No legal career comes without regrets in various forms! One mistake I made out of naivety I feel like I can share to shed some insight into the life of a Public Defender.
Thursday afternoons were for something called ‘Hooker Call‘.
‘Hooker Call’ was pretty much what it sounds like. A giant room filled with prostitutes from the night before all waiting to see if they are going to get out on bail when they go out in front of the judge. Usually an especially needy bunch because there is a lot of drug withdraw happening during hooker call.
Anyway, my job was to wade into the throng of them and get a few details on each girl for purposes of requesting a bond reduction. A short, to the point conversation with each lady. They know the drill.
A few would argue with you about what BS the charges were. One day, one girl whose name is now lost to time was complaining that they had ‘nothing on her’. I read to her right from the police report.
Literally, “she offered the undercover officer oral sex for the price of $5.00”
As soon as I heard the snickering, I realized my mistake. The girl got very defensive to the other hookers in the pen; “Oh like you ain’t never done one for $5”
But the damage was already done. I had embarrassed her needlessly.
There is talk somewhere of a ‘2 dollar hoe’. I think this is a ‘down south’ thing, but up here, $5 is the basement.
I had outed her as the bottom of the crack whore totem pole. It was unintentional, but I have always regretted that. Sometimes you leak something to make a point or clap back. I just didn’t think.
Don’t get me wrong, I have made WAY WORSE decisions in my life, but for some reason this one stuck with me.
Next Up, Statute Of Limitation Parties
This isn’t so much from my days of criminal defense as from my days as a criminal.
I spent years living ruff with ruff people. We did criminal things. But there was always an attempt to be smart and not get caught.
A Statute of Limitations refers to the period after which a particular crime can not be charged because too much time has passed since it was committed. It is a legal ‘get out of jail free‘ card for a past offense.
We were acutely aware of these laws and the nature of our various crimes. As a Statute of Limitations date would pass, usually 3 to 5 years, you would celebrate that a particular miss deed was safely ‘in the books’.
Disturbing yet true and not limited to me and my friends I can assure you.
P.S. Here is a fun fact for those of you interested in trivia as it pertains to those incarcerated. Respect is a big deal ‘inside’. Fights break out a lot because everyone is in a confined space and quite frankly there is not much to do besides invoke and enforce petty kingdoms. Guess what one of the leading causes of fights in lockup is? Click here for your answer.