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DWI CONVICTION REVERSED ON APPEAL. TRIAL JUDGE COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR BY PERMITTING HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW TO SERVE ON JURY

In another stunning victory for Westchester County based DWI attorney Peter Tilem, a Yates County man had his conviction reversed on appeal because the Trial Judge allowed his own mother-in-law to sit on the jury.

In a December 20th Decision, Acting Yates County Court Judge Dennis Bender reversed Richard Regan’s July, 2011 Driving While Intoxicated Conviction because the trial judge, Benton Town Justice Dave Grace, allowed his mother-in-law to serve on the jury. While Regan’s trial counsel, Dave Mashewske failed to object to Judge Grace’s mother-in-law sitting on the jury, the County Court placed the ultimate responsibility on Judge Grace. In reversing the conviction, the County Court held that Judge Grace: “should not have permitted his mother-in-law to serve on the jury and she should have been disqualified on the Court’s own initiative.” Allowing Judge’ Graces mother-in-law to sit on the jury, argued Campbell, violated Regan’s constitutional right to a fair trial by a panel of impartial jurors.

The victory is one of a recent string for Mr. Campbell who just last week had all of the evidence in a Westchester County DWI suppressed. In that case, Mr. Campbell was able to successfully argue that the driver was unlawfully stopped and seized because the police office lacked probable cause that the driver was speeding.

In the Benton Town case, Mr. Regan unfortunately served six months in jail after his conviction for DWI and before hiring Mr. Campbell to file the appeal. As a result of the successful appeal Mr. Regan’s conviction was thrown out. It is unclear at this point whether the prosecutor will seek a new trial.

These two recent victories serve to solidify Mr. Campbell’s reputation as one of the most skilled, knowledgeable and successful DWI’s in New York State. While victory can never be assured, any one charged with a DWI in New York would be well advised to contact Tilem & Campbell for a fast, free and friendly telephone consultation with Mr. Campbell. Many of Mr. Campbell’s greatest victories have been after another attorney has advised his/her client to plead guilty or as in the case of Mr. Regan after another lawyer lost the case. Before pleading guilty or going to trial with any lawyer, consider a second opinion from Mr. Campbell.