Sunday, May 3, 2009

Recent victory...

I don't like to get on my blog to speak about specific cases.  However, from time to time I find it instructive to talk about a recent victory to illustrate the point that you can only win if you choose to fight.

I had a 2nd offense OUI with a relatively high test.  We prevailed at the BMV hearing because of a residual mouth alcohol issue and saved my client a 3 year suspension.  Since he is a contractor, a suspension would have destroyed his business and in this economy, that is an exceptionally tough thing to swallow.

We went to court about a month ago for a motion to suppress the stop on the grounds that there was no Reasonable Articulable Suspicion to stop my client's truck.  Well, I just received notice of the decision and we won.  That effectively ends the case because anything that happened after the truck was stopped doesn't come in.  That means no SFSTs, no statements, no observations and certainly no BAC test result.

So how did we get this result?  We fought.  Plain and simple.  We didn't accept the possibility of defeat because that wasn't an option.  My client told me flat out that if he were to lose his license, his business would crash.  Since he owned a very profitable construction business, there would be a lot of collateral damage were he unable to drive.  Employees would be out of work, he would be unable to finish jobs, customers would be unhappy, and most of all he would lose the ability to provide for his family.

The client made it very clear that he would risk jail time in order to have a shot at beating the case.  We got an extremely reputable breath testing expert involved in the case very early.  This in turn set the table for the BMV suspension hearing, where we prevailed.  Normally, a BMV hearing is limited to 15 minutes.  However, our hearing went on for over an hour.  I prepared for this hearing for almost a full day as I didn't want to leave anything to chance.  We pinned the officer down on his report, got him to contradict himself numerous times and ultimately inflicted so much damage to his credibility on memory issues that we were able to wield the transcript like a sword against him in court.

When you arrive in court and announce ready for hearing, chances are you might be the only one truly prepared to go.  Many attorneys withdraw their motions on the day of the hearing and the DAs count on that.  They can't prepare for every single hearing... there just isn't enough time.  That means if your attorney is a fighter (me), he will be prepared for hearing and in a better position to beat the DA on the important issues.  

Ultimately, we won the hearing.  The case was effectively killed and will have to be dismissed as a result.  Now keep in mind that more cases are lost than won at hearing.  The reason is because the law is heavily slanted in the state's favor.  However, that doesn't mean you don't keep fighting.  In fact, you keep fighting harder because that is what gets you results.  In this case, my client is an extremely happy individual.  He was able to walk away from this case with absolutely no fines, no suspension time, no jail and no criminal record.  

If you find yourself on the wrong end of the law, you need a good lawyer.  Someone who is going to fight for you.  Whether it is a drunk driving charge, aggravated assault, drug trafficking or any other criminal charge, the attorneys of NIELSEN & BLY, P.C. will fight for you every inch of the way.  We are the preeminent law firm of southern Maine and we hope you choose us to represent you in the future.


William T. Bly, Esq.