DUI lawyer - need advice

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Michread
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DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by Michread » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:35 pm

My dc is up on dui/oui charges for a first offense. A tree was hit with no injury to anyone. Is it worth it to spend more money on a more expensive lawyer or is this standard fees and terms from a judge that a less expensive lawyer can handle?

Lawyer 1: $2000 fee upfront
Lawyer 2: $6000 fee upfront
Last edited by Michread on Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tj218
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by tj218 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:48 pm

No personal experience with this, and expect a bunch of attacks here for engaging in a behavior that endangers others. Depending on the circumstances and jurisdiction I've know of others (friend of a friend's spouse) who were able to plea to a lesser offense. Lawyer up. It will cost you. But it will also cost for insurance (for a long time) anytime missed at work, etc.

Easiest way to avoid this is to not put yourself, or your loved ones in this situation.

abner kravitz
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by abner kravitz » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:51 pm

If whoever is paying has the means, get a good lawyer. It can't hurt.

pshonore
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by pshonore » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:53 pm

It depends on the state where you live. In a lot of cases where there are no injuries, it usually involves a hefty fine and perhaps attendance at a class. Expect a major hike in insurance premiums. Suspension of license is also a possibility.

barnaclebob
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by barnaclebob » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:56 pm

I have a family member in law enforcement. He says he sees an expensive literal stereotype super sleazy DWI lawyer who drives expensive Italian sports cars at the courthouse frequently and that if he ever needed had to have a lawyer for it, thats who he would probably call. Take that FWIW. Lawyers like that may be more valuable when the case goes to trial or for repeat offenses however. At the very least your lawyer will make sure the police and state have carried out the proper procedures and handling of evidence.

We all make mistakes and we all deserve to have proper legal representation if we make a mistake that requires it. I hope your child learns from this experience.

Edit: I'll confirm what the poster below me said about repeat offenses with my own anecdote. The only person I know who has gotten a DWI who didn't kill themselves or others in the process got a second. She is now a wonderful mother from what I can tell so not all hope is lost.
Last edited by barnaclebob on Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Rupert
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by Rupert » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:59 pm

Absolutely get a lawyer. Even if this, a first offense, is regarded as relatively minor, the next one won't be. Depending on your state, the second or third DUI will be a felony. (Before anyone even says it, every drunk driver always says "There will never be a second or third one." My experience as a criminal defense lawyer: There is often/usually a second or third DUI.). So best to get this one resolved, with the aid of a good lawyer, as favorably as possible. In other words, the aim should be to plead to something other than DUI. Whether or not this is possible will depend on the circumstances.

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kramer
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by kramer » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:09 pm

I don't know what or who a "dc" is?

With a DUI conviction, you will lose your right to visit Canada for 7 years, if that matters to you. They can check your record online at Canadian immigration.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:13 pm

Lawyer up. In my area DUI is often pled down to a parking violation and a fine. I don't like it and am working to change it, but that's the situation now.

neilpilot
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by neilpilot » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:17 pm

If the OP's DC holds a pilot certificate, be sure to report the charge to the FAA irrespective of the outcome. Failure to report can result in certificate suspension, whereas a first offense after a proper report is often a non issue.

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mrc
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by mrc » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:18 pm

Get DC a lawyer, this isn't something you want to go alone. But it's not a Hollywood divorce -- no need to go overboard. Find out the local jurisdiction's "treatment" programs (talk therapy) the courts use and enroll NOW. Be prepared for a mandatory breathalyzer ignition interlock. Hope for a PBJ (not a sandwich: probation before judgement). Don't drink and drive again. All in this is a $10K mistake without the collision. Good luck.
A great challenge of life: Knowing enough to think you're doing it right, but not enough to know you're doing it wrong. — Neil deGrasse Tyson

Buysider
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by Buysider » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:24 pm

As an aside, I had to contest a moving violation and sit through 20 traffic cases before mine (I was representing myself). It was interesting to see about 7 DUIs (all first time). I didn't see any variation in sentence between defendants with attorneys and those without. I left wondering the benefit of having a lawyer, when it appears the judge's variability in sentencing first time offenders was minimal. Only exception I saw was some accommodations for different work/childcare issues. I know this varies by state, but it might make sense to have DC sit through a traffic court session before attending their session.

