Fairfax DUI Settlement & Plea Deals In All Virginia DWI Cases
Fairfax DUI settlement efforts and all Virginia DWI negotiations are helped by when backed up by determination to win at trial
Fairfax DUI settlement efforts — and DWI case negotiations in all Virginia cases — are helped along when the prosecutor knows that the defense is fully ready for trial, and that the defendant is a good probation risk. As a Fairfax DWI lawyer, I know that this principle applies to all Virginia criminal defense. Virginia DUI settlement negotiations must be guided by the defendant’s making informed decisions after full and ongoing discussions with his or her defense lawyer. My clients are presumed innocent, I make sure I am always trial-ready, and I advise my clients about plea and settlement options based on the realities of their cases, goals, and professional and personal circumstances (including security clearance, immigration, military, and employment status).
What motivates a prosecutor in Fairfax DUI settlement efforts?
Fairfax DUI settlement efforts are a two-way street between the defense and the prosecution. The defendant and commonwealth’s attorney know that the accused charged with a DUI or other misdemeanor in Virginia District Court has two bites at the defense apple, in that if the defendant is dissatisfied with the outcome in District Court, s/he may appeal for a new trial in Circuit Court. This appeal option is an incentive to the prosecutor to negotiate for a result that will obtain the finality of the defendant’s not choosing to appeal. At the same time, prosecutors will draw the line on case negotiations based on such factors as the chief commonwealth’s attorney’s directives, the circumstances of the particular case, and the prosecutor’s individualized preferences and style for negotiations (to the extent that his or her supervisors permit prosecutor leeway in negotiations). Certainly, prosecutors in Fairfax and any other counties where the chief prosecutor recommends flexibility to work around mandatory minimum statutory sentencing schemes need to take that into account during plea negotiations.
How do I show the prosecutor I am a good risk for my Fairfax DUI settlement efforts?
In my Virginia DWI (driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs) and criminal defendants’ first consultation with me, I provide them with an initial defense action plan for what I will do for them for their trial and negotiation defense, and suggestions for self improvement steps that they can themselves take to assist with negotiations and any possible sentencing. Proceeding with self improvement helps show the prosecutor that the defendant is a good probation risk, because self improvement is a sort of self-imposed pre-trial probation. My clients are presumed innocent, and my devotion to that principle is demonstrated by the hundreds of trials that I have successfully defended in court. Some of my clients ask whether their doing self improvement work admits their guilt. I answer that the prosecutor typically presumes their guilt and is not likely to be swayed against the defendant for doing self improvement, particularly considering that even an innocent person can become a better person with self improvement. I also point out that the judge typically is not going to know about the defendant’s self improvement steps unless the defendant first has been found guilty.
What is the benefit of getting an alcohol evaluation that shows how light a drinker I am?
For Fairfax DUI settlement efforts — and in all Virginia DWI plea negotiations — it can help to distinguish the defendant as being closer to or within the range of a social drinker than an abusive or addicted drinker. Merely registering before the trial date with VASAP does not accomplish the foregoing goal, because I do not see VASAP providing that type of written evaluation for my clients to bring to their trial date. Such a detailed evaluation can be obtained from the right state-licensed drug and alcohol programs whose evaluations include a MAST (Michigan Alcoholism Screen Test score, DAST (Drug Abuse Screening Test) score and ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine) designation level. Although I am not a fan of such regimented-sounding scoring, such scoring at least provides the prosecutor and trial judge a baseline understanding of the defendant’s relationship with alleged substance use. A MAST score of 4 or under constitutes a social drinker, and would be expected to score at ASAM level 0.5. A score of 5 or 6 can be more than a social drinker, and a score of 7 or above is in the serious category and can be expected to score at an ASAM level 1.
Fairfax DUI lawyer keeps on top of the persuasion, law and science needed to succeed in defending against Virginia DWI prosecutions. See for yourself the positive difference Virginia DUI lawyer Jon Katz can make in your case, by scheduling a free in-person consultation at 703-383-1100.