A blog by Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Brian Tannebaum. Commenting on criminal law issues of local and national interest.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas To The Public Defenders

The maximum penalty for contempt almost anywhere, including Dallas, Texas, is 6 months in jail. Walter Mann, spent an extra 9, for a total of 15, by mistake.

He was never convicted of contempt, never even had a hearing, never saw a lawyer. He just sat, until his cellmate told an attorney about Mann.

Mann, oh man! What a disgrace.

The last 9-month mistake I heard about was an unplanned pregnancy.

You can read the story from cnn.com here

Walter Mann Sr., 69, was released the week before Christmas.

Why was he in jail? Mann's son was arrested in 2002 for assaulting him, and Mann was ordered to pay $50 per month for his son's housing.

Mann refused.

Prosecutors got an order to have Mann held in contempt, and the judge put Mann in jail pending a contempt hearing.

The court docket shows that the contempt order was lifted in October of '04. But the sheriff "didn't get the memo."

Mann, asked by his cellmate why he didn't want to make some calls to get out of jail said "Nah, I don't want to bother them with anything."

Mann's cellmate told his own lawyer, public defender Shoshana Paige, who had Mann released the same day.

Paige said: "This one seems to be pretty egregious."

Paige also wanted to say: "Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the can, many inmates were stirring, but not Walter Mann.

Brian Tannebaum is a criminal defense attorney in Miami, Florida practicing in state and federal court. To learn more about Brian and his firm, Tannebaum Weiss, please click the link: http://www.tannebaumweiss.com/our_lawyers.php