Client Refuses to Take Breath Test, Prosecutor Refuses to Extend Reasonable Offer, Jury Refuses to Convict.May 23, 2013 in DWI, Victories
The Law Offices of Adam Perlmutter scored its latest victory today in People v. M.C. in New York County Criminal Court today, where the jury acquitted our client on all charges: not guilty of Driving while Intoxicated and not guilty of Driving While Ability Impaired. After finding our client not guilty, the jury told us they just couldn’t convict since they weren’t sure what happened that night. But the real mystery is why the New York County District Attorney’s Office even took this case to trial.
This case began when officers pulled our client over after a minor traffic violation, and quickly arrested him without a proper investigation. The arresting supervisor did not even give the client a portable breath test even though he had one on the scene. Following the officers’ rush to judgment, our client refused to take the breath test at the precinct or physical coordination tests. The police arrested our client for violating VTL § 1192(1): Driving While Ability Impaired, which is a traffic violation and not a crime. The DA’s office, however, decided to charge our client with VTL § 1192(3):Driving While Intoxicated, a criminal misdemeanor charge.
The New York County District Attorney’s Office told us that they would not offer a plea deal for VTL § 1192(1): Driving While Ability Impaired in a case where a defendant refused to take the breathalyzer test. Despite our repeated efforts to negotiate, they refused to offer anything lower than a plea to the top count of VTL § 1192(3):Driving While Intoxicated, and forced our client into a trial. The testimony by three police officers over the three day trial revealed that the prosecutors’ case was even thinner than we previously thought. Ultimately, the jury deliberated for approximately 30 minutes before finding our client not guilty of all charges.
The fact that the New York County District Attorney’s Office refused to offer a VTL § 1192(1): Driving While Ability Impaired this case is puzzling– especially after the arresting officer and his supervisor decided this was the appropriate charge. We recently learned that the New York County District Attorney’s Office has over 1,300 pending DWI cases, with over 50 dating all the way back to 2008. This all begs the question: Are the District Attorney’s unreasonable plea bargaining policies simply clogging up the courts?