It was a loser. But we won. So…my client works at Gulfstream and is very good at what he does. He has never been charged with anything in his life. This was the first time he was arrested for a DUI. So, that was good. Anyway, I remember the day that I got the video and I thought Jeezo Chrise…how am I going to win this one? Gulfstream was hammered. If anyone watches this video, we are screwed. But, there was one thing.
Gulfstream was pulled over on I-16 leaving downtown Savannah. He was stopped by the Savannah Metropolitan Police Department (SCMPD) for Speeding and Improper lane change. But the SCMPD didn’t write him a ticket. Not a single ticket. He called a Georgia State Patrol Nighthawk DUI Police Officer and about 30 minutes later the Nighthawk showed up. The field sobriety tests were just awful. When my client talked it was not good. I was interested in the things that are not on the video. That 30 minute wait was a problem. But it was a gamble. So we gambled.
After we had gone to the Recorder’s Court of Chatham County and it was continued about five different times, I noticed that the Savannah Police Officer was never there. I requested records from his department, and I never got anything. So, I told Gulfstream that his best shot would be in front of a judge alone. This case was not good for a jury trial. So we kept it in Recorder’s Court and scheduled it for a bench trial. Our best shot to win would be if the Savannah Police officer didn’t show up.
The day came. The Georgia State Patrol Officer was ready as always. The Savannah Police officer wasn’t there, and we start. As soon as the Nighthawk started testifying about why my client was stopped I objected to Hearsay and Confrontation Clause problems, and lack of personal knowledge. The Assistant District Attorney asked the Court if this was the trial. The judge realized that the prosecutor didn’t know this was the bench trial. So he stopped the case and reset it to another day so the State could properly prepare. Finally, we had a bench trial, and on that day none of the police officers showed up. I asked the prosecutor if she would allow my client to plead guilty to the lesser charge of Reckless Driving and she said, “Yes.” Well, I hope that the judges don’t read my blog.
Judgment: It was a loser but we won