In an unusual move, a client of ours recently avoided jail on a Reckless Driving case by “turning state’s evidence.”
The defendant was charged with Reckless Driving by Speed 106 miles per hour in a 65 mile per hour zone. The judge in his county has a consistent rule for sentencing in such cases — one day in jail for each mile per hour over 90. So, for this case, the defendant was facing 16 days in jail. For a professional with no prior criminal record, this jeopardy was daunting.
However, he ultimately avoided jail. His secret? He “turned state’s evidence.” More technically, he became a Confidential Informant for the police. When seeking to have his speedometer tested for accuracy, the company he auto repair shop he solicited offered to give him a falsely positive test result — without even testing the speedometer — for $1,000.00. He declined this fraudulent offer and reported it to his lawyer. His lawyer persuaded the prosecutor to let him serve as a Confidential Informant in their effort to bust the crooked auto repair shop. The unusual offer was accepted, the bust was successful, and the judge accepted the prosecutor’s request that there be no jail as a result of his Reckless Driving.
A Confidential Informant bid is frequently used by defendants facing drug charges to mitigate punishment. This is the first time we’ve seen it used in a Reckless Driving case. It is proof that sometimes, with some imagination, there is more than one way to skin a cat.