Understanding the Realities of a DUI Charge

You certainly didn’t want it to happen, but it’s happened – you’ve been charged with DUI, or driving under the influence. Chances are you have little grasp of DUI law, let alone the importance of having a skilled DUI attorney on your side. You probably know very little about even how to go about retaining a skilled attorney.

So we’re glad you’ve turned to Hutton & Wilson for information. Our knowledgeable, professional attorneys are committed to aggressively and effectively representing the client’s interests. Your interests. To protecting your rights to the fullest extent of the law. And to taking extraordinary steps to respect your confidentiality. At Hutton & Wilson, we already know what you will find out: that an experienced, knowledgeable DUI attorney can make a huge difference in the final outcome of your case.

How That Case Proceeds

When you ask Hutton & Wilson to protect your rights, one of the first things we’ll do is investigate the charges against you. The next step – provided you request it within 10 days from the time you receive notice of an action against your driving privileges – is to prepare for a DMV Administrative Per Se hearing. At this hearing, the Hearing Officer will inform you of the legal grounds for the action. He or she will also give you the opportunity to present your own evidence, witnesses and testimony. The Hearing Officer then makes a decision to uphold the DMV action, modify it, or even set it aside – the equivalent of a “not guilty” verdict.

Because of our experience with Admin Per Se hearings, Hutton & Wilson attorneys are often able to have DUI charges reduced – thus avoiding a trial completely and sometimes avoiding any DUI or drunk driving penalties altogether.. There are times, of course, when a trial is inevitable. Which is when we prepare for our ultimate goal – winning at trial.

Finding Your Attorney

Often, a person who is arrested for DUI does not know how to retain an effective attorney. Most people do not understand the area of law, the legal strategies, the consequences of a DUI charge, nor how to or defend the driver’s license suspension portion of the case.

The client’s predicament is usually made more difficult by the unsolicited letters received from various lawyers seeking employment. These letters, commonly called "jail mail", usually arrive several days after the client’s arrest and often further confuse and mislead the client as to what course of action to take. Most "jail mail" lawyers offer to represent a client at a nominal fee and lead the client to believe that they will receive some benefit from being represented by a "jail mail" attorney. In reality, lawyers who charge a nominal fee usually end up pleading the client guilty to the charge. So, the issue becomes, how does a prospective client separate the "ambulance chasers" from the few real lawyers?

A client should quickly take the necessary steps to be referred to a lawyer who will aggressively, confidentially and effectively represent the client’s interests. The best referral sources to aid in identifying quality attorneys are recommendations from other attorneys or from relatives or friends who have had similar experiences.

During the initial interview with the attorney, the client should make an effort to discover the attorney’s background and effectiveness in handling DUI cases. The following is a list of appropriate questions for the client to ask in an initial interview:

(1) How many DUI jury trials have you done in your career and over the last several years?

(2) Approximately how many have ended in acquittals or hung juries?

(3) How many DMV Administrative Per Se Hearings have you done in the past year?

(4) Approximately how many resulted in set asides? (the equivalent to a not guilty verdict in a criminal case).

(5) Are you affiliated with and participation in the National College for DUI Defense and/or California DUI Trial Lawyers Association? (These two organizations are devoted to the aggressive defense of DUI cases and any attorney who claims expertise in defending DUI cases should be an active member of one or both).

|  Home  |  DUI Law  |  Resources  |  Contact  |