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Assignment 1: LASA 2: Violence and Drugs in Centervale—Defending Abby
This LASA assignment is a continuation of the scenario from M3: Assignment 2 LASA 1. Please reread the scenario from M3: Assignment 2 LASA 1 before starting this assignment.
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?
1 Save the document as M5_A1_Lastname_Firstname.doc. All CJA papers should be submitted using APA format, i.e., Times New Roman 12, double spaced with title page and reference page. See the APA manual for an examples.
2 By Monday, June 5, 2017, submit your document to the M5: Assignment 1 LASA 2 Dropbox.
LASA 2 Grading Criteria and Rubric
This assignment is worth 300 points. Download this rubric and carefully read it to understand the expectations.
M3: Assignment 2 LASA 1 Scenario
You have been working as a police officer for the Centervale Police Department for two years. You are on your nightly patrol in your marked police vehicle with your partner, Edward, who has been on the force for seven years. You receive a call on the radio to respond to a domestic abuse situation requiring backup. Your partner and you are second to respond to the call. You arrive at the scene, which is in a neighborhood with a bad reputation. Upon arrival, you witness a couple, Abby and Bobby, standing outside their house, yelling obscenities at each other.
The couple refuses to calm down and speak with the officers, Christina and David, who are already on the scene. The girlfriend, Abby, is slurring her speech and seems unaware of the trickle of blood running down the side of her head. The boyfriend, Bobby, has extremely bloodshot eyes and does not appear to have slept in days. Moreover, Bobby's speech is accelerated, and he's breathing rapidly as if he has just sprinted from the drugstore down the block. You notice that Bobby's hands and face have scratches all over them.
Also, the front door is open.
Your partner, Edward, has known this couple as they have been in trouble with the law before. He steps in between Abby and Bobby and begins to gather information from Abby, while you call for an ambulance.
As Edward speaks with the couple, you begin to walk around the yard, observing what you can. You look in through the front door, and while there is only one light on in the house, you observe what appears to be a bong and a baggie of marijuana on the coffee table in the front room of the house. Because Edward is standing with Abby and there are two other officers outside with Bobby, you decide to enter the house to take a closer look.
You discover that there is indeed a bong and a baggie of marijuana on the table. Looking under the couch next to the coffee table, you discover a shotgun as well. You begin to wonder what other illegal items might be in the house, when you hear a yell from outside and run out to discover that Bobby is being handcuffed and put in a police car. Apparently, Bobby tried to use a weapon on Abby in front of Edward and the other officers.
He is quoted as saying, "Just because the cops are here doesn't mean I won't finish what I started!" as he reached for his waistband.
As Bobby is being driven away, Abby breaks down into tears and cries out after her boyfriend, "Don't worry, baby! I'll come bail you out as soon as I can turn a little profit with the goods!"
You tell your partner what you observed in the house. After the paramedics declare that Abby's head injury is nothing more than a bad scratch, your partner and you drive Abby down to the police precinct for further questioning, leaving Christina and David at the scene to secure it until more investigation can be done.