What do you do when a prosecutor in a case makes a plea recommendation to resolve the case that you believe to be unfair?
What do you do when a prosecutor in a case makes a recommendation to resolve the case that you believe to be unfair? One that doesn’t really fit the crime that you’re accused of at all? Or let’s say for example, that you have a very defensible case, a very winnable case, and the prosecutor looks at it and says, no, I’m not offering an amendment or reduction of the charges. In your case, what happens if you’re assigned to a judge in which if you lose after our trial, and you have to know whenever you go into a jury trial for almost all of us, um, even if the facts are very favorable to us, juries are extremely unpredictable. What happens whenever you go to jury trial and you lose in front of that judge? What happens if, if that judge, for example, imposes a very heavy jail sentence, even for a person that’s charged with a misdemeanor that has no prior criminal history whatsoever, these are real questions.
These are ones that my clients have to face pretty regularly. It’s not uncommon for judges to be extremely punitive for people who exercise their right to a jury trial. It’s not right. It’s not fair. It’s not what should happen, but it is realities of a lot of cases. Um, in a lot of cases, there are prosecutors who are just unwilling to really fairly look at, um, at what their evidence is and try to make a decision that may be hard for them. That is not at all unusual. And what I want, what I like for clients to know is there are some lawyers that you’re going to talk to on the front end who are going to talk to you about those problems. Um, there are some lawyers who are going to say candidly to you, this is the judge that you’re assigned to. This is the prosecutor who’s going to be handling your case.
And for the most part in the jurisdictions in which I regularly practice, I knew those judges, I knew those prosecutors who handle cases in that way. And I will try to tell clients up front, Hey, this is a really hard decision that you’re activating. Let’s say for example, that, um, a client comes in and really truly believes that they have a great case to defend. I need to let them know at the front end, Hey, these are hard decisions you’ve got to make about whether or not you are willing to take the risk of jail in order to exercise your right to a trial. And you need to just know that on the front end. And it’s something that we can work through in a lot of cases and try to decide whether or not you actually want to make that decision or not. Um, but it is a decision that you need to be considering at the outset of the case because you don’t want to be going through a year, two years of litigation, go through pretrial motions.
You fought all the way to the end and then capitulate to the pressure of, Hey, you’re going to face 30 days in jail that you could have made that decision two years ago without all the stress and heartache and having this thing just hanging over your head for all that long. It’s really important that the lawyer that you speak with, be candid and be honest with you about those decisions. I mean, Hey, for me it might very well mean that I will lose some business from clients. Clients don’t want to hear a lot of times that that is a risk that they’re going to face if they go to a trial. But for most of my clients who actually do retain me, and I’ve been honest with them about what it is we’re going to look at on the, on the back end of the case, if I can’t talk to a prosecutor into reducing or dismissing it, those people really appreciate the fact that upfront I told them what it is that they did, they would face up front. I told them what the process will look like and the hard decisions they would have to make. Um, do you have any questions about your case? Feel free to call me. My name is Ben sessions. My phone number’s (470) 225-7710 again, (470) 225-7710 thank you.