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LadyMarissa's avatar

Is the judicial system getting lazy...or what?

Asked by LadyMarissa (6875points) November 12th, 2018

I’ve noticed over the last few years that many defendants in court cases are convinced by their lawyer to plead guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence & it doesn’t matter with what they’ve been charged. Did the prosecuting attorneys meet with the defense attorneys & say, we won’t put much effort into prosecuting IF you’ll get your client to plead guilty. Charge them as much as you think they can afford. Once we lay out our case, convince them to plead guilty & we will reduce the charges against them. OR did the defense attorneys go to the prosecuting attorneys & say What IF I can get my client to plead guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence. I’ll still collect my fee & you won’t need to work so hard. Any opinion???

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5 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

No, I don’t think that’s the reasoning. Don’t forget, attorneys charge by the hour.

LadyMarissa's avatar

A friend’s son got crossed up with the law. His lawyer charged $15,000 saying it would take at least a year to work everything out. Sure enough exactly 1 year & 1 week later he told her son to plead guilty since he couldn’t guarantee that he could prove him innocent & keep him out of jail. Every big crime I’ve seen on the news lately comments that the defendant plead guilty in exchange for a lesser sentence. How do you prove how many hours the lawyer actually worked???

Patty_Melt's avatar

Each case has its own circumstances.
Sometimes a lawyer just wants a case out of the way because they have another case which is high profile.
Sometimes a deal is made to get a trade on another case; you go easy with this one, and I will work things out to your liking on that one.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What big crimes have you seen on TV lately, @LadyMarissa? Can you give us an example?

Exactly @Patty_Melt. I’m pretty sure the attorney’s goal is to “win,” what ever it takes.

rojo's avatar

I think this is always the way it has been done, plea bargaining down to a lesser charge means less work for the prosecutor plus a check in his or her win column and for the defense it means less of a fine or jail time if you are actually guilty of something.

Sometimes it comes down to getting to charges a prosecutor can actually win.

In my experience with my son way back when he was in high school he was, according to the paperwork, initially charged with “making a terroristic threat” . When the court orders to appear came through the charge had been changed to “assault: threatening a teacher”. When we actually appeared in court the charge had been changed once again, this time to “disturbing the peace”. We were not even aware of this until our lawyer came back from meeting with the prosecutor. He came back, informed us of the new charge and said that he could not beat this charge, particularly with this judge. He told my son that said charge was so broad and so vague that he (the lawyer) or I or anyone in the general public could be brought up on it several times a day just for our normal actions we performed during the day. We ended up accepting and paying the fine with no jail time. So, win for the prosecutor.

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