Thursday, February 02, 2006

DWI - Lawyer thinking on his feet

Finally made a deal tonight on a case that had been going for a while. Client charged with DWI after an accident. He was also charged with a few other misdemeanors.

The case has been dragging on for a while now. The first ADA seemed to be disinterested and we weren't making any progress. I jumped through a few hoops, and had my client jump through a couple more (alcohol evaluation). I had the consent of the victim's attorney. Yada yada yada.

So we finally get the new ADA to agree to a deal - DWI and another misdemeanor, no jail time and 3 years probation. I go up to the judge to finalize, and the judge wants to adjourn 8 weeks for a presentence investigation (PSI). I said we'd waive it. The clerk says it's mandatory. I think she's wrong, but I'm not winning the argument.

The 8 weeks matters because it's 8 weeks before the DWI revocation starts, and therefore 8 weeks before it ends. Two more months without driving. Client has a prior within 5 years, and will probably not be eligible for a conditional license.

So, thinking on my feet (hey, once in a while I'm not an idiot), I ask the judge to sentence my client on the DWI now, and sentence him to 3 years probation on the other misdemeanor. The judge agreed, so the revocation started tonight.


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