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dodecahedron
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by dodecahedron » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:28 pm

I assume "dc" is "dear child." I would be far more concerned about what you can do to prevent a potentially far more serious future incident than worrying about hiring a lawyer. Perhaps allowing dc to face the "natural consequences" of dealing with their offence on their own is a good idea. At the very least, I would insist that dc reimburse you for any money advanced by you for a lawyer as well as any additional insurance costs due to this incident.

dowse
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by dowse » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:33 pm

No direct experience, but a relative had a similar one with one of his kids. There was a temptation on his part to let the kid take his lumps as a life lesson. The pricey lawyer he was talking to told him that what he tells families is that while that may be understandable, it's better to try and handle it as a family matter rather than letting a judge do it for you. Of course, that amounts to a sales pitch for his services, but he makes a good point.

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dm200
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by dm200 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:38 pm

Michread wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:35 pm
My dc is up on dui/oui charges for a first offense. A tree was hit with no injury to anyone. Is it worth it to spend more money on a more expensive lawyer or is this standard fees and terms from a judge?
An attorney for this will not be cheap. I would save the money. Facing the music from a judge could be a valuable learning experience.

DomDangelina
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by DomDangelina » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:43 pm

Michread wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:35 pm
My dc is up on dui/oui charges for a first offense. A tree was hit with no injury to anyone. Is it worth it to spend more money on a more expensive lawyer or is this standard fees and terms from a judge that a less expensive lawyer can handle?

Lawyer 1: $2000 fee upfront
Lawyer 2: $6000 fee upfront
No need for the expensive lawyer on a first offense (and as long as the defendant sufficiently grovels in front of the judge, it's likely that no lawyer at all will be needed). As a lawyer who didn't handle DUI cases, I was nevertheless in the courtroom many times on other matters and witnessed first offense DUI proceedings. There'll be some pro forma hand slapping from the judge and then the standard fines, probation, and classes will be levied.

Attorney advertising has propagandized us into thinking in an opposite manner than my words convey; kindly report back afterwards and confirm the accuracy of my prediction.
Last edited by DomDangelina on Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"Often the remedy causes the disease. It is by no means the least of life's rules: to let things alone." | Baltasar Gracián, S.J., The Art of Worldly Wisdom, Maxim 121

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mrc
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by mrc » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:45 pm

dm200 wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:38 pm
An attorney for this will not be cheap. I would save the money. Facing the music from a judge could be a valuable learning experience.
DC must face the music for sure. But ... depending on the jurisdiction and BAC, the results without an attorney could be much much worse. This isn't really traffic court!

$2K is a bargain. Face the music so the $6K lawyer is never necessary.
A great challenge of life: Knowing enough to think you're doing it right, but not enough to know you're doing it wrong. — Neil deGrasse Tyson

hicabob
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by hicabob » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:48 pm

A relative of mine had a similar first time no-injury DUI a few years ago but no crashing into a tree. I was talking about the situation with a friend who is also one of the local DA's and he said if it's cut and dry and the miscreant is pleading guilty and they can conduct themselves properly in the courtroom and are properly contrite the lawyer would probably be superfluous. He said they use DUI's to train the new DA's.

MNGopher
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by MNGopher » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:53 pm

If it's a very clear cut case, you could save the 4-5K a lawyer would charge, and just plead guilty. In some states the suspended license time is less if you plead guilty on a first offence.

On the other hand if there is a chance to get it dismissed or reduced to careless driving, then it is worth the money to get the lawyer, if you can avoid having a dui on your record (could affect future or present employment). If the BAC was very close to the legal limit, say .085 or so, prosecution may agree to a reduced charge because a lawyer can argue it is within the margin of error of the BAC testing method.

