CJA 315 Assignment 1: LASA 2: Violence and Drugs in Centervale – Defending Abby
Having successfully completed law school, you are now a second-year defense attorney with the state. You have been entrusted with the task of defending Abby, who has been charged with illegal farming of marijuana with intent to sell and illegal possession of firearms. Abby has never been charged with a crime before. The firearms possession charge is a misdemeanor in your state, and the marijuana charge is a felony. During the course of review of the case, you have been provided with the following information:
- The police report filed by Officer Edward, which contains all the information regarding the events leading up to the arrest of your client. The report also includes the observations of Edward’s former partner (who has since been promoted to detective).
- A search warrant for the home and subsequent documentation mentioning that drug paraphernalia and marijuana were found in the front room of the house. The documentation also mentions that a shotgun was found, bearing your client’s and her boyfriend’s fingerprints, under the couch in the same room.
- A copy of a statement by your client but not signed by her, which appears to be a confession that she made in the car on the way to the police station. In the statement, she claimed that she just needed to sell a little more marijuana to raise an additional $1,500 so she would have $10,000 to bail her boyfriend, Bobby, out of jail.
In addition, twenty marijuana plants were found in the basement of the house, along with $8,500 in cash and a receipt book filled with Abby’s handwriting.
When you interview your client, she states that she barely recalls that evening, because she was completely drunk at the time the police showed up. She tells you that she doesn’t even remember being in the police car and has no idea that she was told her rights, because she didn’t sober up until the following morning.
She denies any knowledge of the marijuana plants in the basement of the house but states that the other marijuana on the table was just there for a party she and Bobby were going to have later that night. She also tells you that she is about four months pregnant with Bobby’s child. You have Abby’s trial starting the next morning.
Utilizing APA guidelines, citing your sources in text, and creating a corresponding reference page, cite relevant case law and specific information from external sources, present a 6- to 8-page research paper to illustrate how you would defend your client. Please address the following issues specifically in your paper:
- Can any of the evidence found in your client’s home be suppressed? If so, why and on what grounds?
- Can any of the statements uttered by your client at the crime scene or in the patrol car be used against her? Can any of them be suppressed? Why?
- Can the state meet its burden of proof in this case? If not, why not? What can you argue to defend your client on the basis of the evidence listed in the case?
- Can your client’s best interest be served by engaging in trial? Or would it be better for her in the long run to make a plea. If so, what might your request be to the prosecuting attorney for a plea deal?
- Assuming your client is found guilty on felony charges stemming from the marijuana possession, what argument might you make to the judge and the jury regarding sentencing? What constitutional amendment supports your theory and why?
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