Friday, February 26, 2010

People v. Carter (Cal. Ct. App. - Feb. 26, 2010)

One of the things you can do as a criminal defendant is to try to gum up the works. Make a motion to represent yourself, then ask for a lawyer, then ask for another lawyer, then ask for a different lawyer, etc. That'll definitely make the prosecution a hassle, and take up time.

But in the end, you're exceptionally likely to be convicted at trial. In part because you're guilty, and in part because the prosecutor's hardly going to be inclined to give you a good deal. Plus, at the end, the trial judge may well remember what you've done. And sentence you to 11+ years.

When that all happens, sure, you've preserved some arguments for appeal. But the Court of Appeal will probably see -- and understand -- what was actually going on as well.

And will unanimously affirm.

So it's a strategy, to be sure. But perhaps not as lucrative as you originally contemplated.