OWI/PAC .17 Amended to Reckless Driving
This case comes out of a stop in Columbia County. Our client was pulled over by the State Patrol for illegal tinting of their windows and no front license plate. The trooper smelled the odor of intoxicants and the client admitted to having consumed a couple of drinks earlier in the evening.
Our client was put through field sobriety tests and was arrested for an OWI. This is the point where the case turned, the client had a prior OWI conviction which was more than 10 years ago. That would make this OWI charge another first offense; however, the trooper misread the teletype and repeatedly informed the client that this was a 2nd offense and a blood test was required.
Attorney Corey Chirafisi filed a motion challenging the defendant's consent to the test because the client was misinformed regarding what he was being charged with (2nd offense vs. 1st offense). The parties had a lengthy consented hearing with multiple sets of briefs filed. Prior to the Court deciding the issue, the government offered to amend the charge from an OWI to Reckless Driving. It was the outcome the client was hoping for all along. The OWI conviction would have triggered the IID requirement based on it being the client's 2nd offense (in lifetime) and the test result was above the 0.15 threshold. Very happy client.