Tuesday, October 27, 2015
OWI-1st/PAC-1st (with .12 Breath Test Result) Completely Dismissed in Middle of Jury Trial
JAS was on his way to watch a concert in Appleton when he was stopped for speeding on Highway 41. When asked by the deputy if he had been drinking, JAS admitted to 6 beers. However, the deputy made no other observations that would suggest JAS was impaired. Nevertheless, the deputy subjected JAS to field sobriety tests and, based on what the deputy believed was poor performance, arrested JAS for drunk driving. A subsequent breath test at the sheriff's department revealed an alcohol level of .12. Upset and panicked after what happened, JAS met with Attorney Sarvan Singh and explained that evening’s events. While he admitted to drinking 6 beers, JAS also believed he had done well on the field tests. As Attorney Singh listened to JAS, he realized there may be hope. After delving into the police reports, breath records, and the arrest video, Attorney Singh noted substantial discrepancies between what was written in the deputy's report and what was displayed on video. He also discovered that the breath test machine used on JAS had not been properly maintained in the months leading up to the test. Armed with this knowledge, Attorney Singh proceeded to trial, which was his only option given the prosecutor's unwillingness to plea bargain. During trial, Attorney Singh did significant damage to the deputy's credibility on cross-examination, getting the deputy to concede there were several things in his report that did not correlate with what was shown on video. Furthermore, the County left out certain, vital information regarding the breath-testing device. At the close of the County’s evidence, Attorney Singh argued to the judge that the County failed to prove its case concerning the breath test. The judge agreed and did not allow the County to proceed on the breath test charge. After this ruling, the prosecutor, seeing how poor the deputy’s testimony was, chose to dismiss the remaining drunk driving charge. This meant that both the Operating While Intoxicated charge as well as the Operating with a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration charge were completely dismissed. Instead of being saddled with a drunk driving conviction for the rest of his life, JAS walked out of trial with a simple speeding ticket and one very big smile.