A disagreement between an Assistant State Attorney and a Broward Circuit Judge could result in the removal of the judge from all 455 of the prosecutor’s cases. Courtroom tension mounted on September 22, as the judge ordered the prosecutor to “have a seat” at the prosecution table after she reportedly objected to his handling of a defendant’s case.
The defendant was in court for an open plea on charges of cocaine possession, resisting arrest, and habitually driving with a suspended license. Though the judge had agreed to formally convict and sentence him, he hinted that he might withhold the conviction to avoid suspending his license again, since the defendant had received a hardship license for business purposes.
The prosecutor objected and the judge gave her what has been described as a “judicial timeout.” According to the State Attorney’s Office, he also undermined the attorney by drastically reducing the sentences of three other defendants whose cases were being prosecuted by the attorney. The State Attorney’s Office appealed to the Fourth District, which put the case involving the judge and the prosecutor on hold. The office has also requested that the judge remove himself from the lawyer’s other cases, because it is believed that judge lost his neutrality and became an advocate of the defendant.
Source: Broward prosecutors trying to kick judge off 455 cases, South Florida Sun Sentinel, October 5, 2010
The Broward County criminal defense lawyers at Leifert & Leifert have formerly worked as Florida prosecutors, so they can answer your legal questions if you have been arrested and charged with a crime.