Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Victory & Defeat | The Tale Of Two Cases

State v. Webb, a local State Court case, promised to be a difficult case with charges of running a stop sign, expired tag, open container, DUI and Possession of Marijuana but ... First John Duncan of our office won at the Suppression Hearing and successfully eliminated most of the video tape as evidence for the State; then in picking a jury yesterday I got the jury talking about drinks and how everybody's chemistry is different and it is hard to tell what will make one person drunk to the point where they are not a safe driver. This morning before trial started we struck a deal eliminating the DUI charge and agreeing that the Marijuana charge would be handled on first offender status, the remaining charges were dropped or merged. A difficult case to be sure but an illustration that each case proceeds on a different course and it is only through difficult and intense preparation that a DUI case can be positioned to "win".

The second case, State v. Hill, was a difficult case that involved a wreck in a construction zone and a video in which the Defendant cussed up a blue streak. The case, however, at the 'get-go' had a lot more going for it in terms of evaluating it as a potential success than the Webb case discussed above. We were unsuccessful at the Suppression Hearing in eliminating the video in which the client had made some admissions but we were still confident that our intense preparation would position the case for a good shot at a "win". John Duncan picked a good jury and discussed cussing with them at length and made the jury promise not to hold that against Mr. Hill. In an unusual turn of events the prosecutor brought in out of state witnesses that were involved in the minor collision and testified that they saw our client drive erratically, and our own client's insurance adjuster was brought in to testify that our client had made admissions to him that were used against him ~ these two factors were in our opinion the difference in the case and the Jury returned a guilty verdict after two hours of deliberation.

What can be learned from the two cases? First, it is only by properly preparing a DUI case that a successful outcome can be obtained, but there can never be a guarantee that success will happen only that your case will be as thoroughly prepared as it can be to be positioned to "win". Second, if you don't hire us please hire an attorney who has experience and success and therefore knows how to properly prepare a DUI case for the possibility of a "win".