In February 2015, criminal defense attorney Jonathan Oates successfully persuaded a Circuit Court in Arlington County, Virginia, against entering a felony conviction for his client, and to give her the opportunity to earn a dismissal of the felony charge. His client faced a felony child endangerment charge for a second DUI within five years with her minor children in the vehicle. Both DUIs involved an accident and a blood alcohol content of over 0.24.
With his client’s ability to stay in the country and care for her children on the line, and under very difficult circumstances, Oates had an uphill battle to avoid a felony conviction. He submitted a brief arguing that the Court had the ability to not convict the Defendant, despite her guilty plea, but hold the case open with the possibility of a dismissal in the future. The potential of dismissal was strongly contested by prosecutors, who argued that the judge did not have the authority to do anything other than convict the Defendant of the felony charge.
Ultimately, Oates’ persistence, preparation and persuasion paid off for his client. The judge sided with Oates, holding the case open and giving the client the possibility to earn a dismissal in the case. Criminal defense lawyer Jon Oates submitted a brief and called three witnesses to testify in support of his client: an alcohol counselor, social services worker, and immigration attorney.
Currently, the client is home with her 11, 7, and 5 year old daughters. Her middle child is severely disabled.