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To Plea or Not To Plea? (Part 2)

This week, I am going to deal with costs, lawyers and odds.

There is no easy way to put this: fighting an indictment, whether you are innocent or guilty will cost you money. Unless you decide to go with a public defender, this means you will likely be spending money, and a lot of it, on a lawyer. Some lawyers charge by the hour and some charge a flat fee. It is important to note that whether your lawyer charges by the hour or charges a flat fee, the cost of actually going to trial will always be more than the cost of taking a plea. Preparing for trial is extremely intensive. Aside for setting aside the time needed for a trial which can range from days to months, your lawyer will need to prepare for trial. This will include interviewing witnesses, going through documents preparing you to testify, and preparing all sorts of pretrial motions. This is before outside vendors such as jury consultants are called in. This all translates into a lot of work which means a lot of billable time. E…

To Plea Or Not To Plea? That Is The Question (Part 1)

I touched on this point a bit last week, it is worth expounding on it as almost every defendant, whether innocent, guilty, or somewhere in between, will be faced with the decision of whether to take a plea or defend himself at trial. Let me clear, there is no uniform, right answer and every situation is different. One thing that is clear however is that in deciding to take a plea, issues relating to guilt or innocence are largely irrelevant. You will have to take responsibility.  A defendant who pleads guilty will have to tell the judge that he understands the charges that he is pleading to and will have to affirm that he understands the statutory maximum to which the judge can sentence him. If the judge does not believe that a defendant believes himself to be guilty, there is a chance he will reject the plea.
To review, there are two separate factors at play when it comes to sentencing; the maximum per count and the sentencing guidelines. For example, a count may carry a maximum pris…

Does Prison Serve a Purpose and for Whom?

It's no secret and there is no reason to hide it. I was just released from federal prison. I served 11 months incarcerated on what was originally a 30 month sentence. For me, the actual part of serving my sentence proved, from my perspective to be the easiest part of my ordeal. From the time that the investigation into me commenced until the time I was sentenced, 6 years passed. In so many ways those years were harder, they were more of a punishment for me than the actual time served. My goal here is to share the knowledge that opinions that I have come up with over that time and lay them out here.
Which brings me to the purpose of my first blog. What is the purpose of prison? There are four purposes to incarceration:
1, Retribution-basically punishing someone for what he did wrong
2. Incapacitation-Keeping the offender away from society to protect society from him
3. Deterrence-If someone knows they will go to prison, then he is less likely to commit a crime
4. Rehabilitation-To …