Negligent Homicide and Operating After Revocation Causing Death--Charges Dismissed After Jury Selection (Kenosha County)
A huge victory for our client in this case: he was charged with Negligent Homicide and OAR Causing Death for an accident at a traffic intersection. The bad news for the client was that he had a valid occupational license but was 12 minutes outside of his hours when the accident occurred. He initially had a different lawyer and was not satisfied with the direction the case was headed and he looked around and got a referral to Attorney Corey Chirafisi. Attorney Chirafisi was very familiar with Kenosha County, having been a prosecutor there about 15 years ago. He thought it would be helpful to bring another lawyer on board who had a presence in Kenosha and he called his colleague Attorney Mark Richards. Together they went to work. First, they were able to get a qualified accident reconstruction expert to review not only the statements of the witnesses (which initially were not helpful at all to the client) but also the data from the airbag modules (which was very helpful to the client). Once the expert wrote his report, which indicated the client was not the cause of the accident, the case started to go the client’s way. But Kenosha County is known for not resolving cases in a favorable way. Even after the accident report was provided to the prosecutor, she would not dismiss the charges.
One of the biggest things we were able to do in this case was to have the Court modify the jury instruction on who caused the accident. It was the game changer. We were able to convince the Judge that the jury instruction used in all cases that have charges like this was not appropriate. We convinced the Judge that our instruction on causation was correct and once the Court agreed, the case started to unravel. First, the Government moved to dismiss the Negligent Homicide charge. Good start. But it was Kenosha County, and they were still going to go to trial on the OAR causing death charge. That was, until the jury was selected. Once the jury was seated the prosecution came back and finally said that they were dismissing the OAR Causing Death, provided the defendant plead to the OAR charge. We agreed, since he was, in fact driving outside of his hours. So the client avoided a prison sentence, a felony conviction and ended up with no jail on a driving ticket for operating after revocation. Very happy to get such a wonderful result for our client!