He was a nice elderly Japanese gentleman. I asked him his job and he said he was a pastor, but he also a photographer and a fix-it man. What I’ve learned since is that the more jobs your Defendant tells you he has, the fewer jobs he depends on. He wore a frayed brown coat, over a mismatched check shirt. Corduroy jeans and a corduroy tie. I was surprised that much was matching.
He was accused of a hit and run. The elements of a hit and run are, basically, there’s an accident, there’s damage to something and one party drives away without giving information. He drove away from the scene, but he was adamant about one thing: he was chased away.
You’re not required to be abused, bullied, or harassed. You don’t have to give your information to someone who wishes to do you harm. He was scared, and he wanted to tell the judge how scared he was, but he never got the chance.
My questioning of the complaining witness went like this:
Now, you had the option to tell the prosecutor what the damage you your car was, right?
I told him, there were scratches to the bumper.
And your car wasn’t brand new?
And you had the option to get your bumper fixed.
And you told the prosecutor how much your bumper was worth.
‘Cause, c’mon, there was really no damage.
I sat down so hard the chair broke. BROKE. She just admitted there was no damage. With no damage the judge had to dismiss the case. Of course. That meant my sweet defendant couldn’t testify.
He wanted to testify, he just wanted anyone to hear his story. No one would listen. The other party wouldn’t listen (they were screaming). The police wouldn’t listen (they were arresting him). And now his attorney wouldn’t listen (I was winning, get out of the way!).
SO the judge made the right decision and dismissed the case. Many people don’t understand how serious these cases are. While the jail penalty is low, between insurance and restitution, we’re talking penalties upwards of $10,000 or more dollars. Potentially the value of a car and a halfway verdict for use in civil court. His case was dismissed.
And my poor defendant followed me around the courthouse all day, just trying to find someone to listen to his story.
While I was walking around the courthouse, just trying to find someone to listen to how I won!