19 August 2005

More "Heard in Court"

From yesterday: It's a routine statutory burglary sentencing hearing. The only thing on my client's record is a prior disregarding a red light and it involved a closed business rather than a home, so the guidelines recommend probation. The only real variable is that the judge is a substitute.

Client is actually fairly sympathetic. Among other things, I point out to the judge that he has three children by the woman he lives with and needs to support them.

Judge: "Sometimes I don't understand the guidelines. Breaking and entering is a serious crime. However, I'm going to follow them today. 5 years in the penitentiary, all 5 years suspended for a period of 10 years. One of the conditions of this suspension is that you not break the peace, obey the laws of Virginia and Her Sister States, and be of good behavior. Being of good behavior doesn't just mean obeying the law. For instance, continuing to have children out of wedlock can be a violation of good behavior . . ."

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