Thursday, March 06, 2008

Why aren't there more self surrenders?

Brian Tannebaum has this interesting post on self surrendering defendants to face charges. He argues that defense lawyers should be able to voluntarily surrender a defendant when that person and the lawyer know about the charges in advance:

The purpose of an arrest is to take the defendant into custody and present them before a judge or have them bonded out immediately. It's not a damn prize or game.And I'm tired of prosecutors telling me "I'm not going to interfere with their desire to arrest your client." What are you all so afraid of? Tell the officers/agents, I know this defense attorney, he keeps his word, let his client surrender. If they say no, so be it.

This issue actually comes up quite frequently in this District. Wouldn't it save everyone a great deal of time and resources if there was more cooperation on self surrendering a defendant? What say you SDFLA readers?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a former prosecutor i can tell you this is not as simple as it seems. Sometimes i had defense attorneys tell me that they will surrender a guy and then he doesnt show up. It really depends on the case and in most cases a defense attorney can sucessfully surrender his client but defense attorneys shouldnt always assume that a prosecutors decision not to accept a surrender is a sign of bad faith. sometimes prosecutors have informants who tell them that a client is planning to run and despite a defense attorneys assurances, your first reponsibility is to make sure the defendant gets charged.