Martin + Colin’s Request for Leniency in DWI Case

Printed below is an application filed by the lawyers at Martin + Colin, P.C. seeking a reduced plea offer from the prosecutor. Our application is also available in easy to read, Google Docs format here. Only the names have been changed.



June 30, 2007


Honorable Jane DiLorenzo

District Attorney

Westchester County

Richard J. Daronco Westchester County Courthouse

111 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

White Plains NY 10601


Re: People v. Alan Bender

Justice Court, Rye Town


Hon. Judge DiLorenzo:

I am the attorney representing the defendant Alan Bender in a criminal prosecution currently pending before the Hon. John Colangelo in the Justice Court, Town of Rye. The matter is next scheduled for all purposes on Wednesday, May 9, 2007.

The defendant is charged with a crime of driving while intoxicated for having a .16 blood alcohol content as measured by an intoxilyzer instrument administered by the Rye Brook Police Department. The purpose of this letter is to demonstrate to you that the best interests of the people of Westchester County, the community which you so honorably protect and defend as its top law enforcement official, would be best served by offering this individual defendant a reduced plea offer to the lesser offense of Driving While Ability Impaired in full satisfaction of the current misdemeanor charge of Driving While Intoxicated.

The truest administration of justice in its finest form requires the considerations of compassion and kindness and necessitates the application of mercy. The People of this State, by statutory enactment of their state legislature, could have imposed upon you the requirement that you hold as charged every individual accused of the crime of driving while intoxicated for having a .15 % or higher blood alcohol content. By not doing so, the People of this State expressly vest in you the power and authority to apply considerations of kindness, compassion and leniency to all of your criminal prosecutions, including the prosecution of individuals accused of the crime of driving while intoxicated for having a .15 % or higher blood alcohol content.

Whereas I do know what factors you do not consider in the exercise of your prosecutorial discretion: as stated above, economic privilege, social status, political affiliation and any other form of rank favoritism are all rejected by you; I do not know what factors you do consider in your dispensation of justice. Obviously, your ultimate obligation as top law enforcement officer is the overall safety and security of the entire community; you carry out that obligation best when you protect those least able to protect and care for themselves. Similarly, I will bet that you shower the most favor upon those members of the community who have previously given of themselves to those other members of our community who are least able to provide for and care for themselves. In other words, the community should give back to those who have previously given to it.

Most respectfully, I submit to you that the community which you so honorably serve would be entirely satisfied if you exercised your prosecutorial discretion in favor of the accused, Alan Bender. Most respectfully, I suggest to you that because Alan Bender volunteered so much of his time, and devoted so much of his talents, to those in our community least able to care for themselves, prior to his involvement in the alleged DWI charge, that our community would rightfully acknowledge his prior good deeds, our community would agree that his prior good deeds outweigh the current misdeed for which he stands accused, and when balancing all of the factors, our community would be well served if you made an exception for Alan Bender and offered him a reduced plea to a DWAI as a thoughtful exercise of your prosecutorial discretion.

An exercise of prosecutorial discretion in favor of Alan Bender would promote volunteerism, encourage community involvement and most importantly, improve the quality of life of some of the most vulnerable members of our society. Thus, if you were to show mercy to Alan Bender you would be furthering your objective of improving the quality of life of the residents of our community.

Prior to his involvement in the alleged DWI charge, Alan volunteered his time at a local children’s center for many years. Starting in middle school, Alan has been devoting hundreds of hours per year volunteering his time working with young children at the Children’s Center at Purchase College. The staff at the Children’s Center has been so grateful to Alan for his many years of volunteer service, and so impressed with his ability, that they recently hired him as an assistant teacher.

Prior to his involvement in the alleged DWI charge, Alan volunteered his evenings at the local soup kitchen. He spent countless evenings at the AME Zion Church on Smith Street in Port Chester, New York serving meals to the indigent and cleaning up after them. Under the supervision of Ms. Logan, Alan spent many nights helping out the least fortunate of his community.

In recognition of his many hours of volunteer service to his community, in November 2000 Alan Bender was awarded a Certificate of Merit from the Westchester County Youth Board and the Westchester County Board of Legislators. In making this request for a special exception and a reduced plea for Alan, I suggest to you that the citizens you serve and protect would select Alan for special treatment because in the last ten years he has given so much to them.

Finally, Alan Bender recognizes that he is not worthy of any leniency from his community or from the District Attorney if there is any possibility of the situation ever happening again. There are no conditions on Alan’s ROR status. He was not referred to TASC or anywhere else. Nevertheless, Alan immediately and voluntarily enrolled himself into an OASAS-approved Outpatient Chemical Dependency Treatment Program. He attends and participates in the program, and will continue to do so, until successful completion. He entered the program voluntarily to evaluate himself for any underlying problem and also to assure you that there is absolutely no chance that the situation that Alan Bender placed himself in will ever happen again.

Thank you so very much for taking an office full of excellent prosecutors and transforming it into an ethical instrument of justice, honorable and even-handed. A rising tide does indeed lift all boats, and your leadership has raised the bar throughout the County. I thank you, in advance, for your consideration of our application for leniency and a reduced plea, and assure you that I would not make this request if there was any chance that granting my request would be inconsistent with the high standards you have set for yourself and your office. Rather, I believe that if you grant my request, and thereby give clemency to the person who volunteered countless hours to his community, you are using your prosecutorial powers for community improvement, promoting the noble endeavor of civic duty, and encouraging acts of charity and kindness toward our neighbors.

Once again, I thank you for your consideration of my request. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.






cc: Alan Bender

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