Court-Appointed Lawyers Don’t Get Paid More for a Plea

Jamison Koehler Sentencing

I have worked with this particular court-appointed client now on a number of cases, and I guess he is beginning to feel more comfortable with me.  “Give it to me straight, Mr. Koehler,” he says to me over the phone.  “You get paid more money if I cop to a plea on this case, don’t you?”

You Can’t Plead Guilty Without Admitting Guilt

Jamison Koehler Criminal Procedure, Sentencing

I am watching a guilty plea from the gallery. The prosecutor reads out the alleged facts from the police report, and the defendant says, yes, that is what happened. The colloquy continues. The defendant then tells the judge that she is not actually guilty. The only reason she is taking the government’s deal is because her lawyer made her. And, …

No Strong-Arming of Defendants Into Accepting Pleas

Jamison Koehler Opinions/Cases, Sentencing

When the two defendants opted for trial, rejecting a deferred sentencing agreement that had been offered by the government, Judge Brian Holeman may have been doing them a favor when he warned them that they would face certain jail-time if convicted.  After all, that is exactly what happened. At the same time, as the D.C. Court of Appeals held yesterday …

Let Me Talk To The Judge

Jamison Koehler Criminal Procedure, Sentencing

Whenever a group of defendants are lined up before the court to do misdemeanor guilty pleas, one or two will often try to back out at the last minute. If the defendant is quibbling with something the prosecutor has just read from the police report, the parties can usually find common ground on facts that still make out every element …

And Sometimes You Go To Jail

Jamison Koehler Sentencing

Your client is released from jail after serving his sentence, and texts you on his way home.  You were defense counsel in the case that sent him there. You both knew after the conviction but before sentencing that he would be serving some jail-time. Your client had plenty of time to get his affairs in order.  Still, it is disconcerting …

U.S. Capitol building

No More Weekends in DUI Cases

Jamison Koehler DUI and Driving Offenses, Sentencing

Always looking out for the best interests of clients, Michael Bruckheim has come up with a creative way for getting around the new requirement in D.C. that mandatory days of incarceration in DUI cases be served back-to-back. According to the new law that took effect in August 2012, second-time DUI offenders who are sentenced to a mandatory-minimum period of incarceration …