I finally got to try a case that was almost a year old and had been snowed out twice. I had commented on this case when I did the MVA Hearing and the officer denied my client a phone call to her attorney, and the ALJ took no action. Today we showed up with our three witnesses and credit card receipts to attest to the amount of alcohol consumed. They never got on the stand. The officer could not remember simple facts and could not identify the photos of the street and sidewalk where the SFSTs were requested to be performed. I took the clear copy of the mugshot from the State, and introduced it to show my client looked better than she did in court. Obviously bright eyed and no sign of impairment. Take a look on line of Nick Nolte’s mugshot, and you see what really f…ed up looks like.
At the end of the State’s case the Judge said at that point she had to deny my Motion for Judgment of Acquittal, but it was clear that she would grant it at the end of the case. I renewed it and she acquitted, without calling the three witnesses. We then expunged the arrest and Case Search entries. Before the case started she instructed the public defenders to stay in the courtroom and watch how a DUI is tried. There are only a couple of us that get that from a judge, certainly not many, if any, of the big time advertisers who rely on their advertising and mailings to generate business. I recently had someone say he preferred a larger law firm because the firm convinced him he was better off with a “team.” I had seen a member of the team that same week butcher a DUI. You only get one lawyer in court (unless you are O.J. Simpson) and not a team, and the team concept is such BS. Most criminal lawyers practice alone. You want the lawyer you talked to be the lawyer who comes to court, not some team member who gets told to go to court and handle the case. I don’t think I have ever seen a member of this team try a case. I have certainly never heard a prosecutor talk about a case they had with that team. They do talk about some of us who try these cases and to whom they refer friends or family members. The bottom line is you did not need a team to win this case, just a lawyer who knew what in the hell he is doing.