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

Should I Hire An Attorney For A First Time DUI Or Will The Courts Be Lenient With Me?

Just because it’s your first time doesn’t matter. Just because you have a perfect driving record doesn’t matter. If you’re 30, 40, 50 or 60 years old and never been in trouble before, never had a speeding ticket, the courts don’t care. At least half my clients have perfectly clean records, they’ve never been in trouble for anything. Maybe a ticket or 2 but they are not looking at that. Most of my clients have jobs and licenses and insurance and many of them own houses and companies and have professional licenses. Not only does the court not care but the DMV does not care. You need the best lawyer that you can get when you are trying to protect your constitutional rights.

The police have evidence against you. They make a lot of money off of this, they have statistics that they are concerned with and the cops and the judges and the prosecutors, they want to make sure that every person who has been arrested for DUI gets convicted of it. The system is stacked against you and that’s why you want to get a top DUI lawyer so that the system is now stacked against not just you but us. You have someone who cares about you, who fights for you, who goes the extra mile for you, who toes the line, who leans over the line but doesn’t cross it, someone who is respectable, someone who has a great reputation in the legal community and the community in general.

What Are The Things That An Attorney Should Candidly Discuss with Me About My Case?

When you first contact an attorney, you want to have researched their background by either talking to people who have referred them or looking at their reviews on AVVO or on their website. You want to ask them about their experience, you want to go over your case in detail and ask them what type of things they would be doing, what steps they would be taking to try to get you the results you’re looking for. Sometimes an attorney will tell you about similar cases within similar jurisdictions or counties. A lot of times they can’t tell you what your chances are that early because they are going to need to see the police report but you want to ask them what their game plan would be.

That can take a while for them to be able to answer. Even when you’re comfortable with it, you want to make sure that they are the ones that are going to show up in court for you, that they are the ones that are going to request the DMV hearing and set the hearing with a good administrative hearing officer or try and direct it to that type of hearing officer where they have had success in the past. The DMV hearing officer you have can mean the difference between winning and losing. A lot of the newer DMV hearing officers are not going to give you as strongly of an opportunity to win because the way they have been trained. They’re afraid. A lot of them are afraid to set aside suspensions, to give you a win at DMV, to not lose your licenses.

An experienced DUI lawyer is going to be able to direct the hearing to the right hearing officer and that will be the difference between winning and losing your DMV case or saving your licenses or preventing you from having 30 days no driving before you can get a restricted license. You want to ask the attorney about both the DMV and the court situation. Those are Important and obviously ask the attorney about their experience. You can ask them how many cases they handle, ask if they have someone else working on their cases or if they do them themselves. If there are a couple of attorneys in the office, 2 or three attorneys and it could be any of them that show up for court, that may not be what you want. It is important that the attorney that you first talk to does your entire case because they are going to know everything about the case from your initial consultation. If you talk to an attorney for an hour or 2 and they take a lot of notes, they are going to know your case better than anybody. So handing the file to someone else is a disadvantage in court.

Why Would I Need A Quality DUI Attorney As Opposed to a Cheaper Attorney?

You cannot win unless you fight. A good DUI lawyer will take your DUI case and if they feel like they have a motion to suppress, they will bring the motion to try to get the evidence knocked out. That means the officer did not have sufficient probable cause to pull you over and do a DUI investigation. Ask the attorneys who are charging in the low two thousands or less than two thousand, how many of their cases they do suppression hearing on and then ask them to show you evidence that they do those hearings. They don’t do them, we’ve never seen them doing suppression hearings. We see them pleading people guilty or no contest, same thing all the time. You need a lawyer who will fight. I have never seen anybody get evidence thrown out when they didn’t do the suppression motion.

You’ve got to do the motion to suppress the evidence if you want a chance to win the case, to have the evidence thrown out because everything that happened after that invalid stop goes out if it is an invalid stop. We don’t do a suppression motion in every case. Some are obviously frivolous and we don’t do that. When we have a fightable case, we may win with a suppression motion. We bring it. So that’s something to ask a low fee attorney about. Will they bring a suppression motion? How often do they bring a suppression motion? We fight them, if we don’t win and think, the judge made an incorrect decision, we will appeal it. We don’t stop fighting, you can’t win unless you fight. You need an attorney who can take the time to win your case and an attorney who only charges you a couple of thousand or less is not saying, ”I understand this case is important, it is going to take a lot of time, and I am going to fight.”

For more information on Hiring an Attorney for 1st Time DUI, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (415) 523-7878 today.

By Aaron Bortel

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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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