25 March 2010

A lesson reinforced. When the prosecutor doesn't offer you anything, you let the judge decide. We had a probation violation hearing this afternoon--Thursday, 25 March 2010. The county attorney and the probation offer suggested, not without a certain smirk, that my client should just agree to do his time and have his probation revoked. This is not an offer that warrants acquiescence. Neither I nor my client thought it much of a deal so we had a hearing. The allegation was of 12 different violations nine of which were not answering the VICAP call. If I have the letters correctly, it stands for the machine that a probationer must put on his phone and answer when called and which also register breath alcohol. Judge Mott did not find any violations and released the defendant from custody. I really didn't think that we would prevail, but we did. I guess neither the county attorney, the probation officer, nor myself properly evaluated the case--at least in the mind of Judge Mott.

In the second hearing that I had scheduled in front of Magistrate Rickers, my client and two others were charged with trespass. Another brilliant charge filed by Officer Chris Wing. Three went into an apartment to retrieve a couch and other items that all agreed belonged to one of the three. The girl of the apartment told the two girls entering the apartment to leave. There were a few words, the girls picked up what they could carry and left the apartment. The boy who had come with them carried out the couch by himself. All three were charged with trespass presumably under the theory that the three did not leave the very instant the girl of the apartment told them to leave. Apparently discussion is not allowed. I and Joanie Greif had co-defendants and between us and the city attorney there were to be ten witnesses. The earlier hearings did not finish until almost four. Rather than continue the matter the city attorney dismissed the charges. He had earlier stated that he would dismiss the charges if the defendants paid the costs. I really do get tired of that practice. It happens continually. "Oh, we will dismiss the charges if your client pays the costs." Most defendants take the deal to not face the possibility of a conviction. I don't like it and do when I can refuse to do it.