Interviewer: Do you ever hear your clients declare, “You know, I can’t take it anymore, I just want to give up and plead guilty, I just want to get this over with?”
Gary: My philosophy on dealing with DWIs is that unless you want an obstruction of highway charge and don’t want to end up paying the three year surcharge, it’s best to just attempt to prolong the process as long as possible.
This is because I’ve had numerous DWI cases dismissed because the officer doesn’t show up. If it’s set for trial and they don’t have an officer to testify, the prosecutor does not have a case. So, if the subpoenaed officer doesn’t show up to testify, the DA they’ll move for continuance the first time but the second time they’ll be forced to dismiss the case and I’ve had that happen.
Interviewer: Why do you think the officers did not appear for the trial?
Gary: Many police officers work late nights. There’s a gung-ho DWI task enforcement who are proud of it and they’ll show up for court, but there’s a lot of officer’s that work the graveyard shift and get off of work at 6:00 AM and don’t want to be in the courtroom for trial at 9:00 AM.
You know, so it happens. Not regularly, but it does happen that witnesses will not show up and we win. That’s always been my philosophy. We will prolong the case to the very end and if we’re lucky the officer doesn’t show up. However, if he shows up, well, when it comes time, we’ll just take a plea bargain agreement because it’s going to be the same plea bargain agreement or even better now than it was at day one.
Interviewer: For people that really want to give up, do you advise them to persevere?
Gary: I leave it to the client because it’s not my decision to make. I just tell them what all the options are and what can happen. I don’t tell the client one way or another because it’s up to the client. The possibility exists that if we stretch the case out over a couple of years, the officer won’t show up, the officer could be fired or the officer could have had disciplinary problems or even retired.
So, you should stand a chance of having this case dismissed, and I find that many people like that idea. We just ride along with it and if it happens it happens.
Some clients do say I just want to get it over with and I want to get my probation over with and move on. I’ve had people basically tell me they don’t want to do probation. I have been able to negotiate deals where they are sentenced to time served in jail. One day of jail time served, they walk out, and do not have to pay a fine and they move on with their lives.