Client charged with DUI (with BAC above 0.15), hit and run, and reckless endangerment for having his child in the car.
This was clients third DUI charge and the prosecutor’s offer was to allow my client to plead and do 300 days in jail. Sunshine met with this client when he bailed out of jail. It was clear that this guy was hurting; that he was an alcoholic and was completely out of control. It was also clear that he was a good guy who loved his wife and kids very much and that being away from them for 9+ months was not an option.
Client had already utilized his on-time deferral and so the only option was to get this client to open up to me and tell me what was really going on. After much discussion, it was clear that this client just needed some help. He entered treatment and we began to collect letters of support from family, friends, and members of the community. Sunshine took all of those to the prosecutor in an effort to work out a more acceptable plea. But the prosecutor would only agree to come down to 270 days in jail.
Our choices were limited, the evidence against the client was strong, our only hope was to try to educate the sentencing judge as to why client should not go to jail. Sunshine wrote a 4-page sentencing memorandum setting out all the reasons why this client should not go to jail. Before the hearing the prosecutor offered 180 days in custody.
We again said no jail time. At sentencing the State asked for the maximum penalty, 364 days in jail. Sunshine asked the judge to see this client for the person he was, to help this client by giving him a chance, and asked for no jail time. The judge listened and heard our pleas and Sunshine walked that client out of court without a single day to serve in jail.