If there is anything that truly chills the Constitution and the Sixth Amendment right to trial it is the so called trial tax.
You know how it goes- the prosecution offers three years probation for a couple of third degree felonies, but your client wants a trial. Then the Judge and the prosecutor go through their well worn act - read: dog and pony show- in which the Judge asks the prosecutor what the maximum penalty is and what the prosecution will seek as a sentence after trial? The prosecutor then solemnly intones that the total possible penalty is 15 years, and suddenly the client with no priors with whom everyone was happy to see sentenced to probation is told that the sentence will be at least ten years and they will be taken into custody immediately after the verdict.
This show so incenses us that we have developed several strategies to deal with it.
How do you, as a criminal practitioner deal with the threats and attack on the right to trial?
And for those of you that wear a robe and read the blog, any defense of this despicable dog and pony show would be appreciated. We promise you a fair hearing and we truly are interested in any well reasoned defense of this procedure.
See you in court, turning down pleas and doing what we do best.