JOHNSTOWN - A Fulton County Court jury on Monday found a Gloversville woman not guilty of a felony count of driving while intoxicated, but convicted her of a lesser driving while ability impaired count.
The jury reached a verdict in the four-day trial of Robin A. Curtin, 54, of Saratoga Boulevard.
She will be sentenced by County Court Judge Polly A. Hoye at 9:30 a.m., Nov. 1.
Fulton County District Attorney Louise Sira said today Curtin faced the lone felony DWI count at trial. But she said Hoye also gave the jury the "lesser included offense" of DWAI to consider, which the panel ultimately convicted Curtin of.
Sira said DWAI is considered a misdemeanor and due to the defendant's prior drinking and driving convictions, she still faces up to 180 days in jail and a $1,500 fine.
Sira said the prosecutor - Fulton County Assistant District Attorney Kelli P. McCoski - had "limited evidence" to deal with in presenting the case to the jury.
Curtin was indicted March 5 by a county grand jury on one felony DWI count. She was arrested at 6 p.m., Jan. 13, by state police. Troopers said her vehicle veered into the opposite lane on Route 29A and the car hit a state Department of Transportation snowplow.
Curtin was charged with felony DWI because she had a previous conviction within the past 10 years. She also was charged with refusal to take a breath test and failure to keep right on a two-lane road
Curtin suffered minor bleeding to her head and was taken to Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville, where she was treated and released.
Sira said because Curtin received medical attention and refused a breath test, conviction on the felony DWI was tough. By law, she said, McCoski also couldn't present evidence of Curtin's prior DWI conviction to the jury.
"I think the jury made the right decision," Michael Viscosi, one of Curtin's attorneys, said today. "The evidence supported that she was not intoxicated at the time."
He said the legal team of himself and attorney Kevin K. O'Brien Jr. will possibly be looking to get the judge to consider the DWAI as a "traffic violation."
If that happens, O'Brien said today the sentence won't be as harsh as Sira suggests. He said the district attorney's office had a "weak case" and the jury "saw through" the weaknesses.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.