The power of cross examination is best illustrated in a case I handled a few weeks ago (January 9, 2013). The police officer testified that at 4:15 a.m. he witnessed my client’s van at a green light and it was not moving. The officer position his vehicle behind my client’s van and knocked on the van’s window to wake him up- – my client did not wake up. The officer then opened the van door and the driver woke up.
My client admitted that he just came from a bar. The officer testified that my client had a strong odor of alcohol coming from his breath, had blood-shot and glassy eyes, was unsteady when he stood up and walked and that he failed all of the field sobriety tests, (HGN, Walk and Turn and the One Leg Stand Test). My client was arrested and taken back to the police station where he refused to provide a breath sample.
At trial, I crossed examined the officer based upon the officer’s direct examination and his police report. Although I was not able to get the officer to admit he was not telling the truth, I was able to show the Court that the officer did not follow the proper procedures. For example he asked my Client if he had any problem with his eyes, rather than the proper question whether my Client had any health / physical issues that would prevent him from preforming the tests. When I pointed this error out to the officer and the Court the officer started to claim that he did, even through he did not list it in his report. There were other answers that the officer gave where he was trying to get around my questions.
When the State rested, (finished presenting all of its evidence), I rested, without my Client saying one word, and the Court found my client NOT GUILTY.
Prior to hiring me to represent him, my Client hired two other attorneys- -both told him to plead guilty because the case could not be won.