freeman Law has been able to reduce or eliminate over $100,000 in fines for our clients.

The case before the Supreme Court, Timbs v. Indiana involved the seizure of a $42,000 Land Rover SUV from Tyson Timbs, who was arrested in 2015 for selling heroin to undercover police officers. He pled guilty and was sentenced to one year of house arrest and five years of probation. The Court suggests that it became excessive when the State of Indiana seized his Land Rover, which was purchased with his father's life insurance payout, not with the proceeds of drug sales. The State claimed that they could seize the vehicle because it had been used to commit a crime.

Rule 8 Hearings

At Boeheim Freeman Law, we have been moving the courts for Rule 8 Hearings on all plea deals. This is a hearing where the Judge inquires of the Defendant what physical injuries or ailments would prevent them from working. The Judge also inquires as to the Defendants ability to pay fines and costs due to indigence and pre-existing financial obligations. It is then determined whether, under the circumstances, the Defendant can pay or the fines would be considered excessive on-going punishment.

Conflict of Interest

Local government uses fines and fees as a means to raise revenue, and that creates a perverse conflict of interest between the bureaucracy and residents of the community. Timbs v. Indiana points out how ridiculous overly burdensome fines and civil asset forfeiture can be when abused. Many times the fines and the confiscation of property only hurts the families left behind when a defendant gets convicted and goes to prison. This inevitably propagates a cycle of crime, when a family is left with very few options and bills to pay.

Supreme Court Has Spoken

The Supreme Court and Justice Ginsberg have spoken: Excessive fines are unconstitutional, and civil forfeiture is an additional fine to those who are convicted. If you have been served with a civil forfeiture in connection with a criminal case, please give Boeheim Freeman Law a call at 918-884-7791 and let us help you fight for your constitutional rights.

Women In Recovery Graduation

Graduation

This past Thursday evening I had the privilege of watching the Women in Recovery (WIR) graduation event. This was very special because of it was the 10th anniversary of the WIR program, and we had three (3) of the graduates as clients. (25% of the graduating class) It is a wonderful thing to see how far these courageous women have come, and what an inspiration they are to the next group coming through the program.

Women In Recovery

Women in Recovery (WIR) is an intensive outpatient alternative for eligible women facing long prison sentences for non-violent drug-related offenses. Operated in partnership with the George Kaiser Family Foundation, WIR works closely with the criminal justice system and various community partners to ensure program participants receive supervision, substance abuse and mental health treatment, education, workforce readiness training and family reunification services.

Hard Work

The women that go through this program have to be committed to doing the work necessary to battle their demons. The demons of their addiction, the demons of their past, and the demons of a still uncertain and challenging future. The program provides them with the opportunity to gain skills to stay sober, and cope with the challenges life, but in the end it is their commitment to being a better version of themselves that will make them successful for the rest of their lives.

Proud of our Contribution

We at Boeheim Freeman Law are proud to have helped so many women get into this great program, and stay in the program. It isn’t always easy. Sometimes it takes a great deal of persuasion to get the right parties to agree to give this individual a chance and sometimes a second chance. Too often the DA’s office objected to their entry and demanded prison time for these women who clearly had addiction issues. We overcame those objections and with the hard work and commitment of our clients, the DA’s office was proven wrong. In the past few graduating classes we have had women the DA’s office fought hard to send to prison. One in particular, completed the program sanction free, which is nearly impossible to do. Her hug and whispered “thank you” reminds us how important it is to continue to fight for both women and men who suffer from addiction and mental health issues, so they have an opportunity to get help and not just have their liberty taken.

Valuable Part of Society

Congratulations to the current graduating class and to all of the past graduates who work every day to be the best version of themselves. You should be very proud of yourselves!

Author: Brian J. Boeheim

Boeheim Freeman Law - 918-884-7791

Legal News & Case Updates

Legal News & Case Updates

This is a shining example of the Tulsa District Attorney’s Office and Criminal Defense Team at Boeheim Freeman Law working together to help the community and in this case a single individual who needs help, not incarceration.

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