Judge refuses to set aside Salem DWI conviction

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Council Chair Sarah Salem, on right, being placed in handcuffs by a City of Poughkeepsie Police Officer on February 26, 2020. Mid-Hudson News file photo.

POUGHKEEPSIE – City Court Judge Scott Volkman in Poughkeepsie has denied a motion from Sarah Salem’s attorney to have her DWI conviction set aside which would have essentially dismissed the case.

In September, a jury convicted Salem of DWI and the violation of passing a steady red light for her role in an accident that occurred on February 26, 2020.  Sentencing was scheduled for November 15, 2022.  Just moments before sentencing, Salem’s attorney, Steven Patterson filed a motion seeking to have the jury’s verdict set aside.

Volkman accepted the motion and held off sentencing until he ruled on the motion.  On Tuesday morning, the judge announced in court that the motion was denied and scheduled sentencing for January 10, 2023.

With the conviction upheld, Salem faces a potential sentence of 364 days in jail when she is sentenced by Judge Volkman in January.

Dutchess County Assistant District Attorney Ryan LeGrady, who prosecuted the case, said there are possible additional punishments for the misdemeanor, including “Two to three years of probation, a combination of jail and probation, or a conditional discharge with a fine, ignition interlock requirement, and some mandatory programs through the DMV.”  The traffic violation for the red light conviction carries a fine.