Matthew's Foray into Blogging

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Reset King

When a criminal defendant has a court appearance, such as an arraignment, pretrial, or docket call, and the case is not disposed of at that setting, the alleged offender obtains a “reset.” This is simply another date on which to appear in court, i.e., the case is reset to a future date. The first, second and even third resets are generally granted without much reluctance by the court. One is entitled to a reset after the first appearance, the arraignment, because at that time, the accused person’s identity is confirmed, he or she is informed of the charges, and a plea is entered (not guilty). At subsequent pretrial settings, the defendant’s attorney and the assistant district attorneys may negotiate the plea offer further. Repeated resets might be necessary if the client or attorney is not ready to conclude the matter. If the client has received too many pretrial resets, however, it may become necessary to seek judge’s approval.

Resets are generally simple to obtain, and for the most part take up time that could be better spent on more important tasks. That is why it frequently falls upon me, the most junior attorney, to go to court to reset clients. Lloyd, the deputy in County Court Number Four, becomes irritated when a large number of defendants are reset, because that means they will be back in his court on another day. Lloyd has dubbed me the Reset King. He jests that I need to stop resetting defendants and start pleaing some people.

I live up to my moniker as the Reset King. Not only do I frequently obtain resets in the Montgomery County Courts at Law, but also I drive hundreds of miles out of county merely to obtain resets. Twice I have even finagled resets when the judge would not have approved it. After the client and I had departed the courtrooms, the judges became upset that we were granted the resets, I later learned. It’s an unglamorous job, but somebody has to do it.

1 Comments:

  • Yeah, well as the mother of two "victims" who had to deal with continually resets...please be thoughtful of those on the other side. It was very difficult for my children to work themselves up to having to go to court, only to find out the day before (or worse--the day of) that things had been reset. Just playing devil's advocate from this side. :)

    By Blogger jules, at 2:58 PM, April 30, 2006  

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