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The Biggest Mistakes People Make After Being Arrested for a DUI in Placer County

Mistake 1-Not taking the matter seriously
This is a charge that will follow you for the rest of your life, if you are convicted. Being charged with DUI is serious. Not only will you be criminally prosecuted, you also risk losing your driver’s license automatically for failing to request your hearing in time. Further, you could be facing probation, jail, and fines in the thousands. The additional insurance charges alone could cost you thousands of dollars every year.

Mistake 2-Assuming you will lose the case
Many people charged with DUI believe that they have no chance of winning. Maybe they failed a breath test. Perhaps they think no one will believe they were innocent because there was an open container of alcohol in the car. The truth is that the case against you may not be as solid as you think.

For example, did you know there are many factors that can affect the accuracy of a breath test? Scientific testing has shown that work conditions (such as volatile-chemical exposure), extensive dental work, Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disorder (G.E.R.D.), air-bag deployment, and even a simple fever can yield a “false high” breath-test result. Additionally, breath tests must be performed under strict guidelines. Failure to fully comply with those guidelines renders the results questionable at best. In other words, breath tests may be thrown out of Court or explained away.

Mistake 3-Not hiring a DUI attorney
DUI law is not a simple criminal case. It involves civil law, criminal law, administrative law, traffic law, and criminal procedure. You are facing potential jail time and thousands of dollars in fines, Court costs. Without a knowledgeable, experienced DUI lawyer on your side, your ultimate fate is predictable. You will lose!

Many cases are won or lost based upon a proper investigation. For example, is there a videotape, what is the officer's training, and is the breath test accurate? You must assert the right defenses at the right time or you will lose them. Facts will disappear, memories fade and witnesses vanish. A winnable case can quickly become a loser. Some beneficial jail video footage on security cameras may be 'recycled' and lost, unless efforts are made to obtain it immediately following arrest.

Mistake 4-Choosing an attorney based solely on cost
"The State of California has charged you with DUI. Our state has almost unlimited resources (attorneys, investigators, police, toxicologists.) to prosecute you. You need to hire an attorney and pay a fee which will allow him to put time and effort into your case to counter the prosecution. Attorneys must earn enough in the time they spend on your case in order to keep their doors open and make a living wage. If you go too low, your attorney will not be able to put in the time necessary to protect you. Like most things in life, you pretty much get what you pay for. Look for a reasonable, predictable fee, not the lowest. Don’t let money be an obstacle. Placer County DUI attorney Michael Phillips offers reasonable fees and accepts credit cards.

Mistake 5-Not asking the lawyer about his/her DUI experience
DUI cases involve complex laws and highly technical scientific evidence. You should ask how many DUI cases a lawyer handles per year. You should also ask for the science behind the evidence to be explained to you. Ask the lawyer what percentage of their practice is devoted to DUI defense? Like a doctor, would you want a ‘general practitioner’ or a specialist in the type of medical condition you have? Ask the attorney how they stay on top of cutting edge DUI defense? When was the last DUI seminar they attended ? Do they belong to The National College for DUI Defense and the California DUI Defenders?

Mistake 6-Not fighting the automatic suspension of your driver’s license
Under California law, you have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing and fight to save your driver’s license. Failure to ask for this hearing will result in the automatic suspension of your driver’s license.

Mistake 7-Driving while your license is suspended
Driving during any suspension is another crime which will result in your arrest and a separate prosecution. Additionally, your license will be suspended again if convicted of this crime.

Mistake 8-Negotiating a quick plea bargain so that you can “put this case behind you”
The first offer is not a bargain, it's just to get rid of your case with the least amount of work. Very few cases are dismissed or reduced to a non-alcohol charge at this stage. Accepting a plea, of any kind, is an admission of guilt and a complete waiver of your constitutional rights. It could lead to jail time and suspension of your license, which means you could lose your job, get behind on bills, and face thousands of dollars in State fees just so you can drive again. It could lead to probation, which means you will have to attend classes, perform community service, report monthly to a probation officer, and pay thousands of dollars in fines, Court costs. Probation is a serious disruption of your life. Worse still, if you are caught violating your probation (example: testing positive for alcohol or getting behind on your community service), your probation can be revoked and you could be sentenced to jail.

Mistake 9-Not arriving in Court on time
Placer County judges take their jobs seriously. They expect you to live up to every term and condition of your bail bond. If you fail to appear in Court on time, your bond can be forfeited, meaning you will lose the entire amount of the bond and will be jailed until a new bond is posted (more money spent) or until the time of your plea or trial.

Mistake 10-Talking to anyone but an experienced DUI lawyer about your case
Every case is different. Different facts involve different provisions of the law. Friends and family may have had a similar experience, but the DUI laws change so frequently and the penalties have increased so severely, the options available to you may be entirely different from those of others.

Mistake 11-Thinking that talking to numerous attorneys will help you handle it on your own
Like the commercial where the fellow has his doctor on the phone as he considers doing the operation himself. Likewise, you need to have an experienced DUI attorney to handle the case for you and fight a knowledgeable prosecutor in court. Often, the winning DUI client had one of the best lawyers in the business helping him or her. To act as your own attorney in DUI litigation is a mismatch, plain and simple. Much like reading a book or Internet site about successful abdominal surgery, you would not want to slice yourself open to try to cure your medical defect!

Please feel free to contact our office at 800.978.0186 or for answers to any questions you may have about DUI charges or arrests.