A Quick Jury Verdict, and an Early Weekend
We got a verdict on a Friday afternoon in a Sarasota DUI case. Our client had rolled through a stop sign on Siesta Key, and was stopped by a Sheriff's deputy. When the deputy smelled beer, he called a DUI officer to investigate.
Our ace in the hole was the video of the investigation, which clearly showed that our client wasn't impaired. He told the officers that he had had two beers at the Beach Club, while celebrating his brother's 21st birthday. Inexplicably, the officer who testified didn't say that our client had admitted to "two beers." Instead, he said that our client had consumed "a few drinks."
There is a big difference between "two beers" and "a few drinks." First of all, "drinks" could mean really strong mixed drinks, singles or doubles, or something exotic and powerful like a Mai Tai. Secondly, "a few" means two, or three, or four. Or maybe it means that the speaker doesn't even know how many drinks he had. Tom had a field day cross-examining the officer, and the case went to the jury at 2:45pm on Friday.
Everyone expected that the jury would want to see the video again after they began their deliberations. But they didn't. About a half-hour after retiring to deliberate, the jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty. It was a surprisingly quick verdict. But Tom and the client weren't complaining. It allowed them to start the weekend a little early, and in a very good mood.
Practice area(s): DUI / DWI
Court: Sarasota County Court