Today, I don’t really have a “rant” so to speak, it’s more like I got out of court and I feel defeated and dejected. And the reason is because, sometimes, even when you are convinced of a fair resolution to a case, the forces at work against you just win. And today was one such example. To watch my video on this subject, check out my Facebook page.
A Tricky Case
So I have a client who is accused of sending sexually explicit videos and messages to underage girls. No touching, but he is charged with risk of injury to a minor under subsection A-1 which just means that you impaired the morals of a child. This is a felony, it’s a Class C felony punishable by up to ten years incarceration and registration on the sex offender registry is discretionary on the part of the court, so I’m going to have to have an argument about that as well. But, the client at the time of the offense had just turned 18. So he was barely an adult. So I can’t put him in a youthful offender or “YO” program. I did try to apply him for something called the Supervised Diversionary Program which would have resulted in a complete dismissal of the charges, but after an argument before the court, that was denied.
So these young ladies – there are three of them – he was a paraprofessional at their school, but he wasn’t their paraprofessional, so he didn’t have any position of authority over them. But they were 13, 14 years old and as I said, he was 17, 18. So this isn’t a disgusting age difference as far as what I usually see. Sometimes I see men in their 40s having sexual relationships with underage girls, and that is a little bit more morally offensive than what we are talking about here.
Pleading to the Crime
So after a discussion with my client, he decided to plead guilty to the offer which was essentially all three felonies and an argument up to 18 months incarceration, for a kid, for sending sexually explicit text messages. So this day, nobody wins. Certainly the family of the children don’t win, they’re going to come here and they’re going to object to the sentence, they’re going to be heard, they’re represented by council, but, I just pleaded an 18 year old kid guilty to three felonies, and I feel awful.
But in the end, the state had the evidence to convict him. He was facing way more time. And so, I have to protect him in the sense that I have to recommend to him, “you should take this plea deal and I will do my level best to argue on your behalf for a fully suspended sentence.” And it’s going to be a big fight. It’s going to get nasty, and it’s going to be uncomfortable, but I’ll do it because that’s what needs to be done.
So today, my video blog is not angry, just a little bit depressed that despite my best efforts, I just had to plead guilty an 18 year old kid to three felonies. He can’t even legally drink alcohol but he is a convicted felon and it’s sad.
Your lawyer, your criminal defense lawyer, will take it upon him or herself to adopt your position as his or her own. So I feel like I have just been convicted of three felony offenses, that’s how close to the cases you get. So when you tell somebody, “oh, my lawyer isn’t doing anything for me, my lawyer isn’t fighting for me,” your lawyer feels your losses almost the same as you do. Yes, I understand I’m not going to jail, but I feel tied to the case the same way that you feel tied to the case. And that’s any good lawyer. Any good lawyer will feel that way for you on your behalf and that’s what makes a good lawyer. They’re going to fight for you. But also it means that I have trouble sleeping at night sometimes, just because you’re just rehashing the day and rehashing all the unfairness that goes around under the guise of justice.
If you have any questions about that feel free to email me. But you know, this is one of those days where the job is hard, but somebody has to do it, and somebody who cares about the cases has to do it. I care about the case, and that’s why I feel this way. That’s my rant of a criminal defense attorney today, feel free to call or email me if you want to chat about your case and see if maybe I can help you out with your case as well. As always take care, stay out of trouble, don’t get arrested, and see you soon.