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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27722
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Hi Fran, good to speak with you again. One of my favorites. The

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Hi Fran, good to speak with you again. One of my favorites.
The question I'm going to ask is about a relative and ongoing cases. Second hand info, so I'll consider it hypothetical.Person got a 1st dui in VA about 8 yrs ago. Convicted-10 days jail, etc. BAC aaround .12. 2nd dui couple months ago while parked in a private lot with engine on, bac.10 convicted bench trial. Lawyer appealed for jury trial.
Minor crash last week and another DUI. Felony, in jail, pub def. Options?

Good to hear from you, but sorry to hear about this.

If your relative were my client under the same or similar circumstances, I'd be pushing him to consider probation with a serious treatment element as a means of keeping him out of jail -- if I could get it for him Otherwise, given a new arrest close in time to his second one and an accident too, the state is unlikely to extend any generosity, and the judge would be inclined to think that his drinking is out of control.

I really don't see a rabbit I can pull out of a hat here if he's not willing to address his dependence head-on. That or house arrest -- which would still include random UAs are likely to be his choices if doesn't want jail time. He could stay out and hope to drag this new matter out until after his appeal has been heard, but if the appeal isn't granted (and most are not), it's going to come down to the same thing. If it is granted, the DA is still going to think he cheated death so to speak and while it will be a misdemeanor, I'm guessing he's going to want time.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Yes, rabbit much needed! What would you suggest on how to achieve the most aggresive "treatment offer, probation, house arrest and maybe fine and/or as little time in jail, etc?" Pub deffender negotiate w DA?


And, I believe the 2nd case has already been approved, since VA IS a state which requires ALL cases (even parking tickets, which gave me a chuckle, but same time glad to see the CONSTITUTION followed as written for once!) right to trial by jury. So, come on my fav rabbit.


Drag second case out and pressure DA? Drop appeal and mix in as deal with third case, etc.? So, my theory being, "Here, DA, two convictions in exchange for aggressive 7 month rehab, along with 1 yr probation, say 1500 fine, suspended license 1 yr, maybe some community service 40 hrs for little or no jail time? oh, edit, and after all completed drop felony to misdemeanor.


Most cases end in pleas rather than trials or dismissals, and public defenders handle some 90% of all criminal cases. So his lawyer will be able to assess the worth and weight of the case (better than I as I can only see the tip of the iceberg) and will speak to your relative, find out what he'd like to do and what he's willing to do, and then he or she will negotiate with the DA.

As for whether or not to drag it out and wait for the decision to come down on appeal, that's a call I can't make from long distance. If I was confident I would win the appeal, I'd drag it out. If I were not and/or if the DA was making "take it or leave it" kind of noises about a package non-jail offer, I'd probably recommend the offer.

But yes, your last paragraph was on the order of what i'd be going for, if, of course my client were williing and believed that he could succeed at something like this.

If there were no injuries or extensive property damages, it might not even be a particularly hard sell.
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