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"Mercy" In Criminal Courts?

Interviewer: Is there such thing as a mercy from the court or is that not really true?

David: I've done that occasionally. Never right out of the box, because if you throw yourself at the mercy of the court, who knows what happens. I have done something differently with some cases where the prosecutor wants to put the client into a state prison for selling cocaine.

Attorney Horan Advises a Different Strategy

You fast forward 10 or 12 years, the client has children, he has a job, but then he starts selling cocaine again and gets caught. Then all of a sudden he is confronted by a lengthy state prison term.

I basically explain to the client that he is in serious trouble. Look, you should stay in jail, let's not bail out. Let's try to get you into a detox rehab facility, let's get you professional attention. It is difficult for a prosecutor to object to releasing someone from jail if they go straight to rehab.

It is almost impossible for the prosecutor to object because they know the judges are going to approve that instantaneously, if I've actually gotten the person admitted into a rehab facility. They come out of rehab and they go into aftercare and they are out in the community still dealing with addiction issues assuming they exist.

At that point, I try to continue the case two or three times so that ultimately when I appear in front of the judge for what turns out to be a guilty plea, the client is totally completely clean, straightened himself out. If the client has straightened himself out, it is difficult for a prosecutor to ask for a hefty prison sentence. It is more difficult for a judge to impose a hefty prison sentence.

Under those scenarios, I'll advise the client that the prosecutor still wants to put you into prison but let's take a chance. We don't throw people at the mercy of a court unless we know that they are going to land right side up.

Interviewer: That makes a lot of sense, it is very strategic and a good plan.

David: We've done that successfully in a couple of cases in the past year.

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David Horan, Attorney at Law
212 Coolidge Avenue
Manchester, NH 03102
Phone: 603-483-3417
Toll Free: 800-737-3809
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