The slow pace of the criminal justice system is a complaint made by citizens and attorneys alike. There are major complaints that the criminal justice system takes too long, and in the process, subjugates those who are accused of committing crimes. All over the country, cases are postponed and backlogged as courts struggle to keep up with high volume.
For DWI cases, the average time for the conclusion of a case can range anywhere from a couple of months to a year and beyond. The length of a DWI case can be attributed to certain steps that have to be taken. In New York for example, a person charged with a DWI must usually undergo an alcohol evaluation to determine if any underlying substance abuse issues exist. In some New York counties, if alcohol problems are identified, a program of alcohol treatment must be completed before an offer for a reduction in charges will be made.
Would it come as a surprise then, given the average length of a DWI that a case could be resolved in a little over a week? Based on the above information, it would be plausible to question such a speedy outcome; however, factor in a starting quarterback for a perennial football powerhouse and the result does not seem that farfetched.
J.T. Barrett was charged with an OVI (Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated) on the morning of October 31, 2015 at a DUI checkpoint according to ESPN. Barrett, who is under 21-years of age, was charged with OVI; an OVI is a misdemeanor under Ohio law. Barrett failed the breathalyzer and was released to his fellow teammate, Cardale Jones.
Even though Barrett’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) was quadruple the legal limit for his age, his case was still resolved rather quickly. According to ESPN:
“Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett will pay a $400 fine and have his license suspended for six months after pleading guilty Tuesday to operating a vehicle under the influence. In addition, the 20-year-old Barrett must complete a three-day alcohol education program as a result of the misdemeanor stemming from his stop at a DUI checkpoint early on Halloween. Barrett must complete the class and pay the fine by Feb. 15 or face jail time, Judge H. William Pollitt said as he accepted Barrett’s plea.”
Barret’s attorney, Phil Templeton, argued that Barrett’s BAC was only slightly over the legal limit of .08 (Barrett registered a .099). Templeton also made the following comments to the Columbus Dispatch:
“I see an excellent young man who made a horrible mistake and is 100 percent owning up to it,” Barrett’s attorney Phil Templeton told The Dispatch. He is taking full responsibility. I know he is horribly embarrassed, and he is very concerned with how this has affected those close to him, starting with his family, his teammates, his coaches, and of course the Ohio State fans. He knows he is in a pressure cooker program, and he is really embarrassed for all the negative attention this has brought to the team.”
While the penalties are in line with a first-time offender under 21, the speed at which this case was resolved is rather shocking. Will Barrett, who is probably in a heavily influenced drinking environment, really take anything away from this experience as it relates to the criminal justice system? Barrett did have to forfeit his scholarship for a semester and was also suspended for one game by head Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer; however, will the overall experience change how he conducts himself after he leaves college? It would appear that Barrett had a brief brush with a process that could drag on for months or years for the average citizen.
Barrett’s experience lends credence to the somber fact that justice may just be swifter for high-profile citizens. Barrett was not sanctioned to undergo any type of evaluation for possible alcohol abuse problems and will merely have to complete a 3-day course prior to the middle of February. Outside spectators of the criminal justice system may not be taken back by this situation since it would make sense that Ohio State would want its best chance at a repeat national championship back on the field as quickly as possible. But for the average citizen charged with DWI, this situation could be quite the eye-opener.
The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem. Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-866-792-7800. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorney Advertising.