Can I still drive, or will I lose my license?
The answer changes based upon the specific facts of your case. Generally, you can drive for 45 days after your arrest. The suspension that comes after 46 days is called the Statutory Summary Suspension More information about the suspension and how to stop it is located HERE.
How much is your fee to represent me?
I need to know more about your case before I can tell you what I would charge you. Among the factors I consider when determining a fee for a DUI are whether this is your first offense or a second or subsequent one, and whether the charge is a misdemeanor or a felony. For a criminal case, the exact charge(s) and the facts surrounding your arrest are crucial in determining a fair and reasonable fee.
Once I review your case with you, either in person or over the phone, I will tell you how I believe your case will go, determine the amount of work I will have to do, and quote you my fee.
The initial consultation with me is free, and there is no obligation.
How many times do I have to go to court?
This depends on the type of case and how you plead. Generally, a case that goes to trial requires two court appearances. A DUI case generally requires three. Felony cases require two to five court appearances. More appearances may be required if certain motions are filed. More information about how long a case takes to finish is located HERE.
Will a DUI show on my driving record?
There are two type of driving record abstracts: a court-purpose abstract, which is generally used only by the court for a more comprehensive review of your driving history, and a non-court-purpose abstract, which is generally seen by vehicle insurance companies and employers.
A DUI supervision will not appear on your public driving record, but will appear on the court’s record, whereas a conviction will appear on both.
However, if you win all parts of your case, it is still possible for someone to learn that you received a DUI by reviewing the court clerk’s records. These records can be expunged.
Is there a video of my arrest?
Most police departments now use cameras to record arrests, beginning from about one minute before the officer turns on the oscillating lights to the time the officer places a person in handcuffs. The quality of the picture and the sound varies greatly from video to video. Most people who are arrested do not know whether they were recorded during the arrest (the police do not need to ask your permission to record you). As your attorney, I will obtain a copy of the video, and we will watch it together. I will point out important events during the video that may help or harm your case.
I prefer having a video, as videos tend to help clients. Police officers may exaggerate a person’s level of intoxication; video does not.
Will the court give me a free attorney (public defender)?
The court will consider appointing a public defender if you specifically request it and if you qualify financially. To qualify financially, you must prove your income is below poverty level and that you do not have any assets, such as real estate, vehicle(s), etc. Even if you do qualify, it is a big mistake to use a public defender, for the following reasons:
- In a DUI case, a public defender does not represent you on the Statutory Summary Suspension (license suspension). The Court considers the Statutory Summary Suspension as a civil case not a criminal case. The public defender is allowed to represent you only on the criminal case, and not on your pending license suspension. Half of your case remains unrepresented, and your license may be suspended for up to three years.
- You get what you pay (or don’t pay) for. Public defenders are overburdened with cases and do not have the time or interest to fight for you the way a private attorney does. Public defenders are generally inexperienced, and do not have the practical knowledge of an experienced private attorney. The jails are full of people who did not want to pay for an attorney.
- The court may order you to pay the public defender for the services you received once the case is over. So in the end, you may have to pay an attorney anyway, even though you were not fully represented in court. If there is a plea agreement, your fine will be higher and your punishment greater. Again, public defenders do not fight for client the way private attorneys do. Whether or not you choose me as your attorney, you do not want to be represented by a public defender.