The third time must be the charm. I have previously written about a case I have in Baltimore City where the car is parallel parked and is being used as a shelter to drink beer in front of the house where the drinkers are spending the night. There is no intention to drive the car. I asked for a jury trial in Baltimore City so that I would get an experienced prosecutor who would understand the law (Atkinson case), and the case would be dismissed. The first genius it is assigned to tells me the Atkinson case only applies if my client was drinking beer in the car “in front of his own house.” I explained that the witnesses would testify he was spending the night at the house where the car was parked. She says the case does not apply. Atkinson was not in front of his own house, and it applies when you are sleeping it off in the bar parking lot, WHERE YOU DO NOT LIVE.
The case gets reassigned and the second prosecutor tells me it is based on the circumstances. Fair enough. I ask what are the circumstances to show the car was going to be driven. It is 3:00 AM and the bars are closed. She says it is up to the jury. I ask again what circumstances does she have to present to the jury and I get the same answer. Her supervisor, who is a friend of mine, comes in and I talk to him. He gives me the circumstances answer as well. I tell him to sit next to her while we try this case “so I can kick your ass while I am kicking her’s.” He laughs and the case gets postponed. The next time I get a prosecutor who understands the law and agrees he is going to get his ass kicked, but has no choice but to try the case. January cannot come soon enough to pack up and throw out the present elected State’s Attorney (Gregg Bernstein- no relation) who has created this stupidity. We come in at 1:30 to pick the jury and guess what? The police officer says he is not coming to court because HE AGREES THEY WERE NOT GOING TO DRIVE AND WERE JUST SITTING THERE DRINKING BEER, PLAYING LOUD MUSIC, AND BEING PUBLIC NUISANCES. He worked the midnight shift and was going to sleep and not waste his time on this non-DUI. Of course he arrested him and let the passenger (owner of the car), go into the house. The prosecutor was relieved and the judge amused. Meanwhile my client and his parents and his witnesses took time off from work and came to court because the original prosecutors did not know the law, and because of the “we have to try this piece of s… case” policy of the lame duck administration. The same thing happened yesterday and is the next thing I write.