The most important thing is not to have another offense, especially in the next 10 years (preferably never). Long driving suspensions and increased jail time are a sure thing with a second offense.

sschoe2
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by sschoe2 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:55 pm

First let me say I hate drunk drivers. I am an avid bicyclist and a lot of cyclists have been maimed and killed by drunk drivers.

I believe I heard on TV [and it is widely advertised to discourage DUI especially in this age where Uber/Lyft/Taxi are a click away] that the average DUI winds up costing roughly $10k in legal fees and increased insurance premiums.

michaeljc70
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by michaeljc70 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:55 pm

I'd be more concerned about experience/outcomes than what they are charging. Assuming the one charging 3x as much as the cheaper one is 3x better is silly.
Last edited by michaeljc70 on Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DomDangelina
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by DomDangelina » Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:01 pm

hicabob wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:48 pm
A relative of mine had a similar first time no-injury DUI a few years ago but no crashing into a tree. I was talking about the situation with a friend who is also one of the local DA's and he said if it's cut and dry and the miscreant is pleading guilty and they can conduct themselves properly in the courtroom and are properly contrite the lawyer would probably be superfluous. He said they use DUI's to train the new DA's.
Precisely. I witnessed this many times.

Oh, and OP, make sure the defendant doesn't appear in the courtroom as if he/she has just rolled out of bed. I was repeatedly astonished in the courtroom to see defendants appearing this way, literally wearing pajama bottoms, t-shirts, and showing off their pitiful tattoo collection.
"Often the remedy causes the disease. It is by no means the least of life's rules: to let things alone." | Baltasar Gracián, S.J., The Art of Worldly Wisdom, Maxim 121

DomDangelina
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by DomDangelina » Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:03 pm

MNGopher wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:53 pm

The most important thing is not to have another offense, especially in the next 10 years (preferably never). Long driving suspensions and increased jail time are a sure thing with a second offense.
Exactly.
"Often the remedy causes the disease. It is by no means the least of life's rules: to let things alone." | Baltasar Gracián, S.J., The Art of Worldly Wisdom, Maxim 121

MNGopher
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by MNGopher » Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:05 pm

Also, whether you get a lawyer or not, the offender, should voluntarily get a chemical use assessment, and start whatever counseling/classes/treatment is standard for first time offenders in your state. Do this before sentencing, it will look good in the eyes of the court, and they are going to sentence you to do it anyway.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:06 pm

The most important thing is not to have another offense, especially in the next 10 years (preferably never). Long driving suspensions and increased jail time are a sure thing with a second offense.
Sadly, they are not. Even with a third or fourth offense.

This is very dependent on the jurisdiction. What happens in one area won't in another, and a local lawyer that works DUI cases knows more about the possible outcomes in your area than we do. The stakes are high enough that I would hire a lawyer now and spend some time learning about the law and local customs along the way.

Doom&Gloom
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:32 pm

Lawyer.

Have dc bear as much of the expenses involved as possible--even if it means he/she paying you back later or being without a vehicle for a while.

sneakyturtlesss
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by sneakyturtlesss » Fri Aug 18, 2017 3:00 pm

Law tends to be one of those things where you do get what you pay for. I personally think you've gotten some terrible advice already in this thread by people who seem to think that a lawyer isn't even necessary. Without an advocate all you can do is hope for a good outcome, not actively work towards one. If it was me, I'd hire the expensive lawyer.

TSR
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by TSR » Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:39 pm

I am a lawyer and occasionally do DUI cases (although not on a "for profit" basis). I don't mean the following as legal advice so much as "meta" legal advice: advice about getting advice. In other words, take it all with a grain of salt, reevaluate based on state law and local norms, etc.

Your goal for DC is to get the prosecutor to plead it down to a reckless driving or other lesser charge. Where I am, this is usually very possible for a first-time defendant and a "straight" DUI -- i.e., just a stop, no accident. I have seen it for a low-damage accident involving no other cars like this one, but it's harder to get. An otherwise clean driving record, a relatively low BAC, and a contrite defendant definitely help. There may be other things that an aggressive lawyer could do (like suppressing the breath test), but that can be pretty tough when someone drives into a tree.

