Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ripping a new one

Typically when a prosecutor dismisses a case in Harris County he marks "Other" on the standard Motion to Dismiss and, under explanation, writes in "See state's file."  However, when my DWI case was dismissed on the morning of trial, the prosecutor went into a bit more detail:

ADA --- sub[peonaed] Officer [Andrew] Barr [of the Houston Police Department] on 10/8/08 for trial for 1/20/09. ADA --- repeatedly called Officer Barr and finally made contact with him on trial date. Officer Barr stated that he hadn’t checked his sub[poena] in several weeks and was on vacation and would not be able to come to trial. ADA --- also was able to possibly schedule Officer Barr to testify on 1/21/09 and Officer indicated that he would be able to attend. Officer Barr is wheel witness and no scene video. Independent witness couldn’t ID the driver per for ADA --- cannot make case without Officer Barr because [Defendant] made statements to Officer Barr which are necessary to [court]. Officer Barr also did HGN on [Defendant] with no other field sobriety tests. Jury was in hallway.

When I asked the prosecutor why he didn't just write "See state's file" he told me that the files were destroyed after two years.  I guess he wanted to tattoo Officer Barr for life.

The dismissal was yet another example of what can happen when you have the courage to stand up and announce "Ready" on trial date. My client was nervous and almost accepted a trial day deal for probation and some community service, but she held firm, rejected the offer and was rewarded with the dismissal.

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