At the beginning of 2022, the law regarding DUI diversion changed. DUIs are no longer eligible for diversion in California. Please contact our office with any questions. Email us at OR Call us at: (415) 523-7878

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Law Firm of Aaron Bortel

What Should I Bring To The First Meeting With My Attorney?

You should bring the paperwork that you received from the police, the jail, hospital, your bail bondsman, and anyone else who gave you any paperwork to your first meeting with your attorney. It’s important for your attorney to see these items. If your first meeting is over the phone and you don’t meet with them in person for a while, or if you never do meet with them because you live far away or out of state, you should scan and email that information to the attorney, or fax it to them. Get to them however you can. Typically in California, when you are arrested for a DUI, you are going to get a pink sheet of paper, which is a temporary license that is good for 30 days. As long as your attorney or you contact the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 calendar days of your arrest, including weekends, you will be able to request a hearing with DMV, and an extension of that driver’s license beyond the 30-day pink sheet that you get that temporary license.

The attorney should see the pink sheet because there is information that may be helpful. A notice to appear in court will have potentially helpful information for the attorney. They should also look at the court date that’s been written down, and have a copy of that. You should keep your originals of all paperwork—sometimes there’s bail paperwork, which will show your court date, and any other paperwork that you receive. Sometimes, property receipts can be helpful. I have seen situations where someone says they didn’t even have the car keys with them and they weren’t the driver, and showing that the car keys are not in the property that the police confiscated, could be helpful for the case. Any paperwork you have should be brought with you or given to your attorney at the first meeting.

What Led You To Practice DUI Law In California?

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay area, and have lived here all my life. I went to high school in Marin County at Redwood High. I went to undergrad at UC Santa Barbara, and I went to law school in San Francisco at Golden Gate University. I have been working with offices in the Bay area, specifically San Francisco and in the North Bay ever since, but I practiced law all over the Bay area. What got me into law, in particular, criminal defense and DUI defense, was that I’ve had some mentors who have practiced this area of law. I’ve always wanted to be on the defense side to help people, to protect people who are being charged by the government with things that they may not necessarily have done. Just being charged does not mean that you are guilty of anything. It needs to be proven and making the other side prove the case against my client has always been something very important to me. I fight for my clients.

Doing DUI defense allows me to fight for people, to try and help save their licenses, and prevent them from having criminal convictions. I walk them through the process because it can be very stressful. In helping people get through it as easily as possible, I take the stress on myself and let my clients deal with the rest of their lives because there is always so much going on. DUI defense is an area where I can help people. Most of my clients are very good people, many are professionals from every walk of life, and everybody deserves the best defense they can afford. This is an area that I feel very passionate about. I enjoy the science involved with DUI defense, and I go to conferences all over the country to improve my knowledge.

I met different listeners in California nationally that help improve my knowledge, and give me different ideas on potential defenses that are new or changing because the law is ever changing in this area as well. By just doing DUI defense, I need to stay up to speed with this area of law. This is the difference between most attorneys and myself. I will take on DUI cases, as this is all I do, where most attorneys are doing general criminal defense. They don’t spend the amount of time that I do working with this area of law.

How Are You Able To Stay Current With The New Laws And Scientific Discoveries?

I keep up-to-date with the laws in our state by having a law library that includes different volumes that help us to defend these cases. I’m on different listservs in California and nationally where changes are often posted, and where new cases come up that are thoroughly discussed and debated by the top DUI defense attorneys in the state and country. I go to conferences to listen and participate in lectures that help educate on new laws, new ideas, and new defenses and fine-tune old ones. There are many different ways that we are kept up to speed on what’s going on.

Additionally, I get a lot of information because I deal with DMV on pretty much a daily basis. When procedures are changing at DMV, I am usually one of the first to hear about it. I actually help train and educate a number of attorneys who deal with DUI cases. I get a lot of calls regarding how procedures work in certain situation, what to expect with multiple offenses, and how outcomes with court and DMV can affect someone. There is a lot going on, and I try my best to stay up to speed on everything.

For more information on First Meeting With An Attorney, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 523-7878 today.

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Aaron Bortel
With 30 years of specialized experience in DUI defense, Attorney Aaron Bortel is a dedicated advocate for those facing DUI charges in the Bay Area. Committed to helping clients avoid jail, save their driver’s licenses and jobs, and prevent permanent criminal records, he combines deep legal expertise with genuine care for his client's welfare. Trust in a lawyer who not only defends but truly supports you through challenging times.

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