Thursday, October 8, 2009
DV Offender Employed by Lawson Lamar Gets Slap on the Wrist
Defendant Michael Emmons (2009MM10127), employed by the Orange County Office of the State Attorney in the MIS Department, pled no contest today to one count of Interception of Wire/Oral Communications involving his wife (offense date 12/27/08). Adjudication was withheld and he is to serve 12 months probation. The Seminole County State Attorney's Office prosecuted this case because of Mr. Emmons' job with Orange County.
Judge Leon Cheek would have gotten an A+ from CourtWatch if only he had adjudicated Mr. Emmons guilty. The judge asked several good questions of the prosecutor and took several minutes to review other witness statements in the State's file. He emphasized to Mr. Emmons how foolish he was to jeopardize his job by breaking the law while at work and told the defendant he expects him to show more restraint. He also told Mr. Emmons that he doubted the defendant's assertion that he didn't know what he did was illegal since the defendant was in a position to know that it was. Judge Cheek gave an excellent definition of what "no contact" means as he ordered the defendant to have no contact with his wife (she obtained an injunction against him in Seminole in March), and in fact told him that he was not even allowed to speak about her in a derogatory fashion to his friends. Defense Counsel Daniel Brodersen requested "unsupervised probation" and the judge emphatically told him there's no such thing. Finally, as the hearing concluded, Judge Cheek asked if the victim was present in order to make a statement. Most judges don't mention this unless an attorney alerts them to do so.