Gary S. Bernstein, P.A.

Call Toll-Free: 866-435-2795

Locally at: 410-415-9219

Posts Tagged ‘2012 Maryland Super Lawyers Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI’

# Badass. Thank G-D for the Body Cam Video

That is the title of the AVVO review from my client.  The arrest was an absolute disgrace.  The client was stopped for an inoperable headlight.  When I got the video, I was so angry I was going to take it to the State's Attorney's Office to show them how absurd the arrest was as well as the client's treatment.  Instead I decided I would teach the officer a lesson.  The prosecutor called me the day before to offer a guilty plea.  I asked him what did she do wrong?  He couldn't answer it except to say he thought he had enough.

I had the judge watched the video before the officer testified so that the trial and cross-examination could proceed smoothly.  The judge was clearly disturbed by what she was.  The officer testified that the client swayed during the HGN.  I said to him I have watched the video ten times and never saw a sway.  He wound up testifying that his eyes are better than the video camera on his shoulder.  I asked the judge if I could get him out to the witness chair to demonstrate. She was too through at that point and basically let me go after the lies.  He had the audacity to "show" that she swayed all the way to the right and then all the way to the left.  She didn't move, much less go where she would have been out of the camera.  He totally butchered the Walk and Turn.  He then wanted to argue with me that even though he instructed her incorrectly and she did as he said, that it was still wrong.  It was her fault that she did it the way it was instructed.  The One Leg was perfect.  

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State Police Played Games and Lost

New client came in on Thanksgiving day after having been charged the night before with a DUI.  She was the designated driver and was out with her sister who was the drinker.  She gets stopped for an illegal U-Turn and is taken to the State Police Barracks that has a camera without audio in the breath test room.  Now the way she looked that evening and her attempts to take the test were important since she could not provide a sufficient sample. She arrives at the barracks within an hour of the stop so her appearance and actions in the room are relevant.  Was she steady on her feet, was she swaying, did she look DRUNK?

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Where is the Anne Arundel County Car Video

Hide the ball trick does not work.  Three years ago I wrote a Blog about a police officer who I caught lying in his FIRST CASE!  I have kept the video from that case on my IPad and the original tape and written report in a binder waiting to see if I would get a "return match" with this officer.  Well a few months ago a new client comes in and I recognize the officer's name, walk over to file boxes across from my desk, grab a blue binder sitting on top of them, and open it to the first stack of papers and tapes and it is the same guy.

There is no mention of a video in this client's paperwork but I KNOW there is one.  We get to court 2 weeks ago and when the officer arrives I ask him where is the video.  He tells me he and his supervisor looked for it, but the DVD in the car must have been full and the stop was not recorded.  I remind him who I was and he remembered his first case.  I don't believe him and move to dismiss the case and explain to the Judge, the prosecutor, and a courtroom of police, lawyers, and defendants that I have him on video and on paper committing perjury in 2014 and I don't believe for a moment that the video in this case does not exist.

After 2 recesses and the Judge ordering the prosecutor to personally speak to the supervisor, THERE IS A VIDEO!  However it is housed in a building that will require an hour to drive to and find.  The case is reset to today to give me my video.  Did anyone reading this get it?  I didn't either. Instead of the officer bringing it to court, a supervisor somewhere else emailed the State that he had it and would get me a copy next week.  The judge was too through with this bullshit, and gave the State 40 minutes to get it to court as she had ordered 2 weeks ago.  The new prosecutor on the case calls the supervisor who sent the email, but he is no where to be found, nor is the video.  

Without the video she is going to give me an inference that the video would be  favorable to my client.  Now the police report description of my client's field tests was not bad and incredibly vague (meaning he did really well).  At that point we agree to plead to 2 payable citations and pay $115.50 fines and costs.  The officer is probably happier than my client as he dodged a blood letting on cross-examination.  I blogged before to make sure you retain a lawyer who will watch the video.  Make sure you retain one who will DEMAND the video.

Wonderful Christmas Card

i just got a really nice card from a client who had multiple drug and alcohol issues.  His father passed a way a few years ago and he got lost in grief.  It took 2 cases to get him on track.  Here is what he wrote:

 

"Thank you for giving me a second chance to get my life back together.  A learning lesson indeed.  I got my job back.  My boss told me he believes in second chances."

Your foster son,

 

He was finally ready to get help and he did.  He deserves all the credit.  He knows that I will alwys be there to help.  

 

 

 

 

You Pay Peanuts You Get a Monkey

That is a phrase my former partner used years ago when he set a fee and the potential client said he or she knew a cheaper lawyer.  I started writing this a couple months ago but thought I would finish it today.  The particular case that generates this was an Ex Parte involving an allegation of Child Abuse.  The mother filed it in Somerset County as that is where it allegedly occurred.  The mother lives in Howard County.  The judge found no abuse and dismissed the Petition.  The statute allows ONLY for an appeal to be filed in the County where the original Petition was heard.  You cannot  file a valid new Petition elsewhere, only Somerset County has jurisdiction- it is in black and white in the statute.  The mother files a NEW Petition in the Circuit Court for Somerset County and it is heard and Dismissed by the trail judge as only an Appeal is allowed.  The mother then files an Appeal.  The Appeal will the be heard in Circuit Court, unless you have paid peanuts.

The mother now files a new Petition in Howard County. The mother also hires a lawyer in Howard County.   Instead of dismissing the improperly filed Howard County Petition (that is virtually verbatim of the Somerset County Petition) and taking his lazy ass to Somerset County to try the Appeal which is de novo ( meaning a new trial), he dismisses the Somerset County Appeal.   I emailed the lawyer the night before and explained the law to him and he emails back stating he did not need me to educate him.  Apparently he did.  I wanted to save my people from driving all the way from Somerset to Ellicott City. We show up and the judge dismisses the Howard County petition because she has no jurisdiction to hear it- jurisdiction is in Somerset County for the Appeal only that he dismissed! 

It gets worse, we walk out of courtroom and try to make arrangements for the return of the child, and the lawyer says he is filing a NEW PETITION based on newly discovered evidence.  Well we come back a week later and not only is there no newly discovered evidence, the evidence he claims he had was bizarre and unbelievable.  Before I could move for dismissal, he does.  All he had to do was go to Somerset County and he could have retried the Appeal with the original evidence and anything else he thought he might have.  My guess is he did not want to drive there.  He is one of the low fee advertising lawyers.  I took him to task years ago for not doing his own work and relying on the list serve to save his clients.  He even called me at home incredulous that I had given him a public spanking.  He deserved it then and deserves it now, but I will not use his name.  Just remember my former partner's admonition.   

 

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  • Gary S. Bernstein, P.A.
  • 29 W. Susquehanna Avenue, Suite 700
  • Towson, Maryland 21204
  • Toll Free: 866-435-2795
  • Locally: 410-415-9219
  • Fax: 410-823-0610

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