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5 More Great Outcomes for Clients

OWI 1st/PAC- Waukesha County- Amended to Reckless Driving

            The first case involved a client that was called in for sleeping in his vehicle on the side of the road after a day at a golf outing.  The client pulled his vehicle off the side of the road and a passerby called the police to check on him.  Once the police showed up, the case was off and running.

            The difficulty initially was the location of the case.  Waukesha County has been notoriously hard on OWI cases.  This one started no differently.  The case started in municipal court.  While the client was not initially successful at the municipal level, the information obtained through cross examination of the officers ultimately lead to resolution of the case in circuit court.

            Attorney Corey Chirafisi was able to raise serious questions as to what time the client was driving his vehicle.  That driving time put the test result, which was .089, in real jeopardy.  Also, based on the officers testimony regarding the 20 minute observation period, it became clear that no observation period of the client was ever done.

            On the eve of trial, the prosecutor offered to resolve the case for a reckless driving ticket.  The client was more than happy to accept that amendment.  It was especially satisfying as the client was unsure whether or not he wanted to appeal the case to circuit court.  Having never been arrested before, he had real questions about how that outcome may have been different from municipal court.  We are very glad he was willing to trust us to help him get through this. 

OWI- Amended to Inattentive driving- Dane County

            The second case shows why hiring a lawyer can change a case very quickly.  The client was charged in Dane County with OWI as she was stopped for speeding.  The officer believed that she was intoxicated based on the time (almost 2 a.m.), the odor of intoxicants and the bloodshot, watery eyes the officer said he observed.  The client was thinking about just pleading guilty to the OWI for a minimum sentence seeing that her test result was right at the legal limit. 

            After speaking to Corey Chirafisi, the client made a decision to fight the case; that turned out to be a great decision.  Attorney Chirafisi had dealt with the prosecutor on multiple occasions in the past.  After a conversation about some of the weaknesses in the government’s case, the prosecutor offered a reckless driving.  That was rejected by the client.  We believed we could do better, we were right.  Finally, the prosecutor offered a 4 point reckless driving ticket and even dismissed the speeding charge.

            Making a call to our office turned out to be a wise decision for the client.

Felony OWI 4th –amended to misdemeanor

            Collaterally attacking prior convictions has become more difficult as time has passed.  While it allows prior cases in which the client did not have a lawyer to be voided for counting purposes, courts and prosecutors have become better at dealing with these potential issues.

            The client was arrested for a felony 4th OWI charge.  Obviously, avoiding a felony conviction and all that comes with that was a very big goal of the clients.  So, Attorney Corey Chirafisi reviewed the client’s prior OWI convictions and found that he did not have a lawyer on his 2nd offense.  Sounds great, but the problem was that he did have a lawyer on an earlier criminal case which made things far more interesting.

            Attorney Chirafisi and the client put all the necessary paperwork together and filed the motion challenging the prior conviction.  The government, as per usual, was not going to concede this issue.  A hearing was held.  The client testified, was cross examined and did a great job.  The court found that the government did not meet their burden and voided the prior 2nd offense conviction, turning this felony 4th into a misdemeanor. 

            The ramifications are enormous.  Gun rights, felony probation, possible prison time.  The client was extremely grateful for the work our firm did on his case.

Possible False Imprisonment Dane County-Declined Prosecution

            We have said this multiple times in this blog, getting a lawyer as early as possible can make a huge difference in how a case turns out.  We spend a fair amount of time dealing with clients who likely will be charged, but hire us before formal charges have been filed.  Some of the time, we can avoid any charges being filed.  That is hands down the best result.

            This case was incredibly challenging as it dealt with a possible felony false imprisonment with a stranger.  Stranger cases are far more difficult to maneuver as prosecutors worry about danger to the public and protection of the community when deciding how to charge these cases.  The client is a highly successful student with a very bright future.  He did what many college students do: went out, drank too much and found himself in the company of a female who he had met that evening. 

            The women ultimately called the police and reported that the client had held her down against her will.  The police spoke to the client before he had counsel and in fact arrested and booked him.  The clients family was referred Chirafisi and Verhoff and we started by informing the police that the client was no longer interested in cooperating with any investigation.  We then reached out to the DA’s office in an attempt to get “ahead” of the reports reaching their office.

            After a conversation with law enforcement, there was an agreement for up front counseling with no referral to the DA’s office at all.  Case done, client’s future secure.

1st Degree Sexual Assault of Child- Charges Declined

            This blog above mentions the benefits of getting a lawyer before a case is filed.  This is another perfect example of how that works to a client’s benefit.

            The client was referred to Chirafisi & Verhoff on a Saturday from a former client on a possible sexual assault investigation.  Making a call to our office on a Saturday was the first positive step.  The police work weekends, and so do we.  We got in touch with the client and made sure that no statements were provided to the police.  That was helpful, since later that day the detective attempted to make contact with the client to get a statement.

            Because the allegation involved a biological child, the county then got involved with social workers who also were doing an investigation and wanted to speak to the client.  We had to step in and prevent and type of statement whatsoever from being made by the client.  Don’t help the police, any statement will only do that. 

            We then spoke to some of the possible witnesses to the matter and let the DA’s office know that we had begun our investigation.  Ultimately, with no client statement to either law enforcement or social services, the DA was left to make a charging decision based on what information they had.  They made a decision to decline the prosecution of a charge that is the most serious in this state, short of 1st degree intentional homicide. Another great result for a really good guy.