Top negotiating skills prevent severe consequences as client faced second DWI felony
Challenge: Our client was a young man in his 20s who had been charged for the second time with a Felony DWI and unlicensed driving in Westchester, New York. Every county in New York State is particularly tough on DWI offenses. In this instance, he was driving in a car with another passenger when he lost control of the vehicle and drove onto the front lawn of a woman’s home, causing extensive property damage. Our client remained on the scene and eventually blew a .21 blood alcohol content (BAC) during the breathalyzer test, an extremely high reading.
While every DWI case is different, this one had much at stake since the client faced multiple (and repeated) DWI charges. Without proper representation, he would be indicted, incur a felony record, and be sentenced to jail time. Additionally, he was an aspiring optometrist and would have lost his license if convicted.
Solution: D’Emilia Law represented the defendant during the entire DWI proceedings. Our immediate intervention assured his quick release from the police station. Though our client was in the car during the time of the accident, there was no definitive proof of who was actually driving. By the time the police arrived, there were no eyewitnesses, and only our client was tested via breathalyzer. It was assumed our client was the driver.
We put our investigative team on the case, recreated the incident and secured a statement from the other rider in the car. Furthermore, we also demonstrated our client’s good morals; he stayed on the scene and agreed to the breathalyzer test, even though he was not obligated to do so.
Through our investigation and continuous negotiation with law enforcement we convinced the District Attorney to not indict our client and to ease back on their prosecution. Aware that we ourselves were former prosecutors, the DA knew we could raise enough reasonable doubt during a trial – based on the aforementioned details and our proven abilities in court – to extremely hamper their case. We eventually negotiated a very reasonable and fair resolution with the District Attorney, much to our client’s benefit.
Result: Though it was a lengthy process and required substantial communication between our firm, the client and the prosecutor, we were able to convince the Westchester DA to dismiss our client’s felony charge and take jail time off the table. Our client pleaded guilty to a reduced charge, with no probation and only minimal fines.
Client sought and completed treatment for alcoholism and successfully opened his optometry practice.
We always remind our clients that DWI cases are a marathon, and not a sprint. Prosecutors and witnesses lose interest over time, so the longer you can maintain your stamina during the legal process, the greater the chances of avoiding trial and securing a favorable outcome.