Unjust things happen in court every day, despite how much you may try to object or fight it. As a criminal defense attorney, I unfortunately experience this firsthand. 

I’ve started a video series on Facebook detailing some of these injustices and, when possible, what can be done about them. My first video details a situation that I had with a client on probation. You can read the transcript from the video below. Check out my video series and other information by following me on Facebook.

My day in court is an example of an unjust experience. I want to explain what happened so that you understand that if you find yourself in this position, it’s not because your lawyer isn’t fighting for you. It’s because the system is set up for you to fail.

So, I have a client who is on probation, and he is stopped in connection with a drug investigation. But the stop is completely devoid of reasonable suspicion. So, in other words, the police had no suspicion to stop him. However, they saw him near a person who they did have reasonable suspicion to stop. So they stopped and searched him as well. And when they searched him they found some marijuana (which he has a marijuana card for), and they search his phone. When they searched the phone, they see some text messages which they say contain narcotics lingo.

Limited Rights

Now under normal circumstances, the marijuana that they seize and the narcotics lingo that they see would normally be the subject of a motion to suppress. But my client is on probation. Now what does that mean? It means that the police and the state’s attorney can threaten and cajole you. They basically say, “if you don’t want to plead guilty to the offenses which I say you have to plead guilty to, I’m going to put your violation of probation down for an immediate hearing”. At which point, you would then be subject to a hearing where you almost have zero chance of winning. That’s because it’s a lower burden of proof, and for which I also cannot suppress the evidence. This is because there is really bad case law that suggests that you have no rights on probation. So it doesn’t matter if your rights were violated with the stop, they can still essentially put that evidence against you at a violation of probation hearing.

Going to Jail

So even though the state attorney has no reason for the stop, can’t even articulate a reason for the stop, they’re in a position where they don’t care. They’re offering jail time because my client is on probation. So, they are essentially saying, “well, I don’t care that your client’s rights were violated, he was on probation”. So, I get up and I hem and haw about how unjust it is, and the judge just says, “sorry, there’s nothing I can do about it. I can’t force the state to drop the charges. The best thing I can do for your client is make him an offer that he probably can accept”.

So, for you clients out there who are on probation, know that your rights very well may be violated in connection with a case. However, the system is set up where you have no rights on probation. The state will use that probation status against you to coerce you into pleading guilty to things that there really isn’t evidence for, or there is not enough evidence to support. They can do this simply because they know you don’t want to go to jail and you will do anything to minimize any jail exposure you have. 

So this is my rant for the day, if you have any questions about further unjust events that happen on a daily basis at court, feel free to email me at [email protected]