The Lindsay Lohan saga in criminal court just got even more LINSANE. Really- nobody could make this up. Lohan or a lawyer on her behalf was supposed to appear in Los Angeles court today. But, neither appeared. Well, a “lawyer’ named Mark Heller did. Mark Heller- the formerly disbarred NY lawyer appeared for Ms. Lohan. But, as previously written and talked about, Heller is not a California lawyer and California criminal law and jails are much different than New York’s.
Judge Jim Dabney admonished Heller for not having local co-council and went as far as to state that Lohan must hire local lawyers or appear and state that she understands she has an “incompetent” lawyer and is willing to take that risk. So, what is Lohan going to do? The answer is as complicated as the many issues Lohan has going on.
Lohan faces charges of lying to police and a probation violation. In fact, she faces multiple jail terms and jurisdictions. This is not just a simple misdemeanor case. Lohan also faces allegations of IRS problems and a large UNPAID bill for an amount due to her previous lawyer Shawn Holley. Holley was sadly fired by Lohan after years of helping her escape jail and turn her life around. Many of us who believe in alternative sentences have seen the Lohan case demonstrate what creative options are possible for those who want to work hard to change their lives.
So, again what CAN Lohan do now? The lawyer who takes her on will have to put in many hours and be able to be creative. A global solution involving all of the criminal cases should be sought. But the problem will be who is going to pay the bill, and who is smart enough to structure such a deal. This deal will need to involve rehab, psychiatric help, probation expertise and the respect of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office. A LOT of work. This legal coach suggests that Lohan get real, get busy and get a solid team together yet again. And Lindsay, I said TEAM. And that will involve a sponsorship by a quality rehab and all of us to believe. Well, it is Hollywood the land of make-believe!
Wendy Feldman is a criminal justice expert, crisis manager and family legal coach. She is available for private consultation on how to prepare for a successful incarceration, probation and re-entry. She is also available for media commentary and has appeared on shows from The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, E! News, People.com, Fox News, NBC News, CNN, NPR and Nancy Grace. She is a weekly featured guest on the syndicated America Now radio program. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sentencing day is here for Sandusky and what is he doing? Making media statements from Jail of course! So, either his attorneys have given up telling him not to talk or they all are media whores and nuts. Whatever the case, this is NOT the type of thing I ever let my clients do. A statement to the judge is crucial and must be carefully crafted. There should be no media comments whatsoever.
Yet look at the statements Sandusky is making. He says he is innocent of “the alleged disgusting acts.” WHAT! The acts are disgusting not allegedly, they are. Why Sandusky uses the word allegedly tells us a whole lot about him. You see he really doesn’t think the acts are disgusting or they wouldn’t be allegedly, they would just be. This is one very ill man.
I have been asked what will happen to him once he leaves county jail for State Prison. The answer is not much. He will be held in protective custody for a while and then he will join the general population. What people don’t realize is that that general population is apt to have many sex offenders just like Sandusky. Yes, we often house them together. Then it becomes a kind of don’t as, don’t tell.
I often work and coach people who can and have changed from their criminal thinking. I write that change is possible with hard work and I am living proof. Plus, I really believe this. Well, except when it comes to child molesters and rapists. There simply is no evidence that this population can change. SO, the question becomes what to do with people like this. Sad to say but the only option is incarceration, we must protect our children. As for famous cases like Sandusky, let these be lessons that there are consequences and they will catch up to you. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
Wendy Feldman is a criminal justice expert, insider and family legal coach. She is available for private consultation on how to prepare for a successful incarceration, probation and re-entry. She is also available for media commentary and has appeared on shows from The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, E! News, People.com, Fox News, NBC News, CNN, NPR and Nancy Grace. She is a weekly featured guest in the syndicated America Now radio program. She may be reached at email@example.com
In this era of rising incarceration rates and the “business of prisons” it is important to understand who can change, who cannot and what works. First of all we must understand that our criminal justice, even with all of it’s flaws, is the best in the world. The United States does have a system of innocent until PROVEN guilty. But, in order to affect a system that really works we must decide if we are to be strictly punitive or also rehabilitative. This is where a real understanding of True Crime is needed. As a prison consultant, legal coach and insider I have seen it all. That means I also know what works and HOW to bring about change.
The first step…
As in rehab for addicts, re-entry is the hardest and most misunderstood part of our criminal justice system. To change anything means to admit that one must indeed need to make changes. Seems like an easy concept yet it is the one thing that keeps people from living their dreams and making the changes.
This is where the need to understand true crime is key. It is why judges need to understand that jail is not the answer and neither is an AA meeting. A better solution in some cases is a combination or Alternative Sentence. That can mean many things but should always include Community Service.
The second step…
To truly bring about change in an individual they need to ADMIT they need to change something about their life. This is where the hard work begins. This admission and taking of responsibility is key to everyone making positive changes, but especially those in our criminal justice system. This is where passion and empowerment become integral. You see that most people after an incarceration have very low self-esteem and many feel they will never recover. But one can find their passion and hence rebuild their self-esteem. It takes work and some risks but it can be done. This is something I have done and work with my clients on everyday.
The last step…
Once we understand and agree that we need to empower each other and ourselves, we then need to find a way to do that. One way in the criminal justice system is through Community Service. As I have written many times before, Community Service should be a part of everybody’s life. But in crime cases is a MUST. This because it will empower the perpetrator and allow a healing to begin that will carryover to all aspects of his life and the life of his family and friends.
The bottom line is find your passion and you will find your peace.
Wendy Feldman is a criminal justice expert, insider and family legal coach. She is available for private consultation on how to prepare for a successful incarceration, probation and re-entry. She is also available for media commentary and has appeared on shows from The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, Fox News, NBC News, CNN, NPR and Nancy Grace. She is a weekly featured guest in the syndicated America Now radio program. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.