After the first week...

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So we started the week off with a five day trial but on the third day Judge Walker deemed the defendent unfit to proceed because he did not seem to fully comprehend his situation. The defendent had a substantial mental illness history so the judge sent him to the hospital to be checked out and potentially diagnosed. As a result, the trial was suspended and the judge had plenty of free time on his hands. Wednesday and Thursday I spent a lot of time with Judge Walker's clerk, Linda, and his JA, Nayeli. After taking a grand tour of the courthouse I got to make some copies and do some filing for Linda and Nayeli. By friday, I had spent plenty of quality time with the copy machine. Along with making copies and filing papers, I also got to meet another judge, Judge Cheryl Albrecht. I watched the tail end of a stipulated facts case she was conducting and then she invited me into her office to chat for a minute. Like Judge Walker, Judge Albrecht was very kind and personable.

On friday Judge Walker saw plenty of people who had been charged with DUIs. In the morning he gave people fines to pay, hours of community service to do, victims panels to see, and another court date by which they had to have all of the previous assignments completed. In the afternoon, the judge saw people on the other side of this process - so by this point these people should have had all of their assignments done. The judge stated and restated to people in the afternoon and in the morning that 100% of the people who do no complete their community service, attend a victims panel, and pay their fine by their assigned court date (which was usually 90 days after they were charged with the DUI) would be sentenced to 30 days in jail....100%....no exceptions. Most people took care of all of their obligations and had their charges waved, but unfortunately for one person, he slacked on every assignment and was handcuffed and taken to jail on the spot. My advice to everyone: Just don't drink and drive!