Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Calling their bluff

If you followed my blogging on Twitter this morning, you know that I was set for trial in a domestic assault case in Harris County. Due to the large number of people still without power, no jury panels are being called this week.

Ordinarily that would be a good thing -- pushing judgment day off another month or so is always good for the client. However, in this case my client was being held on a "blue" warrant as he was on parole, and we wanted to resolve this matter as quickly as possible.

I knew that the state had yet to serve a subpoena on the reluctant complaining witness who had already completed an affidavit of non-prosecution and had told the DA's office she did not wish to see my client prosecuted for the alleged assault.

We decided to call the prosecutor's bluff. When the judge called the trial docket I announced ready. The judge asked me to approach and he told me there were no jury panels being called. I informed the judge that we were ready to try the case to the bench.

When the prosecutor arrived he told me he didn't know when we would actually try the case because he didn't believe that panels would be called next week. I told him we were ready to proceed with a bench trial at which point he told me he had a right to a jury trial and wanted to try it before a jury.

Then I told him that not only was his complaining witness not cooperating with the investigation but that his office had failed to serve her with a subpoena. He insisted they had. Having spoken with the complaining witness on Monday, I knew she hadn't been served.

The prosecutor went to speak with his investigator. Ten minutes later he returned and told me he was dumping the case.

This case was won because we called the prosecutor's bluff and didn't reveal our hole card until the right moment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What can it mean when nay assault case has been passed from one Ada, to another Ada, and to a baby Da without any offers. Then when I went to court the baby da said he was gonna make a offer that day. However when we arrivived at court. The baby Da said all offers revoked when tthere were none in 8 trips to court and no AdAs made any offers. So he said I can take 4 years TDC and I had 25 days to decide or all offers were revoked or I could do a PSI from Judge Marc Carter on a no time basis.i actually was the shooting victim and they pressed assault charges on my and the culprit wrote to non affidivats of non prosecution and emailed the DA,but he called her dad and said they would be there if I went to trial. Everyone I talked to even pretrial officers, Sheriifs, and HPD said it sounds funny. I know there so called victim is 1500 miles away and said she had no intentions of coming back to Houston to testify on me in a trial because she has so many accounts of the incident that led to me getting shot in the legs and testicles. She knows she lied because she thought she was gonna get charged. Then bailed out the state. I had no weapon and was driving when I was shot and they claim I hit her which she has a scratch on her face from me defending myself.i truly believe that if the shoes was on the other feet they would be trying to offer me 50 years. Also lies in the police report. She says she's not coming back but they have me on a $250/month GPS monitor. Also $75 a month pretrial cost. Do the prosecutors bluff that hard is my question. Very stressed out in Houston right now because this just isn't right. Thank you