High blood alcohol case reduced by Fairfax DUI lawyer to wet reckless
High blood alcohol readings do not automatically preclude favorable plea negotiations, says Fairfax criminal lawyer
High blood alcohol readings may initially give plenty of Virginia DWI defendants cause for pause. Nonetheless, as a Fairfax DUI lawyer, I know that a criminal defendant has two choices after being arrested- Play dead, or fight, fight, fight. The choice is clear, and particularly so with my experience successfully negotiating hundreds of tough cases, while successfully bringing hundreds to trial as well. A case in point is a 0.17 blood alcohol content (BAC) blood case that I recently got amended to a wet reckless standard first disposition in Fairfax County, which meant 30 days in jail all suspended, $500 fine, suspending $250, complete the VASAP alcohol program, six months of suspended driving with restricted driving privileges, and one year of probation.
Should I accept the first plea offer that is extended to me?
Whether you have a high blood alcohol DWI case or any other criminal case, a key lesson to know is that preparing a case to go to trial makes it more likely to settle for a desirable result. Preparing a case to settle makes it more likely to go to trial, because the prosecutor will not see any teeth behind your settlement offers. Beware simply accepting the first plea offer that comes your way. A Virginia DUI defense lawyer does not achieve a reckless driving settlement from a high BAC reading out of thin air. In this instance, my client was charged with both DUI significantly over a 0.15 BAC (which carries a mandatory minimum five days in jail if convicted) together with refusal to take the breath alcohol test. The day before trial, the prosecutor called me and offered me a first-time standard Fairfax DUI plea, which involves 30 days in jail all suspended, $500 fine, suspending $250, complete the VASAP alcohol program, one year of suspended driving with restricted driving privileges (including the option to have the ignition interlock be the only limitation on the restricted driving), and one year of probation.
Verifying whether the prosecutor is prepared to the commonwealth’s case
In all Virginia DWI and criminal cases, it is important for your defense lawyer to verify whether the prosecutor is ready with the necessary witnesses and other evidence to prove his or her case in the future. With this high blood alcohol DUI case, I confirmed with the prosecutor that he was leaving his offer open through the trial date. When my client and I appeared for trial, I verified that the arresting police officer, the blood draw person (who had the necessary statutory qualifications to draw blood), and the Virginia Department of Forensic Science forensic toxicologist who examined my client’s blood were already present. One of the prosecutor’s remaining witnesses was out sick, but whether or not that witness was needed for the prosecutor to prove his case was not clear. Nonetheless, I walked up to to the prosecutor, counteroffered with a standard first time wet reckless plea (amended form DUI), and dismissing the refusal charge, and the prosecutor accepted my offer. This great result came with my being fully prepared for trial, my recognizing the prosecutor saw an evidentiary issue with his sick client, and with my client’s not jumping at the first settlement offer made to him. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Fairfax DUI lawyer Jonathan Katz sees your case as the unique challenge that it is, relishing defending his newest Virginia DWI case as much as his first career DUI case. Call 703-383-1100 for a free in-person confidential consultation with Jon Katz about your court-pending case.