What Can An Experienced DUI Lawyer Do For You?
Interviewer: What are the different reasons someone should consult with an experienced DUI lawyer?
Aaron: One area or reason is insurance. If you get convicted of a DUI or lose your DMV hearing, it is very important-before that happens- to get additional insurance that you will need to use and maintain for three years. It is called a SR-22. You can get it on your person. You do not have to get it on your vehicle.
If you get the insurance in a timely manner, as in before you get convicted or before this goes into DMV computers, you can get it at a much cheaper rate. There are ways to work with different low fee companies, insurance services.
One is the John McDonald Insurance Service in Southern California, down by Disneyland. They have a number of people there who can help you get low fee insurance and also transfer your full insurance.
You can get the insurance on your person if you want to transfer the full insurance that you have on your vehicle, away from whatever agency. You can do that, and they will show you how to do that in such a way to save money.
Very often with insurance, if you do it the right way you can pay what you are paying now; or even less than that after a DUI conviction. Believe it or not, that is what has happened with insurance.
A good attorney can put you in contact with the right insurance people who can give you advice. You can talk to them, and you can talk to others. That is a way where people save many thousands of dollars over the years.
Another area an attorney can help you with is determining how to deal with this and explain it to an employer; whether it is something you should tell your employer. The attorney can look at your handbook.
They can sometimes refer you to an employment law attorney who you may need to deal with your job. That is something that you can ask the attorney’s advice on. They can really help you there sometimes.
Another area where an attorney can give you advice is if you have to attend a DUI school. Some counties have more than one DUI school. In San Francisco, there are three or four DUI schools. Not all of them have multiple offender programs. Some of them have better reputations than others. That is where an attorney can help you.
Attorneys can help especially when you have someone who has a very high blood alcohol level, or multiple DUIs or accidents. Suppose the case is more serious than you just being over the limit for a first time DUI, with no accident and no injury. In more serious cases, advice is needed.
The attorney can get you going to AA meetings or NA meetings, depending on what your substance issue is. The attorney can give you information on residential treatment centers.
Also, a lot of the courts are requiring either vicap or a scram device. Basically, a scram device is an ankle bracelet they make you wear while your case is going on. From the first time you go into court, you may have to get that. An attorney can put you in touch with an agency that can do that for you; and also help you on the financial end of that.
They do it on a sliding scale. An attorney will show you how to make sure you are not gouged by a company that has you on the higher end of a sliding scale.
The vicap is something we are actually seeing in San Francisco. They are wearing this. Furthermore, in the sheriff’s department, you basically have to blow into a device through the phone. Then they can tell whether you have been drinking, or not. That is an area where an attorney can help.
Bail is an area too. It happens all the time. I will be dealing with clients or their families and an impending bail raise; or someone calls me or their family calls me and they are in custody and need to get out.
What an attorney can do is put you in touch with a bail bondsman; and tell the client to let the bail bondsman know the attorney referred you. Very often when that happens, a bail bondsman will agree to do it for 8% instead of 10%.
If you are talking about a $10,000 bail, they want 10% down. They might do it for $800 instead of $1,000. Actually, you want to say 10% down. That is the fee. You would save a couple hundred dollars.
If you have a $100,000 bail, that is a huge difference. We are talking at least a few thousand dollars difference. I mean I could go on and on where an attorney could help; other than just whether we can win the case or not.
By Aaron Bortel
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