A LETTER FROM JUDGE FEMIA
My Dear Fellow Members:
As most of you are aware, I am, at the direction of Judge Shelia R. Tillerson Adams, still processing the CA docket. The way I handle DUI cases has not changed over the last thirty-two years of handling the docket or indeed over the last forty-one years of my being a judge. However because we've lost certain resources and, as Judge Bill McGrath used to say, the "price of pork chops is up", I thought it to be in order to update my written menu to reflect today's circumstances. Ergo, beginning with the March 10, 2014 cycle...
FIRST OFFENDERS WANTING A PBJ MUST:
Impaired: (Plea to b*)
a) One night in jail and a $100.00 fine** or
b) Traffic school*** and a $200.00 fine or
c) A $500.00 fine.
Under the Influence, .08-.19: (Plea to a)
a) One night in jail and a $100.00 fine**
b) Traffic school*** and a $500.00 fine or
c) A $1,000.00 fine.
Under the Influence, .20-.29: (Plea to a)
a) Two nights in jail and a $100.00 fine** or
b) A $1,000.00 fine.
Under the Influence, .30 and up: (Plea to a)
a) Five days in jail or
b) Completion of the 28 day Calvert County DWI program. ****
SUBSEQUENT OFFENDER ***** WITHIN TEN YEARS: (On plea all are found guilty)
a) offense-- 6 months in jail, all but 7 consecutive days suspended.
b) 2nd offense--30 days in jail, all but 7 consecutive days suspended.
a) 3" offense--6 months in jail all but 14 consecutive days suspended.
b) offense--30 days in jail all but 14 consecutive days suspended.
c) 4th or more offense, one half of the stated maximum in jail
All cases come with court costs assessed, which at this writing adds $145.00 to your client's fees.
All probationary periods are for one year, unpapered and unsupervised.
I remember having varied from this menu in '82. It would be a serious mistake for counsel to rely on my repeating this conduct.
As always, I honor all agreements between state and defense. Such agreements always take precedence over my menu.
Trusting this finds each of you in good health and spirits, I am,
Very truly yours,
Vincent J. Femia
The parade of stars:
* A no-blow is a b.
** A client who goes directly from the courtroom or has previously spent the night(s) in jail will have the fine and costs waived.
* * * I will accept as "traffic school" the county run school or any other AOC approved program of driver improvement or alcohol awareness.
**** I will accept any AOC approved residential treatment program with a duration of 28 or more days.
P.S. I want to remind counsel that I need an executed "Waiver of Rights" form (available on counsels' table from each defendant offering a plea to a jailable offense. Thanks.
P.S.S. Also I want to remind counsel that if you are asking for a BW recall or a continuance before me and the intended resetting date will take the case beyond Hicks, I must have Hicks waiver (also available on counsels' table) executed by the client.
And again, I thank you.
PGCBA NewsJournal PAGE 9 December 2013