August ends with three complete acquittals at trial and one dismissal before trial
August was a busy trial month for Corey Chirafisi. He tried 3 OWI cases to verdict. Each client was acquitted of their charges here are some facts of each:
August 1st- OWI1st/Refusal- Monroe County
This client was a Florida resident who was in Wisconsin working for her company. She is a heavy equipment operator and could not have a OWI conviction on her record. She had initially hired another lawyer to assist her, but when things weren't going the way she hoped, she contacted Chirafisi & Verhoff who took over the case.
The stop was for failing to have her headlights on and making an illegal U-Turn. She told the police she was "the least drunk" in the vehicle and ultimately refused to submit to a chemical test of her breath.
The case proceeded to trial with Attorney Corey Chirafisi representing the client. Because there was a refusal attached to the case, the Court decided the refusal with the jury deciding the OWI charge. The officer testified and had some difficulty on cross examination regarding field sobriety tests. He also mentioned that he was incorrect in his suspicions of impaired drivers more than he was correct. That didn't help them either. The client testified wonderfully explaining her thought process on the refusal and why she did what she did.
The jury was out around 50 minutes before finding the client not guilty of the OWI charge. In reference to the refusal, the government elected not to proceed on the refusal after the verdict.
Client was able to keep her job. We are very happy for her.
August 6th- OWI 2nd/ Grant County
Five days after the first acquittal of the month, Corey Chirafisi was back in trial on an OWI 2nd. The best part of this case was the court had earlier made a determination that the test result (.14) was to be suppressed based on a violation of the Informing the Accused form. The State made a decision to move forward with the case, even though they were doing so without a test result.
The driving was good. The basis of the stop was a burnt out taillight. The state tried to make out their case based on the client's performance on the field sobriety tests. It didn't work.
Jury was out 10 minutes and returned a not guilty verdict.
August 23rd-OWI/PAC (.14) Dane County
The third and final trial was a OWI with a .14 test result. Corey Chirafisi also tried this case. The client was pulled off the road, her drivers side tires were on the fog line, the car was running and the client was sleeping. When the officer made contact with her she immediately put the car in drive, then reverse and had some difficulty explaining where she was coming from. The case proceeded to trial with Corey Chirafisi initially getting the Court to throw the test result out because there was no indication as to time the client was on the roadway. The Court reversed its decision and allowed the jury to hear the test result of .14.
Attorney Chirafisi was able to argue that the client had made the right decision to get off the road. That her good decision was going to be punished by the state and that was contrary to what we expect our drivers to do. The client had a CDL which made the case that much more important for the client.
The jury was out for 45 minutes and found the client not guilty of both citations. Her job was saved.
Attorney Chirafisi also handled an OWI 1st with a test result of .08 this month. After some discussion of the matter, the prosecution agreed to dismiss the case outright. No amendment, no classes, nothing. Just a straight dismissal.
Not every month ends with three jury acquittals, but we are very happy that the clients had the confidence in our firm to handle these important cases for them. They are all good people who are able to get back to their lives with no problems from these cases.