By Bill Collins:
Years ago, I defended a man charged with soliciting prostitution. In this case, an undercover officer posing as a prostitute was standing on a street corner, on Sunset Boulevard, during the day. My client, according to the officer, pulled up next to her and asked, “How much for head?“ My client drove away and was promptly arrested.
In court, I asked the highly strung, diminutive Vietnamese prosecutor for a deal.
"This is his first offense. I’ll plea to a 'disturbing the peace' charge (415 P.C.)," I said.
"Absolutely not," he replied. "Plea to the charge of soliciting an act of prostitution (647b P.C.) or go to trial."
"Are you crazy?" I responded. "You want to go to trial over this?"
"Plead or go to trial," he said.
So we went to trial.
On the day of trial, my client shows up in a purple jumpsuit, zipper front unzipped exposing a tangle of gold chains. Luckily the case was pushed for one day.
"Hey, wear something more conservative," I told my client. "You look like a pimp!"
The next day he showed up in a black jumpsuit.
The following is how the trial unfolded:
"Officer Miller (the undercover officer), do you see the person in court with whom you had a conversation on the date in question?" asked the District Attorney.
"Please point to him and describe what he is wearing."