Client was charged with felony DUI. The prosecuting authority alleged two prior DUI convictions within a 10 year period; overall this was Client’s fourth DUI. The defense and prosecutor were at a stalemate over the severity of the case (felony vs. misdemeanor) and the case was proceeding to trial when Utah Sentencing Alternatives was asked to assist with the case.
As part of the case analysis USA identified a potential defect in the prosecutions reliance upon one of the prior convictions. Specifically, Client was not represented by an attorney and the record did not indicate he waived his constitutional right to counsel. This defect, along with applicable Utah case law (ala Ferguson) was brought to the attention of the defense counsel who was able to leverage this information with the prosecutor and break the stalemate.
The prosecutor extended a reasonable offer that minimized the collateral consequences of the conviction and achieved the best possible outcome in the case. Client accepted the offer and entered a plea of guilty to a Class A Misdemeanor.
An Alternative Sentencing Report was prepared in advance of the change of plea and was presented to both the prosecutor. Instead of having to make another court appearance (which saved the Client having to take another day off work) everyone agreed to proceed with sentencing based on the report prepared by Utah Sentencing Alternatives rather than referring the case to Adult Probation & Parole (AP&P) for a presentence report.
The court delayed sentencing until after lunch so the judge could take the time to read the Alternative Sentencing Report, after which the judge (referring to the report) said, “Quite unusual, I have never seen anything quite like it before but overall very informative and helpful.” At sentencing, both the prosecutor and the AP&P representative (who was in court) referred favorably to the report. Ultimately, the Alternative Sentencing Report prepared by Utah Sentencing Alternatives became the “official” sentencing report for the court and for probation.
The judge later referred to the Alternative Sentencing Report as “a great report.”
Utah Sentencing Alternatives helped break the deadlock between defense counsel and the prosecutor to obtain a favorable plea agreement .
Defense counsel, with the assistance of Utah Sentencing Alternatives, was able to achieve the outcome desired by the Client. Specifically, the felony was reduced to a misdemeanor; a minimum jail sentence was imposed; and the jail sentence was structured in such a way that the Client was able to maintain his employment.
Community safety was not compromised and the Client is more likely to be successful on community supervision knowing that he achieved the best possible outcome in the case and was treated fairly by the judicial system.