A health administrator, already on probation for a prior DUI, was driving with friends late at night and ran into a tree, and then into a car, leading to soft-tissue injuries to one friend’s ear.
He was now facing serious charges: Felony DUI with Injuries (V.C. §23153), and up to a year in jail.
The prosecution argued for a high bail amount.
Creative DUI Defense Strategies
I successfully argued for my client to voluntarily wear a SCRAM device instead, and to commit to a serious recovery program — stop using alcohol, go to a 12-Step program three or more days a week, and work the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
I also worked with the victims, and persuaded the client and insurance company to compensate them for their injuries. I got the primary victim to agree to state to the court that he did not desire prosecution, was not injured, and had received restitution. (This removed the prosecution’s obligation to seek compensation of injuries, per the laws of restitution.)
I was also able to demonstrate that the prosecution had some problems of proof relating to matters of refusals and lack of Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs).
All of this led to my being able to present evidence that persuaded the judge to reduce the charges from a Felony DUI with Injuries (V.C. §23153) to a straight Misdemeanor DUI (V.C. §23152) with no injuries, and ultimately no time in jail for a client who is now in recovery and on the right path.
By focusing on recovery instead of punishment, I was able to: 1) Keep my client out of jail, 2) Get him out of jail on only $1000 bail, 3) Get his Felony DUI reduced to a Misdemeanor DUI.
Eliminating injury from the case was a key factor in getting a much better deal.