Thursday, January 16, 2014

POINT OF VIEW: Deputy District Attorney J. Crocker Recounts First Jury Trial

Shortly after being sworn in by District Attorney Michael Ramos, Deputy District Attorney J. Crocker (pictured above) was assigned his first jury trial.
Three Hours of Deliberation
by Deputy District Attorney J. Crocker

The Defendant, Sunday Atkins, was pulled over at 2 a.m. on Sept 29, 2013, for expired registration tags. The officer smelled alcohol on her breath and her eyes were bloodshot and watery. She initially told the Deputy that she had not taken any of her prescription medications and had only one drink.

She later admitted that she had taken four different prescription medications 12 hours earlier but insisted she only had one drink. Ms. Atkins stumbled during the FST’s a couple times, and had trouble following the officer’s directions. She refused to take the preliminary breath test at the scene and the blood test back at the jail.

Our offer to her was a WET Reckless with a minimum fine and no jail time. She refused to accept the offer or to waive time, and her attorney said the most they would accept was a speeding ticket. Due to the time running out we started jury selection on Christmas Eve.

The Defendant took the stand and testified on direct that she refused the tests because she didn’t trust the officer and that she knew she was ok to drive because she had a high tolerance. On cross I asked her how many drinks she would have to drink before she wouldn’t be ok to drive and she said, “Eight drinks.”

The jury came back with a guilty verdict after 3 hours of deliberation and also found the enhancement for refusing the chemical test to be true. Ms. Atkins was sentenced on New Year’s Eve to 45 days county jail, straight time, and was remanded into custody to begin serving her sentence.


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