Prosecutor defers to court at sentencing. What does that mean?
Prosecutor defers at criminal sentencing in Maryland
It seems more prevalent now in the district courts of Maryland, that when your attorney approaches a prosecutor to discuss their recommendation for your criminal case the prosecutor says, “I’m deferring to the court.”
I call this the “Prosecutorial Punt.” Similar to football, the prosecutor punts the ball to the other team, the judge. While a “prosecutorial punt” isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it doesn’t help you understand how serious the State’s Attorney’s Office is taking your case.
Basically, the prosecutor declines to make a recommendation to the court regarding sentencing. However, the prosecutor has no problem reciting your criminal record and pending charges to the court.
Recently, I was told by a prosecutor that they were deferring to the court, but asking for “some” jail. What does “some” jail mean?
When it came time for sentencing, I advised the court that the State was recommending “some” jail and, in fact, my client had served “some” jail for this case.
Had the prosecutor actually recommended a specific amount of jail time, the court may have actually ruled in the State’s favor and sentenced my client to more jail time. Instead, the court agreed with my assessment of “some” jail and gave my client to time served.
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The Law Office of Ross W. Albers is located in Carroll County, Maryland. Maryland DUI Attorney Ross W. Albers is a former Baltimore City DWI prosecutor that knows what you’re up against. The Law Office of Ross W. Albers is a member of the National College for DUI Defense. In 2016, Carroll County DUI Attorney Ross W. Albers was recognized by Maryland Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in Criminal Defense: DUI.