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Some people want to be told their case will be dismissed. I’ve had people come in my office with a case that looked bad for them, but they don’t understand that their case is more about damage control; they blew a 0.30 BAC, but they want it all to be gone; they want the end result to be the equivalent of doing donuts in a parking lot. People like that have unreasonable expectations; they want the attorney to tell they’re going to file and win this.
That’s not my style; I tell people the best that can happen and the worst that can happen, as well. I also tell them what happens most often and tell them that I’m dealing with the case and how I plan to handle it. And let them decide if they want to hire me. Attorneys should be upfront about everything.
Therefore, you should ask an attorney how often they see a case like this, in this type of situation, and you should ask them the possible and probable outcomes, based on what they see. For example, if someone told me they had their first DUI, caused an accident and blew a 0.30 BAC, I would tell them that they would typically receive the minimum sentence for the first offense. But because of the accident and high BAC, it wouldn’t be surprising if they asked for more jail time than normal. The circumstances put them a little bit outside the norm.
Sometimes, we will see people who blow a 0.09 or 0.10 BAC, and it’s their first time DUI, and they only had a license plate out; they were nice, didn’t cause trouble or fight with anyone, no one’s hurt, and we will tell them they’re probably looking at the minimum here. Obviously, if there are any legal issues or there was something wrong with the machine, they could turn into a factual issue that could result in a suppression and perhaps a better outcome, such as a reduction to reckless driving or a dismissal.
Should I Hire an Attorney For a Second Offense If The First Offense Was Unsuccessfully Defended?
Whether that is a good idea depends on the charge; if you’re looking at felonies, then you’ll need someone to help negotiate a better plea. If they can or will allege your priors, you’ll be looking at an enhanced sentence. It will depend on what the first attorney did. You pay for experience and knowledge and hopefully they are good at their job and make an effort to improve your situation.
There are some situation in which an attorney does nothing avoid the mandatory minimums, which means they’ll have to take a DUI on their record. Then another attorney looks at the same case a year later and realizes that the first attorney should have told you something was unconstitutional and the whole case should have been dismissed.
You pay an attorney to make the effort to bring about the best outcome possible for you. Make sure you hire the best professional attorney you can; shop around and make sure they make an effort to work for you.
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