In a week full of stunning court victories, the DWI/Vehicular Crimes practice group achieved huge successes in three separate matters throughout the region.
First, in Manhattan, our client was charged with DWI, where the police alleged that although our client was not observed driving his car, that he was charged for being in the driver’s seat of a legally parked car with the engine running. Following extensive pre-trial motion practice, the case was scheduled for hearing and trial, and prior to trial our office convinced the District Attorney to dismiss the misdemeanor DWI charges, and the case proceeded to a non-jury trial for Driving While Impaired by Alcohol. After a two day trial, and an effective cross-examination of three police witnesses, the Judge promptly found our client ‘Not Guilty’.
Next, in Queens County, our client held a commercial drivers license and was charged with a Class ‘E’ felony DWI. If convicted, he faced a four-year prison term and a lifetime revocation of his commercial driver's license which would have ended his days as a commercial driver. Following a grand jury indictment, our office filed a comprehensive motion on our client’s behalf to, among other things, request inspection of the grand jury proceedings for legal sufficiency. During that review, the Court found an error in the legal instructions given to the grand jury and dismissed the felony DWI charge. After extensive negotiations and legal arguments between our office and the District Attorney, the DA’s office agreed to dismiss all DWI related charges and agreed to allow a plea to a traffic infraction. The defendant’s license suspension was immediately lifted and he was able to return to gainful employment.
Finally, in Bronx County, our client was charged with a ‘D’ felony DWI based upon his refusal to consent to a breath test. If convicted of that or any offense, the client faces the enhanced DMV penalty of a five-year revocation of his license and a five-year ignition interlock and faces up to seven years in prison on the ‘D’ felony. At a pre-trial suppression hearing, our office successfully argued that all evidence of the purported refusal to take a breath test should be suppressed. After a two day hearing and the submission of two separate memorandums of law, the Court granted our motion and ordered that all evidence, including a videotape of the police interaction with our client, and his purported refusal be suppressed. Additionally, the Court granted our motion to sanction the District Attorney’s office for their failure to preserve a 911 tape recording that was destroyed and agreed to our request for a jury charge allowing jurors to infer that the destroyed tape would have been helpful to our client.
The court’s decision was featured in the November 20 edition of the New York Law Journal. Click here to read the decision