The defendant in this case was charged for DWI with two counts. The prosecution asked the court during the end of the defendant’s trial to include a lesser offense, driving while ability impaired or DWAI. The court granted the request despite the objection of the defendant. The defendant received acquittal from the jury on both DWI counts. However, he was convicted of the lesser DWAI offense.
The prosecution supported their motion to charge for DWAI since the law states that a defendant who has already been convicted for previous driving offenses should be charged with DWAI. This is treated by the court as a misdemeanor on the part of the defendant.
During the trial, no evidence was presented regarding the past offenses of the defendant. The prosecution has presented documents that would prove his past drinking violations. In his objection, the defendant contends that his past offenses should be proven based on special information.
The prosecution requested the court to have the jury promote DWAI as a lesser degree offense during the trial. However, the prosecution has changed their position and contends that the DWAI offense should be treated as a misdemeanour. However, according to the provisions of the law, it should not be treated as a lesser crime than DWI since both are unclassified.
To support the prosecution’s claims, interpreting the provisions in previous cases can be interpreted differently. According to the prosecution, the defendant can be punished for committing DWAI for a misdemeanour. However, proof must be presented during the trial to establish that the defendant had committed those offenses within the last ten years.
According to the provisions of the law, there is no statute that would be applicable to such offenses treated as misdemeanors. The drafting of the statutes relating to misdemeanors have indicated that these cases would warrant a prior conviction of the defendant. This must be done to elevate the offense or classify it as a misdemeanor.
During the trial, there was no proof presented by the prosecution concerning the past offenses of the defendant. The defendant challenges the prosecution to contest the existence of his past offenses by acquiring information for a second crime offender. After the prosecution’s review of the law, the court has found the prosecution to be without the needed proof to support their DWAI charge against the defendant. Since the burden of proof lies on the prosecution, failure to establish proof will be cause for denying the motion. The court has reviewed the provisions of the law and heard both sides of the story. The court has also reviewed previous cases that would help in the matter of deciding the circumstances of the case.
The law considers it improper to remove any aspect of the offense for the jury to consider. The only exception is when the said aspect is instructed by the defendant. In this case, the defendant did not admit to any of the past violations. This would mean that the prior convictions should be treated as an element of DWAI misdemeanour. This element will not be included for the jury’s deliberation.
The prosecution did not present this element while the trial was on going. The prosecution cannot change its mind and present it once the trial has ended. Due to this reason, the court has denied the motion of the prosecution to prove the existence of past convictions within the last ten years. The defendant was charged by the court with DWAI but with emphasis on traffic infarction. The court has also concluded that the prosecution can seek to establish a previous case within the last five years.
If you are charged with DWI, White Collar Crime, or a gun crime, you don’t have to go through it alone. Experienced legal counsel will help you prepare the best defense when you go on trial. Legal counsel is always reliable when it comes to these types of lawsuits. Visit the downtown area and look for the offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates.