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OWI Dismissed in Dane County

In most OWI cases, an amendment to a “reckless driving” citation is considered a win for the defense.  But in one recent case, our client listened to the advice of counsel and rejected such an offer – only to have the biggest payoff of all, an outright dismissal.  Our client was stopped for speeding in the early morning hours.  The client admitted to the officer that he had been drinking, but said he did not feel like he was in excess of the legal limit.  The officer continued with the investigation and demanded our client perform field sobriety tests, which the officer concluded he failed.  The client was arrested and agreed to submit to the chemical analysis of his breath, resulting in a reported result of 0.07 percent.  Although under the legal limit, the police and prosecution decided to move forward with the OWI case based upon the client’s speeding, admission of drinking and performance on the field sobriety tests.  The client was referred to Chirafisi & Verhoff to try to help him out.  With our lawyers on board at the next hearing, the prosecutor gave ground on the OWI and offered to amend the case to a reckless driving citation.  But after reviewing the evidence, our lawyers didn’t believe a jury would convict the client and advised him to reject the offer – much to the prosecutor’s surprise.  The case moved forward toward trial until the prosecutor conceded about the only thing she could prove was a speeding violation.  This case provides yet another example of how an unrepresented individual is at a significant disadvantage when dealing with a prosecutor.  It also shows that you don’t have to accept ever offer that comes from the government.  Sticking to the plan in this case resulted in the best possible result for our client -  a dismissal without trial.