Legislatures, representatives of the people, write the laws NOT prosecutors. Each law is a result of a complex process. This process involves everything from public hearings, citizen and lobbyist input to sworn testimony. Penal code statutes have punishment ranges for a reason. We should not treat everyone the same when it comes to the same offense. Prosecutors are circumventing the laws by substituting their own punishment ranges in the form of “office policies” rather than considering the full range of punishments. District and County Attorney offices nationwide are resorting to cookie cutter approaches when handling cases by making plea bargain offers and trial decisions according to “office policies,” particularly when it comes to prosecuting driving while intoxicated cases. For example, assistant district attorneys find themselves hand-tied when handling DWIs by such policies as:
1. Offering the maximum probation period for misdemeanor DWIs or
2. No reductions (nonDWIs) on repeat DWIs, breath or blood test cases allegedly over 0.08.
Inherent in an office policy is the disregard for the defendant’s particular circumstances such as lack of criminal history or specific facts mitigating a case (health issues, physical disabilities, etc.). The assistant district attorneys enforcing these office policies established by their superiors do so under direct orders without regard to the facts of a particular case. Yet, they are concerned more about their individual job security. Job security in the form of a paycheck is misguided. DWI Lawyers must first concern themselves with their ability or license to practice law. This is predicated on following ethics and laws.
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