My point in stating the above is twofold: (1) DC does need a lawyer to try to negotiate all of this with the prosecutor, but (2) I don't know that spending more money is necessarily going to get you better results. This is, of course, the big problem with the "market" for lawyers: it's hard to know who is good and who is bad, and cost is unlikely to help you answer that question. If DC is in a town where you know a lawyer who might give good recommendations on a DUI lawyer, I'd go with whoever they recommend (I have a go-to recommendation where I am who is fantastic). I would also think you could negotiate with a lawyer. What you really need is someone who knows the prosecutors to go in and take their temperature. If the prosecutor is willing to plead down from the outset, you don't need to be spending more money. If they're not, then you need someone who will help you evaluate whether it's worth it to get more aggressive in the litigation. There are some cases where you just plead to the DUI and take your lumps. The safest course of action is probably the expensive lawyer, but again, you can never be sure that you're getting what you paid for.

If you would like to DM me with some more details, I'd be happy to get a little more specific about what kind of representation you might be looking for.

JBTX
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by JBTX » Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:40 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:17 pm
If the OP's DC holds a pilot certificate, be sure to report the charge to the FAA irrespective of the outcome. Failure to report can result in certificate suspension, whereas a first offense after a proper report is often a non issue.
I actually know a case where the failure to report was leading to deportation for a non citizen legal resident years ago. I'm not sure how it turned out. He was in jail awaiting decision at the time. He had the unfortunate luck to be from Algeria and be an instructor at s pilot school that catered to foreign born clients. Not a good combination post 9/11. His failure to report was from 15 years before that.

JBTX
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by JBTX » Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:44 pm

TSR wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:39 pm
I am a lawyer and occasionally do DUI cases (although not on a "for profit" basis). I don't mean the following as legal advice so much as "meta" legal advice: advice about getting advice. In other words, take it all with a grain of salt, reevaluate based on state law and local norms, etc.

Your goal for DC is to get the prosecutor to plead it down to a reckless driving or other lesser charge. Where I am, this is usually very possible for a first-time defendant and a "straight" DUI -- i.e., just a stop, no accident. I have seen it for a low-damage accident involving no other cars like this one, but it's harder to get. An otherwise clean driving record, a relatively low BAC, and a contrite defendant definitely help. There may be other things that an aggressive lawyer could do (like suppressing the breath test), but that can be pretty tough when someone drives into a tree.

My point in stating the above is twofold: (1) DC does need a lawyer to try to negotiate all of this with the prosecutor, but (2) I don't know that spending more money is necessarily going to get you better results. This is, of course, the big problem with the "market" for lawyers: it's hard to know who is good and who is bad, and cost is unlikely to help you answer that question. If DC is in a town where you know a lawyer who might give good recommendations on a DUI lawyer, I'd go with whoever they recommend (I have a go-to recommendation where I am who is fantastic). I would also think you could negotiate with a lawyer. What you really need is someone who knows the prosecutors to go in and take their temperature. If the prosecutor is willing to plead down from the outset, you don't need to be spending more money. If they're not, then you need someone who will help you evaluate whether it's worth it to get more aggressive in the litigation. There are some cases where you just plead to the DUI and take your lumps. The safest course of action is probably the expensive lawyer, but again, you can never be sure that you're getting what you paid for.

If you would like to DM me with some more details, I'd be happy to get a little more specific about what kind of representation you might be looking for.
Unfortunately I speak from experience but it's been decades. Agree they will try to plea. Depending on where you are that may be tough unless you are willing to go to trial. They will offer no jail time. If you go to trial you are rolling the dice in terms of jail time.

Definitely get a lawyer. Whether the more expensive is better it depends. If you think you want to take it to trial then maybe. It is something he will wrestle with on job applications for the rest of his work life.

MidMNtom
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by MidMNtom » Fri Aug 18, 2017 6:15 pm

DomDangelina wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:43 pm
Michread wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:35 pm
My dc is up on dui/oui charges for a first offense. A tree was hit with no injury to anyone. Is it worth it to spend more money on a more expensive lawyer or is this standard fees and terms from a judge that a less expensive lawyer can handle?

