I was the court appointed attorney. My client was charged with possession of marijuana and this was his 2nd offense. When I met with him to get the details of what happened, he sounded as if he could care less about the charge and what he could be convicted of. I tried to explain to him that he will not be eligible for alternative programs because this was NOT his first possession charge. Come to find out, his first charge was in October 2013 (only a few months before), and he never completed the course or paid the fines!
After getting the whole story from my client, I tell him the worst case scenario as to the possible sentencing he could face. However, this entire time, it’s obvious that I am more worried about my client than he is. We had been trying to get a hold of him since November to schedule an appointment to discuss his case, calling a number of times and mailing multiple letters. We were finally able to reach him after our receptionist did some investigating and found his mother’s phone number, and he finally came into the office.
On the day of his court appearance my client is late and we can’t get ahold of him. After calling my client’s mother he finally he shows up to court. I’m worried that he will be sentenced to jail time, but he has the same “don’t care” attitude.
I zealously argued with the Commonwealth’s Attorney that he was actually not in possession of the marijuana and it was an absurd charge. The CA quietly listened to my argument and then asked, “Is your client here?” and I responded “Yes, he is in the courtroom.” Then he asks to speak to my client.
At that point, I was thinking, “Oh no, this guy is going to mess it all up with his ‘I don’t care’ attitude.” I find my client in the courtroom, quickly give him the rundown of what has happened so far and tell him that the CA wants to talk to him. Even then, his attitude continues and he shrugs his shoulders and nods “Yeah.”
I had no idea what the CA was going to ask my client, especially since he had nothing to say to me after I made my argument. Much to my surprise, my zealous argument worked and he lectured my client and told him, verbatim, “If you are going to smoke weed, do it in your home.” Then he continued on with his lecture, which I know was going in one ear and out the other of my client. At the end of it, the CA looks at me and says that he is going to Nolle Pros this case and he fills out the famed “blue sheet” for Nolle Pros.
I proudly gave the blue sheet to the bailiff, and the judge then called our case and told my client that the CA decided not to prosecute. I was exuberant but my client still had the same “whatever” attitude; he didn’t even thank the judge. Once the judge made his ruling, my client was quick to turn around and leave the courtroom.
I guess regardless of the client’s attitude towards his charges and the great outcome, I know that I did an excellent job in getting this charge Nolle Prosed. Hopefully in the future he will realize it too.
Hudaidah Bhimdi Ahmed is a Junior Partner and Lead Litigation Attorney at Fayad Law, P.C. She represents clients in all types of immigration and criminal cases. Contact the firm if you need experienced legal counsel.
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