Video instructions and help with filling out and completing Who Form 2220 Text

Instructions and Help about Who Form 2220 Text

Hi everyone I'm Justin preparing with my color advice it's very good to be with you today I'm gonna talk about do your efforts really matter I should want to do this video in part because I received a call this morning from a defendant in North Carolina actually not far from wake Wake Forest University where I've done some speaking in the past and this defendant called after watching a video I filmed last year called ten ways to get more time in prison and in that video I talked about if you don't accept responsibility or disclose your substance abuse or if you continue to spend really aggressively if you owe restitution if you don't engage in volunteer work so identity don't work openly with your lawyer so identify ten things that I think could lead to a longer term in prison and this defendant said to me look I'm doing a lot of I'm not doing a lot of these things that you talk about but here's my concern I'm not sure that it's going to work and he had said that to me after I suggested that he engaged my colleague Michael Santos who does a lot of the narrative writing for my clients and I said well what do you mean that it won't work and he said well my concern is that I cultivate my network that I get character reference letters that I work with you and Michael on a narrative that I save up to pay some restitution and so on and that it doesn't work in that the day that the judge sentences me none of it means anything and all of that work is for naught so we have to embrace some realities here are some realities you're only going to get sentenced once so to a degree it's impossible to know exactly what could happen because you're only going to get sentenced once so I told this defendant and I tell all of you it should be your goal that as you stand up before the judge that you're able to tell yourself and your family there's nothing more I could have done to prepare for this moment regardless of what the number might be because I would never guarantee or insinuate that a specific outcome will happen by doing this work I believe that better things will come I'm cultivating your network from generating best-in-class character reference letters you're expressing to your own efforts why you're worthy of the best outcome I believe volunteer work and giving back to your community shows that it's more than just about you and I believe and have done this long enough to know that those efforts have certainly helped a number of our clients and frankly people that are my clients who don't come across my work defendant some defendants really do these things but again I tell I told him when I told all of you you can choose to do nothing because you're convinced that it won't matter and indeed there were a number of really great guys in prison who would say Justin the judges don't read your letters that the second you know the judges mind is made up of the day of sentencing I don't think he reads the sentencing memorandums the letters I don't think volunteer work matters I think it's very much a formality and there are a number of people in prison who will say that you and this defendant this morning was alluding to that and he was looking for me to tell him something that would give him greater level of comfort and look I've had clients say to me that I could be maybe more aggressive and expressing the benefits of preparing that's just not really my my style right I'm very casual I offer advice but I don't aggressively say hire me hire me hire I just I just don't do that so I said to him you have to use your judgment you have to decide if creating this narrative of expressing to the judge who you are of articulating the lessons learned of growing your network then asking them to write letters on your behalf is in your interest if scaling back your lifestyle a bit so your Prius pre-sentence report shows that you know you are committed to paying back some restitution if making a restitution payment could help you I believe making a restitution payment can help you there's no guarantee I've gotten Pete calls from people who have paid back nine million in restitution they still get eight years in prison so you know it's tough to gauge again because you're only gonna get sentenced once but I expressed to him as I expressed to all of you let's just foresee the worst-case scenario let's just say you did everything that I suggest you pay back some money you cut back on your spending you do volunteer work you write a great letter you do everything and the judge sits down and gives you it's the worst case scenario maybe that happens what has happened along the way though what is that process that you put in place to get there in other words let's just say you end up getting 20 or 30 character reference letters that means you have learned to tell your story to 20 or 30 people along the way if you take the time to invest in a character and a letter in your own personal narrative it just won't go to the judge it's also going to you're going to go to your case manager and counsellor in prison it can go to your network go to your probation officer upon your release or the people who run the halfway houses so there's the work that you'll put in is much longer lasting than simply at your sentencing if you take the time to tell your story