Lawyer 1: $2000 fee upfront
Lawyer 2: $6000 fee upfront
No need for the expensive lawyer on a first offense (and as long as the defendant sufficiently grovels in front of the judge, it's likely that no lawyer at all will be needed). As a lawyer who didn't handle DUI cases, I was nevertheless in the courtroom many times on other matters and witnessed first offense DUI proceedings. There'll be some pro forma hand slapping from the judge and then the standard fines, probation, and classes will be levied.

Attorney advertising has propagandized us into thinking in an opposite manner than my words convey; kindly report back afterwards and confirm the accuracy of my prediction.

+1. It depends on the jurisdiction, but most times there is minimal a first time offender can negotiate. I was in the legal industry for 30+ years and worked with many defense attorneys. Most of them told me this themselves. If this is an aggrevated charge, or multiple charges involved, then that is different. In the end, dont let it ever happen again.....Please!

toofache32
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by toofache32 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:06 pm

sschoe2 wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:55 pm
First let me say I hate drunk drivers. I am an avid bicyclist and a lot of cyclists have been maimed and killed by drunk drivers.
I was thinking the same thing. This thread is kinda like those radio ads to get people out of their IRS bills...those who follow the rules should be angry. I wonder how long this thread will stay alive given the bogle rules.

I was trying to figure out what a DC is also. If it's a child, how old is the "child?" I think advice would differ if they were age 16 vs 25.
Last edited by toofache32 on Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

JBTX
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by JBTX » Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:27 pm

Years ago I sat on jury duty for felony DUI which is 3rd offense. DA seemed very good. Young likeable and polished. The defense guy was some NE scruffy semi obnoxious older guy who had billboards and even appeared on AM RADIO show.

Amazingly in a jury pool of a 24 or more they were able to reject enough people to throw us all out. What some defense lawyers will do is play the long game and every day you can string it out is another opportunity for a plea. From that respect the defense lawyer won the day. No idea if it went to trial or what happened to the defendent.

In my case 20+ years ago I paid about $2500 so if you can afford the $6000 guy he may be worth it. Interview both and ask questions. You usually get free consultation.

In some cases it is pretty easy to at least get your license fully reinstated until the trial and the attorney can help with that hearing at the drivers license office hearing.

Doom&Gloom
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:28 pm

toofache32 wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:06 pm
sschoe2 wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:55 pm
First let me say I hate drunk drivers. I am an avid bicyclist and a lot of cyclists have been maimed and killed by drunk drivers.
I was thinking the same thing. This thread is kinda like those radio ads to get people out of their IRS bills...those who follow the rules should be angry.

I was trying to figure out what a DC is also. If it's a child, how old is the "child?" I think advice would differ if they were age 16 vs 25.
It is quite possible to be anti-drunk-driving while at the same time wanting to ensure that your child's (if that is a dc) rights are ensured. I don't recall seeing a single post in this thread advocating letting dc (whatever that is) avoid responsibility for his/her actions.

toofache32
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by toofache32 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:31 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:28 pm
toofache32 wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:06 pm
sschoe2 wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:55 pm
First let me say I hate drunk drivers. I am an avid bicyclist and a lot of cyclists have been maimed and killed by drunk drivers.
I was thinking the same thing. This thread is kinda like those radio ads to get people out of their IRS bills...those who follow the rules should be angry.

I was trying to figure out what a DC is also. If it's a child, how old is the "child?" I think advice would differ if they were age 16 vs 25.
It is quite possible to be anti-drunk-driving while at the same time wanting to ensure that your child's (if that is a dc) rights are ensured. I don't recall seeing a single post in this thread advocating letting dc (whatever that is) avoid responsibility for his/her actions.
That's usually the purpose of hiring an attorney in these situations.

