Doing Time

Sometimes my clients ask me if I've ever done time. I don't think they seriously wonder, I think they're really asking whether I can be sympathetic.

It'll happen like this: Client will be contemplating a plea to some jail time. Thinking about it aloud, he'll say something like, "I don't know, its rough, that's a lot of time." I'll say something like, "Well, I just want you to know that it could be worse after trial." Then, he'll say something like, "Miss Justice, you ever done time?"

And, just once, I'd like to say (with a straight face), "2 to 4 in State."

Ha! That'd be funny.



    Another thankful client.

  2. holy crap.

    2-4? So you would be a two-time loser.

    I usually tell my clients this: You have two options, take the deal, or don't. If you don't, you are facing a maximum of 25 (usually the case with felony drug charge). If that's okay with you, then its okay with me because I get to go home at the end of the day and their the ones who have to do the time.

    I can't even imagine having to make that kind of decision, especially in drug cases where the stakes are so high for such seemingly minor offenses.

  3. In my experience, it usually starts with "tell the persecutor to do half and I'll do the other half." If the plea bargaining situation does not improve, then they start suggesting I do the time, or that I'm a persecutor, or -if I'm court-appointed- then I work for the government.

    I have found that it usually works out best if one does not talk too much about plea bargaining with clients, so that they then start wondering why I'm not bringing them offers. I tell them that they were told in writing by me at the start that I would only pursue plea bargaining if they authorized me to do so. They almost invariably then authorize me. Of course, this does not work if the prosecutor makes an unsolicited plea offer, which I will then transmit to client with a brief cover letter explaining that I got this, but will not respond to it unless he is interested, since he has to authorize me to even commence any plea negotiations, etc.

    But with some clients, nothing seems to work.