Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Legal News: Part Duex

So I had my second court appearence yesterday. My client had a (dont laugh) ticket for failure to wear a life jacket while boating that he never paid. So there was a warrant out for his arrest. Then a few months later they pull him over when his ass forgets to renew his tags on his car. Due to the warrant, they arrest him and search car. What do ya know: Pot in the car....

So thats the facts, then about 3 days ago I realize that (this is the reason for the email) any conviction for possession results in LOSING YOUR LICENSE FOR 6 months. Even if it doesnt involve a car. I just thought everybody should know that.

As far as the resolutoion of the case... I met with the prosecutor and said my biggest concern was having my client lose his license. He said what do you propose? I said (and thought this was the absolute best deal imaginable) how about he pleads to the floatation and we amend the pot possession to a disorderly conduct. After a bunch of research I decided this was the best I could hope for. Then he said "How about I do you one better, lets drop the other two if he pleads to life jacket charge". I told him Id run it by client an d bolted out of the room to find him. Needless to say, he was happy. It was a fifty dollar fine (plus $125 in court costs....Damn!).

As a final point: Marijuana possession under a 100 ounces is a max. $150 mine (but the a-holes did add a six month license suspension) and failure to wear a life jacket is a 4th degree misdameanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine. Granted it probably never happens to result in jail time......


  1. What's the rationale behind the prosecutor wanting to do you one better? Is he just a nice guy? Also, have you had a chance to defend any of the jihadists fighting the War Against Christmas?

  2. Awesome, it sounds like a project from that Lawyer's Strategies class. Barnhizer would be proud. Are these cases part of your new job or are you picking up these cases independently? Also, just wondering, but do you think there are any ethical issues with you posting this stuff online? I love reading it, but I wouldn't want you to get in trouble, now, or 5 years down the road. Then again, I guess the pleadings and penalties are public record, right?

  3. Don't mean to put a dampener on the court room funtime stories, but is it safe for you to be writing those things on here? I've heard horror stories about dudes losing jobs etc. and i don't want it to happen to you bro. Is it safe to do so? If so...rock on!

  4. First, everybody simmer down.... There is absolutly NOTHING WRONG with any of my posts.

    I have mentioned no names of my clients (that would be a no-no in most cases), every penalty handed down is a public record, and plea bargains are part of the process. They arent just handed out like candy all the time. In the pot possession case there was issue as to whether the search was permissible.

    We could have plead not guilty and the judge would have set the trial date. I would have then made a motion for a pre-trial supression hearing to supress the evidence due to an illegal search (I had a 50-50 chance on it).

    Therefore the prosecutor had to factor in 1) what are my chances of winning a trial 2) how muchof a hassle is it going to be to respond to the brief, bring in the officer to testify, etc. 3) just like defendants must factor in the cost of a trial in determining how to proceed, so mus t the prosecutor....believe it or not they also have limited resources.

    As far as why they may have "done one better": I have a theory. First (again contrary to popular belief) a prosecutors job is not score as many points as possible just because a new attorney might not have the stones to ask for a better deal. It is their job to promote justice also, they probably had this deal planned for ahead of time.

    On the Barnhizer tip (joey knows what Im talking about) I structured my offer to not lose credibility with the prosecutor. After talking to my client he said I DONT CARE WHAT ELSE HAPPENS I DONT WANT TO LOSE MY LICENSE. I explained to him that I may be able to amend the charge etc, but he would be risking a larger fine. He didnt care.

  5. Why wouldn't they pursue the possession charge? Also, a quick google on Ohio Seat Belt Law shows that the fine for not wearing one is $25 dollars for drivers and $15 for front passengers (no jail time).
    Interesting how these things come to be, not wearing a seatbelt probably causes more fatalities than not wearing a life jacket (more people drive than boat), yet the no life-jacket penalty is so much more severe.

  6. Your comment beat me to it...

  7. On a side note... Employers may have their own rules about discussing cases but currently my employer HASTIE LAW OFFICES has no rules against me discussing the facts of my cases.

    As to Andy the Brit's horror stories: I have an odd feeling peoples disclosures online were a bit more detailed like my client _rick _obao is a scum bag cuz he did this and this and ohh by the way he told me he likes youngs boys.

  8. Remember with fines to include court cost, They are a bitch!!!

  9. I just might need you for legal represenation one day...that's all.