Doom&Gloom
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:53 pm

toofache32 wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:31 pm
Doom&Gloom wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:28 pm
toofache32 wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:06 pm
sschoe2 wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:55 pm
First let me say I hate drunk drivers. I am an avid bicyclist and a lot of cyclists have been maimed and killed by drunk drivers.
I was thinking the same thing. This thread is kinda like those radio ads to get people out of their IRS bills...those who follow the rules should be angry.

I was trying to figure out what a DC is also. If it's a child, how old is the "child?" I think advice would differ if they were age 16 vs 25.
It is quite possible to be anti-drunk-driving while at the same time wanting to ensure that your child's (if that is a dc) rights are ensured. I don't recall seeing a single post in this thread advocating letting dc (whatever that is) avoid responsibility for his/her actions.
That's usually the purpose of hiring an attorney in these situations.
At this point we agree to disagree.

bovineplane
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by bovineplane » Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:48 pm

Two years ago had similar situation with my BIL. Involved single vehicle accident, urinating on a resturaunt at 2am which was caught on camera, drinking from the toilet while in the holding cell caught on camera. Wife and I helped him out by hiring attorney, not to avoid the DUI but to ensure he had representation. Talked to a couple of attorneys and friends (police officers) and the general advice was to hire a local guy who had been around for a bit. We paid a $2k fee which covered all costs up to plea. We made very clear to BIL if he chose to go to trial he was on his own for attorney. During interviews with attorneys fees ranged from 1500-10k but also included different levels of coverage from simple guilty plea to trial.

For the price difference I would recommend asking what the fee includes. I would guess the 2k fee is coverage to plea and assumes either guilty on DUI or lesser charge. The 6k fee may include a bit more expected stuff - delays, waiting for blood testing which can take time from state labs, interim license while waiting trial, etc.

In the end with being his first offense he went to a treatment program, had a temp license which allowed him to drive to work and such but was limited, paid some fees. Pretty standard first offense. The attorney told us exactly what would happen before he ever started work to include the punishments and he was 100% correct. He was not a 'DUI attorney' and had no billboards. Just a local guy who hustled for a living and worked in a one lawyer shop. He was born and raised in the area, went to college including law school in the area and knew most everyone in town.

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ClevrChico
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by ClevrChico » Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:59 pm

I had a colleague get convicted. One smart thing he did was carpool and not reinstate his license until an SR-22 was not needed. That saved a bundle of cash.

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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by iamlucky13 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:44 pm

Please be careful using acronyms. What seems common to you very often isn't, or may have other, even more common meanings (eg - "my District Court has me up on DUI charges")
DomDangelina wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:43 pm
Michread wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:35 pm
My dc is up on dui/oui charges for a first offense. A tree was hit with no injury to anyone.
No need for the expensive lawyer on a first offense (and as long as the defendant sufficiently grovels in front of the judge, it's likely that no lawyer at all will be needed). As a lawyer who didn't handle DUI cases, I was nevertheless in the courtroom many times on other matters and witnessed first offense DUI proceedings. There'll be some pro forma hand slapping from the judge and then the standard fines, probation, and classes will be levied.
No lawyer, potentially even if it's not a first offense? Are you really so certain? I'm not used to attorney's giving such straightforward dismissive advice about anything based on 2 very short sentences describing the situation (didn't even say if the owner of the tree had indicated if they intended to do anything), especially not criminal matters. Thinking about this statistically, I could very well imagine you observing dozens of cases, even in multiple jurisdictions, and still missing a small percentage of plea bargains that perhaps go badly, or never seeing how they're handled a couple states away.

Given the range of potential consequences, I'm inclined to think a lawyer would be prudent, even if intending to plead guilty and take your raps.

Unlike those who believe anybody who hires a lawyer for an actual offense is a lowlife with no regrets, had I ever driven under the influence, I'd want to at least have some guidance managing the consequences to ensure I could get back on my feet.

At the same time though, if it were my kid, I would not want one of the radio lawyers who pooh-pooh's DUI's, because he better darn well come through the experience thankful for the opportunity to amend his life and horrified at his bad decision.

westcoast
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by westcoast » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:58 pm

It depends on the state you are in. In my great state of Oregon first offense is diversion which any attorney can handle. So take option one. Any second offense spend the money for option two.

