Virginia Wet reckless obtained by Fairfax DUI lawyer on 0.17 BAC
Virginia Wet reckless obtained by Fairfax DUI lawyer on 0.17 BAC
Virginia wet reckless result can be achievable in a high blood alcohol content DWI case if you fight like hell for that result, says Fairfax DUI lawyer
Virginia wet reckless (VWR) settlements are not automatically unreachable merely because your DUI case breath or blood test result involves an alleged blood alcohol content (BAC) at 0.15 or higher, which triggers Virginia’s mandatory minimum five days in jail if convicted of such a DWI offense. As a Fairfax DUI lawyer, I tell my clients never to settle merely for a DWI plea involving no active jail, before first pursuing the best way to win, or, in the alternative, no worse than a wet reckless driving disposition. Following that maxim, recently I obtained a VWR plea deal for my client whose Intox EC/IR II post-arrest BAC reading was 0.17. How did my client and I achieve such a great result on a driving while impaired by alcohol prosecution? Read on.
In pursuing a Virginia wet reckless result or any other favorable settlement or victory, obtain all available video evidence
In this DUI prosecution under Virginia Code § 18.2-266 that resulted in a Virginia wet reckless disposition (with no active jail time and full restricted driving privileges), we were in a jurisdition where the county police have a common practice of producing no detailed police reports, rather than the brief criminal complaint that is ordinarily required before a police officer may get the defendant’s license suspended for the initial seven day period for a first offense and sixty-day period for a second DWI offense, on the basis of a BAC reading at or over 0.08 or an alleged refusal to submit to breath or blood testing after a DWI arrest. Here, we had no police notes nor reports other than the criminal complaint, which made it all the more important — and it is always critical — for us to obtain all police bodycam and dashcam video recordings for this case. Here, as is common in this Northern Virginia county, only bodycam footage rather than dashcam footage was available, thus depriving the defense of objective imaging of my client’s driving behavior to either attack or corroborate the police officer’s claim that my client was not maintaining his lane and almost hit a curb.
Beware police officers’ baseless claims of slurred speecy by DWI suspects
Police are sworn to uphold their oaths, and part of that oath is to be truthful in their sworn assertions to judicial officials and in court. Too many judges and Virginia magistrates are willing to assume the veracity of police, but that unfair state of affairs is all the more unfair in the light of the unreliable statements that too many police officers too often make. In this DUI prosecution that resulted in a Virginia wet reckless disposition, as in many instances, the police officer’s report (criminal complain in this instance) claimed my client was slurring his speech. The police officer’s bodycam shows precisely the opposite, together with my client’s being very polite and lucid, and verifying having permission befoere making even such basic movements as opening his glove compartment to obtain his motor vehicle registration (in this day and age when we see too much excessive police force).
All Virginia criminal defendants should fully prepare for a possible trial
Preparing a criminal prosecution for settlement or a guilty / no contest plea makes the case more likely to go to trial. Fully preparing your criminal defense for trial makes it more possible for favorable settlement, because prosecutors are less likely to offer your Virginia criminal defense lawyer a favorable settlement without sensing the threat that is around the corner if your case instead goes to trial, in terms of your lawyer’s ability and track record in presenting a great defense at trial, your criminal defense lawyer’s full readiness for trial, and your own keeping calm and in teamwork mode with your lawyer. Many prosecutors love to pursue dividing and conquering criminal defendants and their lawyers, by such calculated actions as offering crappy plea offers, delaying offering any plea offers, and filing motions and motion replies that are peppered with invective against the defendant and/or his lawyer. It goes without saying that my client and I arrived at court fully prepared for trial in this DUI case that resulted in a Virginia wet reckless deal.
Own the evidence against the criminal defendant, warts and all
In this DUI case that resulted in a Virginia wet reckless plea, this client’s evidence offered a mixed bag of helpful and less so. No matter haw much the evidence against a criminal defendant looks, his or her lawyer needs to make the most of all evidence and legal arguments. Here, the police officer stopped my client for allegedly erratic driving. The officer alleged an odor of alcohol coming from my client, but my client denied any consumption of beer, wine nor liquor. The officer told my client that he would be put through field sobriety testing (FST), which amounts to a command, when the Virginia caselaw confirms that FSTs are supposed to be voluntary exercises. Tje officer engaged in wilful ignorance by not asking broadly about any physical or other health impairments that my client had that might adversely affect his ability to do the FST’s (for instance a bad back, a knee sprain, or vertigo), and instead only asked if my client had any broken bones, concussion or anything similar to that. Curiously, on the walk and turn (WAT) test, my client did rather well on his first steps out, but for his return steps, instead of doing a pivot and walking back in a forward manner, my client walked backwards for his return steps. My client declined a roadside preliminary breath alcohol test (PBT) (which is imporant to decline, at least when any beer, wine or alcohol has been consumed within the prior 24 hours). For whatever reason, the police officer — who was also the post-arrest breath test operator — did not sign his name to the certificate of analysis attestation clause, but instead only wrote his name in block letters.
Aim to strike beyond the target, as with this Virginia wet reckless accompishment by a Fairfax criminal lawyer
When I asked an experienced Korean karate practitioner what he does to break a board with his hands and feet, he responded that he aims for a point beyond the board, as such follow through gets the board broken and also avoids his breaking a bone in the process. The same also is often advisable for Virginia criminal defense lawyers when engaging in plea / settlement negotiations for a guilty or not guilty plea, or a dismissal. Here, many defendants may have been more than happy for me to have obtained a no active jail plea for them, with the attendant beneficial results of no active jail time and having the ignition interlock as the only condition of driving. Moroever, it is true that sometimes a prosecutor will not even engage in settlement negotiations whent the defendant’s initial offer seems too far out of the ballpark. With my successful negotiating here, I did not simply throw the defendant’s settlement offer on the table, but instead engaged the prosecutor in conversation after he asked whether we were simply going to have a three-hour trial (an exaggeration after he saw me have a lengthy Virginia DUI trial in that same courthouse only a few days earlier). I responded that we could have a trial or settle the case, and proceeded to tell him of the positive self improvement steps my client had taken in this case, and explained why it was worth it for the prosecution to agree to a wet reckless disposition, including that the police officer had failed to sign the certificate of BAC analysis’s attestation clause (instead using block printing), thus making it no attestation at all. I pointed out that we had the right judge for such an argument. Although at first the prosecutor asked if I had any caselaw to support that foregoing argument — and I replied that I had one better which was the need to give an attestation in the certificate of analysis — and after the prosecutor actually held onto my certificate of analysis that I simply showed him rather than handed him, the prosecutor proceeded to say he would check with the officer, which in the majority of scenarios indicates the prosecutor is likely to accept my settlement offer, which happened here in my obtaining a Virginia wet reckless deal.
What should I do to obtain a great result against my Virginia DUI prosecution?
The initial ingredients for obtaining a great result against your Virginia DUI or any criminal prosecution, are obtaining a great lawyer for your specific case, and to work closely as a team with your lawyer. Fairfax DUI lawyer Jonathan Katz has successfully defended hundreds of Virginia DUI and criminal defendants against misdemeanor and felony prosecutions. Find out the great work that Jon Katz can do for you by scheduling your free in-person confidential consultation with Jon about your court-pending case, at 703-383-1100. Don’t beat up on yourself for any mistakes nor mis-steps you made that have gotten you into this seeming mess. Pursue your best defense starting today.