What Happens In The First 24 Hours After A DUI Arrest In Marin County?
In the first 24 hours after being arrested for a DUI in Marin County, they will first book you into jail. This means taking your picture, your fingerprints, and all your information. Then they put you in a holding cell, which is very uncomfortable place. It’s a place where hopefully you pass your attitude test and they let you out without having to post a bail. At that point, you need to make sure that you’re not still over the limit, because if you go to get your car, you could get another DUI. I have seen that happen. People need to rest, they need to hydrate, they need to get their faculties together, and then what they should do is contact a DUI lawyer. That’s someone who does just DUI law, or almost exclusively DUI law, who is very experienced in Marin County who can answer his or her questions.
If the attorney doesn’t call you back right away, if it’s the one that you researched or found online that looks very reputable, or someone has referred you to them, give them time to call you back. You don’t need to jump to the first attorney who calls you back. Use your due diligence, find the attorney who you feel you can work with, who you feel comfortable with, who understands what they’re doing, who is experienced, who will handle your case himself in Marin County. It’s important to have a good relation with the court and the prosecutors. It can make a difference, so you don’t want someone who doesn’t do DUIs very often doing the case. You want the attorney who has the name in Marin County to be the attorney representing you, and set up a meeting in person with the attorney. Over the phone is fine.
A lot of my clients who are out of the Marin do this, and because of that, we are not able to necessarily meet in person, but we talk over the phone. I think it’s important for the attorney you’re looking for to give you their cell number. I always give my clients my cell number, and that way they don’t have to go through my answering service to get to me. They can text me, because a lot of times, I’m in court or meetings or just unable to call back very quickly, and so a text sometimes can be the best way to get a question answered quickly. Because of this, I always give my clients my cell phone. I know a lot of attorneys don’t like to do this, but it’s important that you find an attorney who is willing to talk to you, especially if you have long hours during the day. Find an attorney who can return your calls in the evenings or early mornings, and around the weekends. I’m not saying every evening and every weekend, because attorneys have lives and families, but it is important to know that if something urgent comes up, either that attorney or someone from that office can get back to you in the evenings or on the weekends. I call people back during evenings and weekends all the time, though it may take me a little longer on the weekends to get back to someone. Once you have the attorney, the attorney can request the administrative per se, the DMV hearing for you, and appear in court for you. That court date probably won’t be for about 3- 4 weeks, so there’s time until that happens.
You can expect other things can happen, such as you might get something in the mail which we call Jail-mail. That’s typically from attorneys who charge lower fees, who are not as experienced, or don’t just do DUI defense, who send people solicitations. Usually within a day or two, you may get 10, 20, even 30 or 40 letters from attorneys from all over the Bay Area soliciting your business. I don’t do that, and I don’t like that. That’s because I believe that by doing that, it’s intrusive. People can find an attorney online, and find attorney online websites that rank or show reviews for attorneys. You always want to get a top-rated attorney, because someone with a low rating, there are usually reasons or issues for that, so be wary.
But the problem with the Jail-mail is that this is an attorney who does that. I know a lot of them and a lot of them are great people, but what they’re doing is they’re letting the post office, your letter carrier, your family, or anybody at your house who sees the letter—they’re letting all these people know that you got a DUI. What if you don’t want your parents to know this, what if you don’t want your spouse to know this? I mean you obviously should share everything with your spouse, but what if you live with your parents or roommates? It’s just very intrusive and it happens, so you can expect to get those letters. The other thing that has been happening more recently to people, almost right away when they get DUIs, is they will get the solicitations from companies that provide Interlock devices.
That’s a machine where you have to blow into it to start your car. In some counties, when you’ve been convicted on multiple offenses, or sometimes with very high blood alcohol levels, they’ll make you put an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for a certain amount of time, usually 1 to 3 years. Those companies will send you these letters, and they look like they are letters from the State of California. They are solicitations, and it’s very sneaky marketing. They’re going to tell you have to have this, and that can be very misleading. You don’t need that right away, and they’re just trying to get your money right away. So, be wary of that. Also, there have been some insurance firms that do SR-22 marketing that will send those cards to people who have just been arrested, and that’s wrong as well because you don’t need something like that right away.
Again, these are companies that are just trying to get your business and make you spend money on something that you may not need to spend money on. So, a lot of people will see these and go, “Well, I am going to have do this eventually,” and they’re not going to fight their case. They might go forward with these companies thinking it’s urgent, it’s better if they do it right away, but it’s not. It really is not. Talk to your attorney about what you should do with all of these things. Sometimes, you may want to start going to an AA meeting right away, or do some counseling, depending on your case. Every case is different. Not every person is going to need to do AA meetings or counseling other than a DUI school if they get convicted, so talk to your attorney.
That’s a reason why it’s important to have an attorney who is experienced in the county you’re in, who knows what is probably going to happen in a worst case scenario, and what can help upfront and what to do early on. There are cases where it’s good the day after you’re arrested for a DUI to get yourself into a meeting—multiple offenses, really high blood alcohol level. Sometimes that can be very helpful when we’re negotiating your case, and also for employment purposes as well—for state issued licenses and professional licenses such as medical, nursing, business professional, school licenses, teaching credential, things like that. These are areas where it might be a good idea to start counseling, but not in every case. So, again, talk to your attorney about that.
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