Tuesday, April 13, 2010

He's back! "A Question of Voume," by The Assistant

I always look at DAC's new case breakdown with a slight case of envy.
No, not because he gets all the sexy cases, like trace amounts of
cocaine, but because compared to my docket he gets so dagnabbed FEW of

As a reminder- I'm the only assistant in my county. This means that
basically every single misdemeanor committed in my county eventually
comes across my desk. I'm the intake attorney, the plea negotiation
attorney, the trial attorney, and if it came down to it, the appellate

There are good things about this arrangement. Most notably,
I am personally familiar the criminal history of LOTS of my repeat
defendants. I know who their friends are, who their family members
are, where they drink at, and who they get into trouble with. This is
often very useful information for a prosecutor. I also very quickly
know if someone's a first timer, and maybe I can help put them on the
right path with a pre-trial diversion or deferred adjudication.

Since I'm the only assistant, I've been pretty busy the past week with
various things including three protective orders and a mental
commitment where the person tried to assault the bailiff. Not only
have I been negligent in my blogging, but I've let my case intake
stack up. So here, then, is a look at the case intake currently
sitting on my desk from the various agencies that have submitted cases
to my office since April 1:

DWI: 22 cases
Assault: 11 cases
Driving with License Invalid: 5 cases
Theft: 5 cases
Possession of Marijuana: 3 cases
Reckless Driving: 2 cases
One case each of: Filing a False Report, Criminal Mischief, Criminal
Trespass, Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity.

51 cases. And that's not counting the handful that I've already weeded
through in the spare moments waiting on a judge or defense attorney or
something. Each case has at least one offense report (and often two or
three) that I'll read and a criminal history to go through. Nearly
every DWI had a traffic stop video that I'll watch, ranging from 15
minutes to an hour and a half. The other cases may have evidence from
a few photos to videotaped witness statements.

Is this mix of cases standard? Mostly. DWI has been a point of
emphasis among patrol recently and the detective assigned to them has
been working overtime trying to clear his desk, so that number is
bigger than I would normally expect. Likewise, the number of marijuana
cases is lower than I would expect. Overall though, that's about what
I'd expect- Assault, DWI, and POM, with a few others thrown in for

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