Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Joe Neal Jr. seeks plea change on one misdemeanor

  • Follow Crime & courts

Augusta attorney Joe Neal Jr. has asked to withdraw his guilty plea to one of his three misdemeanors because he wasn’t informed the plea would result in the loss of his driver’s license for 180 days.

Back | Next
Joe Neal Jr. empties a bucket after washing a Bobcat front-end loader at the Reed Creek wastewater treatment plant as part of his community service sentence.  JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
Joe Neal Jr. empties a bucket after washing a Bobcat front-end loader at the Reed Creek wastewater treatment plant as part of his community service sentence.


Specifically, Neal is asking to enter a no contest plea or receive a conditional discharge on the charge of possession of marijuana, “neither of which would require mandatory suspension of his license,” according to a motion.

The argument made by Neal’s attorney, Tom Withers, is that the loss of driving privileges is “collateral damage.” Other examples of collateral damage given in the motion are registration as a sex offender or deportation.

In the motion, Neal contends he was not informed by his attorney that this was one of the consequences of his plea.

Neal was originally indicted on charges of rape and furnishing alcohol to a person under the age of 21. A teenage baby sitter said that she was forced into an intimate situation with Neal and his ex-wife, Caroline Neal.

Neal went to trial this month, but after the first day of testimony he accepted a plea bargain that reduced the rape charge to disorderly conduct and possession of marijuana. He also pleaded guilty to the alcohol charge for a combined three years’ probation and 100 hours of community service, which started Tuesday at the Reed Creek wastewater treatment plant.

Caroline Neal has pleaded guilty to furnishing alcohol to a person under the age of 21 in exchange for dismissal of the rape charge. She is scheduled for sentencing Monday morning – at the same time as her former husband’s hearing to withdraw the guilty plea.

Superior Court Judge Jim Blanchard ordered Neal’s community service be performed at a sewage treatment plant “in keeping with the conduct in this case.”

John Maldonado, the treatment operations manager, confirmed that Neal’s first day of community service was Tuesday. He said it’s “very common” for people to perform community service at the plant, generally sweeping floors and doing other light maintenance.

But “this is our first time with the media” asking questions, Maldonado said.

Comments (8) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Just My Opinion
5859
Points
Just My Opinion 06/26/12 - 09:00 pm
2
0
Is it true Neal only lasted

Is it true Neal only lasted 30 seconds on the job??
Okay...that was a cheap joke! At least the pot-smoking philanderer is working out his service, right? If this is the place to be for other people working out their community service, maybe he'll find another girlfriend there! Hopefully this time she'll be "of age".

Cynical old woman
1111
Points
Cynical old woman 06/26/12 - 09:20 pm
2
0
Columbia county"

Crimes committed were in Richmond county...why community service in Columbia county?

scorehouse
196
Points
scorehouse 06/27/12 - 10:34 am
0
0
richmond
Unpublished

county has a surplus of community service eligible probationers/parolees. i'll give him credit for doing it now instead of procrastinating to the last minute.

kiwiinamerica
950
Points
kiwiinamerica 06/27/12 - 11:02 am
0
0
Pictures?
Unpublished

I imagine an event of this magnitude and gravity would call for some photos, no?

How about a slide show in the "Spotted" section of your publication, along with all the local social engagements. "Spotted.....Joe Neal Washes $*!# off Trucks"

realitycheck09
307
Points
realitycheck09 06/27/12 - 11:49 am
1
1
Just wondering

Does anyone ever think how unfair it is that people who get falsely accused of rape get their name and reputation smeared (see also Kobe and Big Ben), but the person who falsely accuses them gets to live in anonymity? Just wondering.

my.voice
4914
Points
my.voice 06/27/12 - 12:00 pm
2
0
Hopefully he doesnt stink-up

Hopefully he doesnt stink-up the place too bad.

No_Longer_Amazed
5143
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 06/27/12 - 01:00 pm
1
0
Two-for-one?

Just wondering, does someone doing community service get 2 hours credit for every hour that they actually work?

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 06/27/12 - 01:30 pm
1
0
Only if you are good and

Only if you are good and friendly with the person signing the time-card.

eb97
835
Points
eb97 06/27/12 - 06:51 pm
1
0
I think he realizes that his

I think he realizes that his career is pretty much over. He will have to leave this area if he hopes to work as an attorney again.

boodroe
1959
Points
boodroe 06/28/12 - 08:48 am
1
0
Why is he doing community service in Columbia County

The facility in Richmond County refused to allow him to work their for liability reasons so the Judge said he could go to the one in Columbia County . Also what kind of lawyer doesn't know the penalty before he takes a plea deal does He advise his clients as badly as this. He just wants to be able to drive his fancy car. He is a criminal lawyer he should know all criminal penalties or his council should have I hope the appeal is denied

grinder48
2013
Points
grinder48 07/02/12 - 03:46 pm
0
0
Huh?
Unpublished

Why would there liabilities for Richmond County Waste and not CC Waste? Needs to be at the R/C plant on New Savannah Rd ... much more fragrant than Reed Creek plant. And boodroe is right, why would a criminal lawyer not already know the consequences ... or least least be smart enough to ask? Bet he went to New Sav Rd plant and it smelled bad so they let him go to Reed Creek. And drive? Too bad. If they decide to let him drive, it should be limited to driving to community service only.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs