The terrain in last week’s DUI jury trial shifted unexpectedly yesterday afternoon. Two of the State’s witnesses decided that they had better things to do after lunch on a Friday than return to court.
One of the witnesses, the arresting officer who was on the stand when we
broke at eight o’clock Thursday evening, had (I learned afterwards) been reluctant to come to court and had cussed out both of the trial prosecutors for compelling her to come testify. So the State was a little less surprised than I was when she failed to post Friday afternoon.
The State appropriately dismissed the DUI. After we quickly considered how to gain the most leverage from this happy turn of events, my client pled guilty to the failure-to-stop-and-give-information charge (to which he had confessed multiple times) and took deferred adjudication probation, which was the arrangement that he and I had sought from the beginning.
So a win, but one that I can’t take credit for. The decision to take the cases to trial led to the win; everything else was just dumb luck on our side. That one good decision made by the defense was not even mine — whether to go to trial is the client’s decision; my client made it, and I backed him up.
But it’s all okay — I’d much rather be the luckiest guy in the room than the smartest.