Assault Convictions Reversed on Grounds of Ineffective Assistance of Trial Counsel

The Appellate Division, First Department, reversed LT’s convictions finding ineffective assistance of trial counsel. The case turned on whether LT was intoxicated at the time of the vehicular accident at issue, and there was a serious issue about the accuracy of the final Intoxilyzer reading, which conflicted with an earlier reading showing no intoxication.  Counsel prejudicially failed to consult with and produce an appropriate expert on breath and blood alcohol analysis to rebut the People's proof.   And his reason for not calling an expert---LT’s inability to pay for one---constituted constitutionally deficient performance under settled U.S. Supreme Court standards.  John Vang represented LT in the 440 proceedings and on appeal.