How Can the Right Attorney Make a Difference with Your DUI Case?
Interviewer: What are some of the strategies you used for that particular case to make it come out so positive?
There May Be Factors That Would Allow the Results of the DUI to Be Suppressed
Aaron: Every case is different. What I did in that case is analyze the stop itself. We got the police officer on the stand and he went through every bit of driving that he claimed was enough to stop the client for a DUI.
When I was able to cross-examine him, I went through every place where my client did nothing wrong. In the end, the judge agreed with me that my client had not violated the vehicle code. It was more of a hunch than anything else when this officer had followed him into a parking lot after following him for quite some time and went up to him and did a DUI investigation.
So even though his hunch was correct, under the law and with the court following the law, it was an illegal stop and arrest. That’s’ what I’m doing. I’m looking to see if they can prove their case. That’s why someone wants to get the best DUI lawyer they can get to challenge these things. If you don’t challenge it, you can’t win.
The Right Attorney Is Proactive in Uncovering Facts to Benefit Your DUI Case
If you don’t have a great DUI lawyer investigate the case and do what needs to be done to try and win, you have no chance of winning. That’s an example of one case where good investigation and a very solid cross-examination of an officer and presenting the case to the court resulted in my client winning his case. That’s what we hope can happen in a case when we take it on. Now, most cases, that’s not how they come out. DUI cases are tough to win. But again, you don’t have a chance to win unless you try.
Many Times, the Right Attorney Can Have the DUI Charge Reduced to a Lesser Offense
A lot of times, the results of the case can be a reduced charge in many counties. We spoke about that not being an option in Marin County. But in that county, we can facilitate a delay in the penalty being enforced, allowing a client to work to establish whatever they need to do and to prepare for a potential suspension of the license.
There’s no county in the San Francisco Bay area where someone is going to be required to do actual jail time on a DUI case unless, and this something that people often fear, unless they have some type of prior record, which makes them ineligible to do sheriff’s work program.
The Right Attorney Can Work to Mitigate the Penalties Associated with a DUI
In those cases, we try and negotiate something different. But everybody worries about whether they’re going to go to jail on a first offense DUI. If there’s no accidents, no injuries, there are very few things that can result in someone actually going to jail, especially with good representation.
Certain Prior Criminal Convictions Can Result in a Jail Sentence Being Imposed for a DUI Conviction
Interviewer: What kind of criminal record can affect the chances of someone receiving a jail sentence for a DUI?
Aaron: Yes, I’m talking about criminal record. An example would be if someone has a stay away order. A lot of counties will not let them do the sheriff’s work program because they have a stay away order against somebody. For example, in San Francisco, the policy is if someone has a stay away order from another person, they cannot do the sheriff’s work program. They can’t be controlled as to where they go or if they have contact with this individual when they’re supposed to be working in a certain place. It’s ridiculous but it’s their policy.
Violent Felony Convictions Would Disqualify a Person from the Sheriff’s Work Program, Leaving a Jail Term as the Penalty That Is Imposed
Other things would be if someone has a prior violent history. This could include some type of felony violence or domestic violence or felony assaultive charges. Those will often prevent someone form qualifying for the sheriff’s work program.
The sheriff’s do not want people who have violent tendencies to be on work crews picking up trash with people who don’t have violent tendencies or histories.
Drivers Who Reside Out of the Area Are Advised to Retain an Attorney That Practices in the Area in Which They Received the DUI
Interviewer: Are there any white collar clients you represent from the Sonoma County area?
Aaron: Yes. There are white collar clients everywhere. I’ve had many cases where people come in from out of town and they go to the wine country, whether it is in Sonoma or Napa County. They get pulled over and become involved in a DUI investigation and hopefully it doesn’t involve an injury, accident situation. And in most cases, it does not. Then they go back home and they need a lawyer and one of the nice things about contacting me is that I can usually take care of everything for them so that they never have to come out here and deal with it.
I’m usually able to deal with the whole thing without them ever having to take a trip back to California. This benefits out of state clients because people don’t have the time or the money to make a return trip here.
I can help them with the DMV part of the charge and I can help them with the criminal court. Someone may not have to go to, in most cases, will not have to go to court to deal with this. Now, in certain cases that are more serious, that involve accidents and injuries, I may need my client to come back to court to deal with it, especially if a felony is charged.
By Aaron Bortel
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