Ah, this I haven’t seen in a while. A good old net fight (light-hearted, of course). It started with SHG of Simple Justice responding to a post by Jamie Spencer about (of all things) “expunction” or “expungement” or, as us normal people like to call it, erasure. In that response, he might have called on them to stop whining. Mark Bennett jumped in and lay down the gauntlet. He provides a laundry list of why practicing in Texas is better than practicing in New York. (Edit: Scott has responded with a call to arms) Now, I don’t practice in New York, but I can’t resist getting involved in a good dogfight. So here goes:
But if you’re charged with any crime in Texas, from a traffic ticket on up,
• You are most likely entitled to reasonable bail. Bail can be denied only if the State proves that one of a few exceptions to the constitutional right to bail applies.
• If you’re accused of a felony, you may get an opportunity to make a presentation to the grand jury, which might result in a dismissal if you’re really really innocent.
No grand juries anymore in Connecticut, but you can challenge probable cause and are entitled to a hearing in probable cause if you’re facing life. Rate of success in both is about the same.
• You probably won’t be treated respectfully by the judge, the prosecutor, or the court staff, but your treatment will be much more respectful than, for example, the treatment David Feige describes citizens accused receiving in the Bronx.
Eh, this really isn’t an “advantage”. It varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. I will say that in my experience, I’ve seen only a few judges be harsh to defendants and there only a few prosecutors that exhibit some animus toward defendants.
• If you have funds to hire a lawyer, you can choose a lawyer from the finest criminal defense bar in the world.
Hey, we’ve got some damn good lawyers too and some of them even belong to the private bar! (One blogs) Also, really? In the world?
• You have a right to a jury trial. No ifs or buts.
I had no idea that in some states, you didn’t have the right to a trial by jury.
• Your lawyer gets to actually talk with the jury panel while choosing the jury instead of relying on a judge to do it for him; he’ll certainly do a better job than the judge would and will probably do a better job than the prosecutor.
Yep, same here. In fact, our lawyers get to talk to the prospective jurors one on one. (Yes, we’ve been back on forth on this in past weeks. Couldn’t resist one more shot, though )
• If there is a factual dispute over the way the government obtained its evidence against you, you can get a jury to resolve it, and the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the police acted legally.
Now this one is actually interesting. I haven’t really thought about it much, but I can’t dismiss it out of hand.
• If, by some combination of bad luck and bad facts, the jury convicts you, you can have them set punishment.
Which could cut both ways. You also could have to go right to the sentencing hearing, meaning your lawyer doesn’t have time to prepare.
• When the state accuses you of a crime in Texas and can’t prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, you can (eventually) clear your name.
We got that too; it’s called erasure of records. Who do you think we are? New York?
As for the advantages of practicing in CT, I think they’re pretty obvious: one execution in 40 years, lawyers required to stay awake during trials, appointed judges and the best public defender system in the country.
C’mon folks. Where would you rather be arrested?
Please select one
- Non CT pd (22%, 140 Votes)
- Non CT other (19%, 122 Votes)
- CT pd (18%, 114 Votes)
- Non CT other lawyer (13%, 81 Votes)
- CT other lawyer (10%, 61 Votes)
- CT other (10%, 61 Votes)
- Non CT prosecutor (3%, 19 Votes)
- CT prosecutor (3%, 19 Votes)
- CT judge (2%, 12 Votes)
- CT lawmaker (2%, 10 Votes)
- Non CT judge (1%, 5 Votes)
- Non CT lawmaker (0%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 642
Image courtesy: Kings County College