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is my home county and the bulk of my DWI cases are located here. Like
everywhere else, DWI cases are prosecuted aggressively. First time DWI
offenders are usually offered a reduced charge to DWAI. The office does
have an official policy restricting plea bargains for repeat DWI
offenders. The DA (District Attorney) also shares an alliance with MADD
(Mothers Against Drunk Driving). There is no blanket rule restricting
plea bargains when a BAC is high (like in Albany County).
The prosecutors in Saratoga are very professional and good at what they
do. Unlike a case in Rensselaer or Albany County, when a defendant
contests a DWI charge here, the DA's office will devote formidable
resources to the case and it will move along quickly.
There are a couple of things that I should praise the Saratoga County
DA for when it comes to DWI cases. First of all, the ADAs (Assistant
District Attorneys) listen to the defense attorneys. They are willing
to recognize problems with a case. In the past I have been able to
obtain plea bargains for repeat offenders or reductions to non-alcohol
offenses by contesting cases and exposing weakness.
The Saratoga DA does not have a win at all cost mentality. Unlike other
DA offices, the ranks here are not packed with fresh faced recent law
grads eager to chalk up a win. To their credit, Saratoga County
prosecutors recognize that sometimes justice requires special treatment
of certain defendants. For some, the collateral consequences of DWI
convictions can be especially devastating such as those with military
professional medical workers, commercial drivers, non-naturalized
residents, etc. It takes work, but in the past I have been able to
negotiate deals that help avoid the disastrous consequences of DWI
convictions by demonstrating to the prosecutor that the harm of
conviction outweighs irreversible damage to a defendant's livelihood or
career that a conviction may cause.
Finally, the Saratoga County DA recently started considering felony DWI
offenders who qualify for participation in the Felony Drug Court
program. The DA deserves praise for showing compassion for obviously
handles DWI cases primarily in the Capital Region and Greater Capital
Region of New York. Counties include Albany,
Warren, Washington, Schoharie and beyond.