Client was charged with DUI after a Taco Bell employee called police stating
an intoxicated woman at the drive-thru had backed into another car. Police
arrived on scene and began to question our client. She did admit to having
some alcohol to drink at lunch after performing poorly on the field sobriety
testing. Police also noted glassy eyes and slurred speech. She was charged
with DUI 1st offense and blew .09 at the police station. Under Virginia law .08 BAC
(Blood Alcohol Content) is considered per se driving under the influence.
In meeting with our client we learned that she had some medical issues,
including a gastro bi-pass surgery that had greatly affected her ability
to consume food and alcohol. She also had a perfect driving record and
no criminal history.
We were able to convince the Commonwealth’s Attorney to amend the
charge to Reckless Driving which carried a penalty significantly less
than the original DUI charge.
While driving his company vehicle our client was charged with Reckless
Driving. He was clocked going 82 MPH in a 65MPH zone. In the Commonwealth
of Virginia Reckless Driving can be charged for driving in excess of 80
MPH. Reckless Driving is not just a driving infraction but is also a Class
1 Misdemeanor, which carries penalties of up to 12 months in jail and/or
a fine up to $2,500. In addition having a criminal record if convicted,
Reckless Driving carries a 6-point driving penalty on your driving record
with DMV, which in many cases can cause an increase in auto-insurance rates.
During our client intake appointment, we noticed he was operating a vehicle
which was several years old with substantial miles. We suggested he have
this vehicle calibrated, which we arranged through our office. The calibration
showed the speedometer was not accurate.
Mr. Carlson was able to convince the Judge to amend the charge to simple
speeding 1-9 MPH over the posted speed limit, which is only a 3-point
violation. Due to the favorable outcome, our client does not have a criminal
record and has only a minor traffic infraction on his DMV driving record.
Brandishing a Firearm
We were initially contacted by an extremely distraught wife, whose husband
had been charged with brandishing a firearm in Chesterfield County. Her
husband had served 20 years of active military as a special forces officer
and was currently working for the Government as a civilian with top security
clearance. If convicted, he stood to lose that security clearance and his job.
In speaking with our client and his wife, we learned that the accuser was
actually the aggressor who had verbally assaulted the wife. Our client
went outside to investigate after hearing from his wife what had transpired.
The young man then began to scream and curse at our client and threatening
that he had a gun. At this point our client retreated while keeping an
eye on the young man and waited for him to leave. Once he left our client
learned that he was the unruly son of his neighbor who did not live in
their home. The neighbors apologized for his behavior and indicated that
they had for some time had significant problems with their son.
Several hours later police arrived, stating that a young man had accused
our client of brandishing a firearm. After what can only be described
as a botched investigation, and even after the young man’s parents
stated to police they did not believe their son because of his history
of lying, our client was charged. Statements were collected from neighbors
however no one could say for sure that a gun was not present.
The day before trial we were prepared but out of an abundance of caution
we re-contacted each of the 6 witnesses the night before to go over testimony.
In speaking with one of the neighbor witnesses we heard her boyfriend
speaking in the background and only then learned that he was an eye witness
to the event and could clearly see that our client did not have a gun
but rather a cell phone in his hand as he had stated to police. We were
of course grateful to have found this witness even though we felt we had
a strong defense before we located him.
As sometimes happens with people who file a false police report, the “alleged”
victim in this case did not appear in court. The Commonwealth’s
Attorney made a motion to Nolle Pross the charge. Mr. Carlson objected
and asked for a dismissal which the judge granted. Please note that a
charge that has been Nolle Prossed by the Commonwealth can be brought
back before the court within a year of the date of the offense while a
dismissal cannot. A very good outcome for a very serious charge but very
much a shame that an innocent man and his family had to endure the travesty
of a false accusation and wrongful arrest.
Possession of Marijuana in Richmond, Virginia
Client charged with possession of marijuana. Having worked with the Richmond
Court system for many years, I knew what the court would require to have
the charge dismissed. Immediately, we put our client to work completing
various tasks that we asked of him. We appeared in court on the trial
date with everything completed and the case was dismissed that day. There
was no reason for a follow-up court date, saving the client money and
easing the burden on the court. Win-Win for everyone.
Defraud Hotel <$200, Damage Property <$1,000 and Public Intoxication Richmond, Virginia
During an alcohol fueled evening, our client was charged with Defrauding
a Hotel, Damaging Property at that Hotel and Public Swearing/Intoxication.
This behavior is completely out of character for this client and it was
obvious that too much alcohol caused this lapse in judgement, however,
that in no way excuses the behavior.
We made arrangements to get restitution paid to the hotel and asked our
client to perform some community service before we even made our first
court appearance. The pre-trial proactive measures we took paid off and
the prosecutor and the judge both agreed to dismiss all charges.
Underage Consume Alcohol, Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Marijuana
All three charges were dismissed.
We were contacted by our clients’ family regarding 2 charges pending
in Richmond, Virginia. She was charged with Possession of Marijuana and
Possession of a Controlled Substance (Magic Mushrooms, a felony) While
speaking with our new client we found out that days prior to these charges
she was charged with Underage Consumption of Alcohol. With some quick
maneuvering we were able to get the cases consolidated. This was better
for the client two-fold. First, it saved money as they would not have
to pay attorney fees for 2 separate court appearances and second, she
only had to face the judge once.
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