What Are The Top Misconceptions People Have About DUI Arrests?
The number one question that people have and are concerned about usually is, “Am I going to jail?” Now, that is a fact specific question that is going to depend on the particular circumstances of each individual case, but I have been extremely successful in avoiding jail or prison for the great majority of my clients. Another misconception that a lot of people have is that there is just no hope and there is no point in hiring a lawyer. They think there is no way to beat a DUI, particularly if they took the breath test or submitted to some other sort of a chemical test. Nothing could be further from the truth. You definitely need and want to have an attorney with you, because with the right attorney by your side, every single DUI case has the potential to be won, whether that means suppressing evidence so that the prosecutor’s forced to dismiss the case, obtaining a not guilty verdict after a jury or a bench trial, or mitigating the penalties at sentencing.
You can just read through some of my courtroom victories on the website, and you will see lots of examples of cases that when you read them, they appear to be lost causes. They appear to be unwinnable cases and cases that were really a slam-dunk for the prosecution. But every single one of those courtroom victories of mine is a real case and a real victory. So you definitely do not want to throw in the towel before you even have an attorney look at the facts and circumstance of your case.
Common Mistakes People Make After Being Arrested For A DUI
There are a few common mistakes that if we can avoid them, it will make everything go a lot smoother. For example, and it might sound obvious, but do not get arrested again after you have been arrested for a DUI. There are variety of reasons, but an additional arrest puts a lot more pressure on the DUI case. For instance, if the county that you have been arrested for a DUI in, if they find out about your other arrest, they probably will violate your bail bond or ask to increase your bail bond. Plus depending on what the new charge is, if it is another DUI that is obviously a bad situation to be in. But even if it is just an unrelated criminal arrest, it just puts you in the position where if the prosecutors are sharp they will be in a position to really try back us into a corner.
Another mistake that a lot of people make is they wait too long to hire a lawyer. Hiring a lawyer, it is better late than never and it is common for people to call me even the night before when they have court. Most of the time, I can still represent that individual and appear in court for them with some juggling, but it is a lot better if you plan in advance and do not procrastinate and do not bury your head in the sand about this difficult situation that you are facing. The sooner that somebody comes in and sees me, and the sooner that someone retains me, the quicker that I can get to work on the case. Early intervention is critical to success in the case.
There are variety of things that we may want to consider and there are some petitions and motions that we may want to file immediately; particularly with contesting the license suspension. Someone that waits too long to contact me could be foreclosed from filing certain petitions. If somebody comes to me shortly after the arrest, we may be able to have a hearing on that license suspension and if we prevail in that, we could avoid any gap in driving privileges. In other words, we would be able to rescind the suspension before it even goes into effect. If somebody waits until the last minute, then there is definitely going to be a period of suspension before we are able to have that hearing.
Advice For Clients Contemplating A Guilty Plea To A DUI Charge
First of all, being charged with a DUI is a tremendously stressful situation and it is completely normal to experience anxiety over it. Lots of my clients have trouble dealing with the uncertainty and they think that if they just hurry up and get it over with, that will make them feel better about it. But the reality is that a DUI is a very serious offense with potentially long term, if not lifelong, consequences. So the way I look at it is this; for starters, they are hiring an attorney and if they are hiring me, what I want them to do is just give me a chance to do my job. You have hired me to do a job, give me a chance to do it. Let me exhaust every opportunity and every option that we might have to try and fight the case before we decide that we are on the damage control situation.
It is similar to maybe putting off a medical procedure, because you do not want to go through the pain and recovery, but obviously if you do not go through that procedure because you want to put off the discomfort of that, you are looking at some other long term effects. Holding off might lead to disfigurement, death or further illness. With a DUI, I really say let me do my job and just tough it out, because if you can put up with a little anxiety, a little discomfort and uncertainty, we are much more likely to achieve a better result down the road than if you just plead guilty right off the get go. I
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