question for insiders re prosecutors and their witnesses

aoex
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question for insiders re prosecutors and their witnesses

by: aoex on
Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:08 pm

I was in court today to get a deal from the prosecutor for speeding 73 in 50 zone. I decided to get a trial date because of the possiblity that the officer won't show up. One thing I learnt from a legal expert (who happened to stop by in the hall and talk to the public) was that I did not have to verify whether or not the officer is present in order to make a deal; that the prosecutor will automatically withdraw the charge once I am called upon if the witness is absent. Indeed, this is what happened to some people. In a courtroom of 20-25 people, I noticed 3 charges withdrawn based on the absence of the witness, and I was only the 10th or so to be called, so I assume there were more (although they do tend to be handled first).

There is, however, one thing I'm not clear about. If the prosecutor arrives 30 minutes before the trial, and thereafter does not communicate with anyone besides the public, then how on earth does he know which officers have made it or not?
Do the officers and prosecutor all arrive together? If not, how does it work?

I just wonder whether in fact we can trust the prosecutor to always announce when the witness is not present before the defendant is charged.


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by: hwybear on
Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:40 pm

most prosecutors know each officer, a quick glance at officers and they know who is there and not.
- could also be a note on their desk that officer "X" called in sick today and officer "Y" is at criminal court, so not available for traffic court
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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by: aoex on
Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:08 pm

Ok, so let's say that they are notified on that day about who will not be present for whatever reason. That still leaves a lot of uncertainty as to whether the rest will in fact make it. I say this assuming that the prosecutor does not meet with every single officer before proceeding to the courtroom. Or do they?

The reason I don't think this is a trivial question is because... let's say a defendant accepted a deal with the prosecutor, but then decides to play hardball in the courtroom, and so before he enters a guilty plea, he asks the prosecutor "is your witness present?" What does he say? Does he know for sure that the witness is available outside?


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by: OPS Copper on
Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:53 am

Here games like that get an automatic court re-schedule and usually an e-mail to the cop advising them for next time.

OPS


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by: aoex on
Fri Oct 15, 2010 8:18 pm

I thought something like that might happen, but is it always the case? Perhaps the JP might think it would be a waste of valuable time/resources to reschedule. And then there's always the argument for the right to a speedy trial if the reschedule is months away. If everyone played hardball and got a reschedule, surely that would be a very convenient loophole for defendants, but I doubt it's that simple. So thanks for the input, but I'd like to hear some more opinions if there are any.


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by: viper1 on
Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:08 pm

aoex wrote:I thought something like that might happen, but is it always the case? Perhaps the JP might think it would be a waste of valuable time/resources to reschedule. And then there's always the argument for the right to a speedy trial if the reschedule is months away. If everyone played hardball and got a reschedule, surely that would be a very convenient loophole for defendants, but I doubt it's that simple. So thanks for the input, but I'd like to hear some more opinions if there are any.
It is not a good idea.

Like OPS said the DA will get a adjournment and you will get no deals.

Also if you live in the area where the cop patrols you can expect to
get pulled over a lot.

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by: aoex on
Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:57 pm

It is not a good idea.

Like OPS said the DA will get a adjournment and you will get no deals.
So you agree with OPS, but can you elaborate on why getting an adjournment is necessarily bad? As I pointed out, a reschedule could be used towards an 11b argument, no? And once again, I ask, will the DA always get an adjournment?
Also if you live in the area where the cop patrols you can expect to
get pulled over a lot.
So the officer is going to hold a grudge against me because I made him attend my court appearance and he will haunt me for the rest of my life? ;)

Let me state, by the way, that my trial is over and done with, so this is only for the sake of curiosity. I dont "need" any info; feel free to ignore this discussion if you find it pointless.


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by: OPS Copper on
Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:57 am

ahh but this delay will not count to 11b as it will be attributed to you... plus not a grudge but you can bet that the cop will be there for sure

gs


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by: aoex on
Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:53 am

you probably know better than me, but it wouldn't make sense or at least it wouldn't be fair to attribute the rescheduling to the defendant if he/she wants a trial and the witness is absent. After all, who's fault is it that the officer is not available?


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by: viper1 on
Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:13 am

aoex wrote:
It is not a good idea.

Like OPS said the DA will get a adjournment and you will get no deals.
So you agree with OPS, but can you elaborate on why getting an adjournment is necessarily bad? As I pointed out, a reschedule could be used towards an 11b argument, no? And once again, I ask, will the DA always get an adjournment?
Also if you live in the area where the cop patrols you can expect to
get pulled over a lot.
So the officer is going to hold a grudge against me because I made him attend my court appearance and he will haunt me for the rest of my life? ;)

Let me state, by the way, that my trial is over and done with, so this is only for the sake of curiosity. I dont "need" any info; feel free to ignore this discussion if you find it pointless.
I am no expert but I do believe some of the cops take it personal.

Last trial I was at I thought she was gonna cry.

What really happens when you do this is that you demean the word of others.

Part of the bargain is so the cop can leave.

Play the game the way you feel most comfortable.

Cheers
Viper1
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use at your own risk"


aoex
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by: aoex on
Sat Oct 16, 2010 3:15 am

Let me clarify again that my trial is over, so I am not really asking for advice. I may have started off the thread giving the wrong impression that I was in court simply to make a deal with the prosecutor, whereas in fact this deal was made right before the trial and I was convicted.

in reply to Viper1:

While it is true that I can fool the prosecutor by accepting a deal and then asking for the witness when I am called to the stand, thus earning the contempt of the opposing party, I could also be more honest and tell the prosecutor "let me think about your offer" and then take a decision on the stand. But the issue still remains that the prosecutor, in my experience, does NOT communicate with any officers after the line-up bargains with the defendants, so it is unclear how they can notify the officers to stay or leave. I understand of course that none of you may know the inner dealings/procedures of prosecutors with respect to their witnesses prior to the trial, but that was the main issue I was targeting with this thread.


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by: hwybear on
Sat Oct 16, 2010 5:49 am

aoex wrote:
It is not a good idea.

Like OPS said the DA will get a adjournment and you will get no deals.
So you agree with OPS, but can you elaborate on why getting an adjournment is necessarily bad? As I pointed out, a reschedule could be used towards an 11b argument, no? And once again, I ask, will the DA always get an adjournment?
I'm not up on the ins/outs of the above stuff. But since a resolution was made, the officer released by prosecutor, then the defendant pulls that stunt is "acting in bad faith", shouldn't 11B then go against defendant?
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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by: Radar Identified on
Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:33 am

hwybear wrote:But since a resolution was made, the officer released by prosecutor, then the defendant pulls that stunt is "acting in bad faith", shouldn't 11B then go against defendant?
Delay should be peremptory on the defendant in that case - so no stay due to 11B available.
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aoex
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by: aoex on
Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:58 pm

I'm not up on the ins/outs of the above stuff. But since a resolution was made, the officer released by prosecutor, then the defendant pulls that stunt is "acting in bad faith", shouldn't 11B then go against defendant?
I see what you guys are saying, but I also pointed out (last reply) that the defendant could tell the prosecutor "I'll have to think about your offer" and then make a decision on the stand, thus not acting in bad faith. What do you say to this?

ALSO, this is what really interests me: how does the prosecutor communicate to each officer that he can leave because their respective defendants accepted an offer? (does he have an assistant??)


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