As a DUI lawyer, I often get asked: “is there really anything you can do for me.” The question comes in different forms and variations like: “I drank and I drove, so is there really anything you can do for me?””My friend got a DUI and he got the same result with a lawyer that he would have got if he represented himself, so is there really anything you can do for me?”
The answer is, yes. You stand a much better chance of reaching a positive conclusion with my help than you do if you attempt to handle it yourself. In many cases, there are legal issues, constitutional violations, defenses and procedures that the average person is not aware of. My work has saved clients thousands of dollars in costs and prevented or minimized an incredible amount of jail time.
Below are a few examples of how an experienced attorney can help someone accused of DUI. It is important to remember that all cases are different and each case needs to be independently evaluated.
If an unrepresented person gets charged with a First Offense Extreme or Super Extreme DUI in the City of Tempe, the court will send the person in to negotiate with a prosecutor. The prosecutor will offer the accused person a plea agreement. What the accused person is not told is that the plea agreement offered is often a bad deal. Many plea agreements require the accused serve more jail time and pay more in costs than the person would get if the plead guilty directly to the judge. An unrepresented person is at a disadvantage because they do not know if a deal is good or bad. When should a person accept a plea agreement? When should a person reject the plea offer and plead directly to the court? An unrepresented person does not get to have these questions answered.
This lack of knowledge can result in the unrepresented person accepting a bad plea offer from the prosecutor and serving up to 31 extra days in jail and paying up to $1470 more in costs. An experienced DUI lawyer will be there to advise you and to make sure you get the best possible result.
After being arrested for a first offense DUI, a driver is informed by the arresting officer that she can have a hearing to challenge the suspension of her driver=s license. What the driver is not told is that it is not always in her best interest to request a hearing. She is not told that if she mishandles the license suspension process that she will be required to purchase and maintain SR-22 insurance. (High Risk Insurance) SR-22 insurance is a penalty that can cost the driver thousands of dollars. An experienced DUI lawyer knows how to navigate the system and how to avoid the SR-22 requirement.
A breath and/or blood test result can be challenged. Scientists attempt to test the same type of sample in a certain way so that they get accurate results. When it comes to testing for alcohol concentration level in humans, there is no such thing as “the same type of sample.” People come in different, heights, weights, and body compositions. People also have different drinking patterns, breathing patterns, body temperatures, and stress levels. Physiology and metabolism can vary greatly. Because people are different, scientists are forced to make assumptions in order to get any type of reportable result. An experienced attorney understands that results based upon assumptions are often inaccurate. Your actual makeup as a person needs to be compared with the assumptions built into the testing instrument and if appropriate, challenges should be made to question the accuracy of the reported test result.
Even if the differences between your makeup and the assumptions are not great enough to challenge the results by themselves, the instruments accuracy limitations need to be taken into account. The instruments are only able to provide a probability that a person’s alcohol concentration is within a certain range. What you are never told is that the actual alcohol concentration reported is simply the instruments best guess within the range. The instrument is only measuring a very small sample and then making its best guess. One scientist described just how small the BAC sample size is for a particular handheld instrument as follows: A dollar bill weighs a gram. Take a brand new bill, cut it into a hundred million bits and weigh three of the parts. That is the size of the BAC sample collected and tested.
An experienced attorney working with credible scientists will use the entire range of possibilities and require that the State prove your alcohol concentration level was actually above the legal limit. An experienced DUI lawyer can often challenge the breath and/or blood results and have a case dismissed or a plea offer reduced. Dismissed cases and reduced plea offers can and do save clients thousands of dollars and significant amounts of jail time.
How I Can Help You
Using my more than 24 years of experience, I will make a careful examination of the circumstances of your arrest, the police reports, the lab reports, to spot any legal or constitutional violations. I will find and expose the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case including problems with the alcohol test results. If you contact me soon enough, I will handle your license suspension case with the DMV and work to avoid the SR-22. Contact the Law Offices of Robert A. Butler PLLC for a free consultation about your DUI charges.