TIAX
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by TIAX » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:10 pm

dm200 wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:38 pm
Michread wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:35 pm
My dc is up on dui/oui charges for a first offense. A tree was hit with no injury to anyone. Is it worth it to spend more money on a more expensive lawyer or is this standard fees and terms from a judge?
An attorney for this will not be cheap. I would save the money. Facing the music from a judge could be a valuable learning experience.
The worst advice in the thread. Please ignore.

Doom&Gloom
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:19 pm

TIAX wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:10 pm
dm200 wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:38 pm
Michread wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:35 pm
My dc is up on dui/oui charges for a first offense. A tree was hit with no injury to anyone. Is it worth it to spend more money on a more expensive lawyer or is this standard fees and terms from a judge?
An attorney for this will not be cheap. I would save the money. Facing the music from a judge could be a valuable learning experience.
The worst advice in the thread. Please ignore.
+1

JBTX
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by JBTX » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:25 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:44 pm
Please be careful using acronyms. What seems common to you very often isn't, or may have other, even more common meanings (eg - "my District Court has me up on DUI charges")
DomDangelina wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:43 pm
Michread wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:35 pm
My dc is up on dui/oui charges for a first offense. A tree was hit with no injury to anyone.
No need for the expensive lawyer on a first offense (and as long as the defendant sufficiently grovels in front of the judge, it's likely that no lawyer at all will be needed). As a lawyer who didn't handle DUI cases, I was nevertheless in the courtroom many times on other matters and witnessed first offense DUI proceedings. There'll be some pro forma hand slapping from the judge and then the standard fines, probation, and classes will be levied.
No lawyer, potentially even if it's not a first offense? Are you really so certain? I'm not used to attorney's giving such straightforward dismissive advice about anything based on 2 very short sentences describing the situation (didn't even say if the owner of the tree had indicated if they intended to do anything), especially not criminal matters. Thinking about this statistically, I could very well imagine you observing dozens of cases, even in multiple jurisdictions, and still missing a small percentage of plea bargains that perhaps go badly, or never seeing how they're handled a couple states away.

Given the range of potential consequences, I'm inclined to think a lawyer would be prudent, even if intending to plead guilty and take your raps.

Unlike those who believe anybody who hires a lawyer for an actual offense is a lowlife with no regrets, had I ever driven under the influence, I'd want to at least have some guidance managing the consequences to ensure I could get back on my feet.

At the same time though, if it were my kid, I would not want one of the radio lawyers who pooh-pooh's DUI's, because he better darn well come through the experience thankful for the opportunity to amend his life and horrified at his bad decision.
I think he meant no need for expensive lawyer. The OP gave two choices - cheaper lawyer and more expensive lawyer.

denovo
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by denovo » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:32 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:19 pm
TIAX wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:10 pm
dm200 wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:38 pm
Michread wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:35 pm
My dc is up on dui/oui charges for a first offense. A tree was hit with no injury to anyone. Is it worth it to spend more money on a more expensive lawyer or is this standard fees and terms from a judge?
An attorney for this will not be cheap. I would save the money. Facing the music from a judge could be a valuable learning experience.
The worst advice in the thread. Please ignore.
+1
I am not taking any side on this, and I won't generalize on this, but this could be a classic CATCH-22, and I certainly understand what dm200 is saying re face the music.

1. OP gets a lawyer for DC, and since this is a first time, child gets off with minimal consequence and parent footing the bill, hasn't internalized the severity of what he or she did, and sets themselves up for repeat dangerous behavior.

2. OP doesn't get lawyer so DC understands severity of what he did and gets some well-deserved punishment, but opens up himself up to adverse personal/financial/career issues.


It's not an easy decision. Maybe I shouldn't read much into it, but OP saying "no injuries" could be interpreted as a rationalization or defense of what child did.

