Different types of representation in criminal court
Writing Assignment #2 (Due March 23th 10:00 pm)
Assume the following facts. You have been charged in Spokane County with the felonies of running a bicyclist off the road and leaving the scene of an accident.
If convicted, you would get a sentence ranging from probation to 10 years in prison. Unbeknownst to you at the time, you did in fact run a cyclist off the road and
leave the scene of the accident. While you have done this, you believe the following are viable defense to the charges:
a. The road was poorly designed and it was not safe for cyclists, therefore if you accidentally ran him off the road it was not your fault, and
b. As the accident occurred at 5:00 a.m. on a dark, foggy morning on poorly lit road, you didn’t even know you had run anyone off the road
c. You have attention deficit disorder which prevented you from noticing you ran someone off the road.
d. You believe an expert witness (or two) will help you case.
Above all else, you need a lawyer. Unfortunately, you have no savings or assets other than a dented car worth $5,000.000, a Starbucks card with $7.32 on it, and
$245.35 in the bank. You also have a credit card with a $10,000.000 credit limit. To be blunt, you are not doing very well financially and are considered indigent.
At your initial appearance, hearing that you are a criminal justice student, the judge decides to let you decide what type of attorney you want to represent you. Your
1. Public defender: You can choose the public defender’s office to represent you at not charge
2. Contract counsel: the county pays 20 criminal defense attorneys $21,000/year to represent 30 defendants ($700.00/case). This would cost you nothing.
3. Private attorney: You can max out your credit
Considering what you have learned about different types of criminal representations, please explain whom you would choose as a lawyer, and more importantly why. As
part of your answer, please discuss the pros and cons of each option. In explaining why you choose the lawyer you did, it might be helpful to explain why you didn’t
chose each of the others. As this is a “life and death” decision for your, I expect many items to enter your considerations. Feel free to make assumptions about the
services provided by each option (experts, investigators, time spent with you, etc.), and make reasoning assumptions about your personal characteristics and
backgrounds, but make sure they are in line with what we’ve discussed at class. The lengthy of the essay should be between 2-5 pages.
Total credit: 50 points.
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