DomDangelina
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Location: California refugee

Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by DomDangelina » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:41 pm

Hiring a lawyer for 1) a first offense DUI 2) where the only damage was a hit tree will be, financially speaking, a waste of money. However, psychologically speaking, it may be worth it if the defendant needs this crutch. But make no mistake about it: in terms of the outcome of the case, and in spite of all attorney advertising propaganda to the contrary, it'll be a complete, total, absolute waste of money.
"Often the remedy causes the disease. It is by no means the least of life's rules: to let things alone." | Baltasar Gracián, S.J., The Art of Worldly Wisdom, Maxim 121

aqan
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by aqan » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:02 am

kramer wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:09 pm
I don't know what or who a "dc" is?
Dear Child.

glad i was able to contribute something :)

aqan
Posts: 272
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by aqan » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:14 am

Michread wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:35 pm
My dc is up on dui/oui charges for a first offense. A tree was hit with no injury to anyone. Is it worth it to spend more money on a more expensive lawyer or is this standard fees and terms from a judge that a less expensive lawyer can handle?

Lawyer 1: $2000 fee upfront
Lawyer 2: $6000 fee upfront
Why not google their names and see if any reviews turn up? if your DC is making money they shouldn't worry about the fees, a favorable decision will pay off in due course. IMO the more you pay for your mistakes less likely you are to repeat them.

EddyB
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by EddyB » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:18 am

DomDangelina wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:41 pm
Hiring a lawyer for 1) a first offense DUI 2) where the only damage was a hit tree will be, financially speaking, a waste of money. However, psychologically speaking, it may be worth it if the defendant needs this crutch. But make no mistake about it: in terms of the outcome of the case, and in spite of all attorney advertising propaganda to the contrary, it'll be a complete, total, absolute waste of money.
From your earlier posts, I take it you're basing this on observed outcomes at trial, but doesn't that ignore instances where prosecution is dropped beforehand ? E.g., if the defense identifies police procedural errors, might that deter prosecution in the first place? Or is a plain DUI too small-time to merit pre-trial conference?
Last edited by EddyB on Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Pajamas
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by Pajamas » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:28 am

MNGopher wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:53 pm
If it's a very clear cut case, you could save the 4-5K a lawyer would charge, and just plead guilty. In some states the suspended license time is less if you plead guilty on a first offence.
This is exactly why you need a lawyer in a situation like this. A lawyer with experience handling DUIs can tell you what to expect and the best course of action. For instance, pleading nolo contendere may have some advantage over pleading guilty. The best course of action might depend on the judge. A lawyer might advise going to DUI class now. A DUI charge can have very serious consequences.

As far as whether to go for the cheap lawyer or the expensive one, I wouldn't choose based primarily on the price, but on experience with DUIs and reputation. The quoted prices may also be for different services. The actual time the lawyer will spend on a straightforward case may not be that great, but the quality of the advice is important.

Kae006
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by Kae006 » Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:20 am

When I was getting my criminal justice degree we were always told that DWI/DUI had the lowest conviction rate. After school I went into LE for 4 years and noticed the vast majority of people I dealt with that had such convictions were low income. It may be erroneous for me to correlate their income to their legal team's prowess but if it were myself I would be willing to pay more for a quality lawyer if it increased my odds of making the charge go away. Lawyers typically have free initial consultations, I would start by meeting with a couple and getting a feel for them before making your decision. I noticed a few others mention pleading guilty depending on the circumstances, that's something I would definitely advise against. You pay an attorney for a reason, what you see as a "clear cut" case, could look like swiss cheese to your lawyer. Regardless of the route you choose, good luck to you and your DC, hope it's a valuable (albeit expensive) lesson, they certainly aren't the first person to make a mistake.

tim1999
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Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

Post by tim1999 » Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:11 am

In my anecdotal experience, the only cases where a super expensive/highly reputable attorney could gain you any advantage are ones where it's questionable whether the attorney had probable cause to conduct the traffic stop, or there were serious errors in the way the police conducted the BAC testing back at the station. The former isn't true here since the OP's kid hit a tree, and the latter his highly unlikely.

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