Archived Q&A and Reviews
Hi, I need a recommendation for a good attorney for my freind's DUI case in Berkeley, and/or East Bay. This is her first time. She was arrested last night and the court date isn't till August. I really appreciate any suggestions. annon
Your friend should be thankful that's all that happened and no-one was killed. Still, we all make mistakes. Consider giving Dan Pocklington a call (925) 295-1304 or www.pocklingtonlaw.com. I didnt use him for a DUI case, but it's one of his specialties and he does free consultations. Good luck. RDT
Regarding your friend's DUI, unless the officers who arrested her really screwed up, she's most likely not going to beat her case. She might consider asking for a public defender when she appears before the judge. A private attorney can't really do much for her only charge her a bunch of money to do the same that a public defender would do. But depending on how much your friend makes she may not qualify for one. The prosecutor will use you're friends DUI results from the breathlizer against her. If your friend has a .08 or above she will not be able to beat the rap. (She will have to pay a fine, pay for a DUI class (prices and the length of the classes vary depending on how high her blood alcohol level was.) She'll also loose her license for a good amount of time, but may be able to drive to and from work. If convicted or if she pleads no contest, the DUI will stay on her rC)cord for 10-years. And during that time, if she gets another DUI, her first DUI will count against her and her fines will double and so will the ammount of time she loses her license. Someone has seen how the system works.
I need a recommendation for an attorney for a DUI. anon
Craig Pinto in El Cerrito -- Good wishes
I got a DUI - and I'm guilty, no argument there. I have (I think) one from about 25 yrs ago so I'm not sure that will pop up and further complicate matters. I know that I have to go before the DMV and request a provisional license - I have kids and I need my car for work (I'm in the trades so taking public transport isn't an option), plus my spouse travels out of the country for business. I got pulled over at a checkpoint, blew above the limit and had my car impounded. To me, this seems pretty cut and dried: I'm guilty, I know I'll loose my (regular) license for at least 4 months and I'll have to do community service (and probably pay a hefty fine). I'm okay will all of this, I made a bad decision and I accept the consequences. So I'm wondering if I need an attorney...? I don't want to pay someone to basically do nothing. Anyone who has been in a similar situation please advise. Thanks. Dumbass
My partner got a DUI last year, and heres what he learned: 1. unless you have tons of other issues, or many DUI's , there isn't any point in getting a lawyer. 2. the best thing to do is just admit you were wrong in court and be extra nice and sorry about it, with every clerk you have to talk to. They will sometimes let some dates etc. slide a bit, it will help soften the blow. 3. just pay your dues (and they will be high!) and try to be humble. 4. your past DUI will bite you, but if you did all the classes and fees back then, it shouldn't be too bad. But be extra nice with all the officers, judge etc, and you will see a big difference in how you are treated in the long run. been there
My husband was given a DUI citation last year. This was marijuana, not alcohol, so it may not apply because there is no definitive test you can give for pot. They test your blood and it just shows whether you have smoked in the last month or so, so a positive actually tells you nothing. Unlike alcohol, where a positive breath test is sufficient evidence, with pot they have to show impairment. He had smoked that day, but not for several hours previously, and I, who was in the car with him, did not think there was anything wrong with his driving (he crossed the center line cutting corners on a windy mountain road, but only where he could see oncoming traffic, like everyone else on the road...).
But - no surprise here - they said he was impaired and failed the field test. So, it was going to be his word against the cop's. Gee, who was going to lose in that battle? He decided to fight it anyway. We paid a fair bit (3K) to an attorney who specializes in these cases and with her help got the DUI reduced to crossing the center line and driving too fast for conditions (since he was not going over the speed limit...). Both are moving violations but since it's the same incident, they treat it as one offense, so just one point on your record.
It was so worth it. A DUI was going to raise our insurance rates by a factor of three or so for 10 years (both of ours because now they use your spouse's driving record to set your rates), the fines and classes are more than we paid, my husband would be excluded from any number of jobs he might apply for, he would have to have a limited license (he too is a contractor), and have to spend a lot of time in classes. I did a lot of research into the expenses of having a DUI, and it's truly astronomical.
By fighting, we paid the $3K, but have somewhat higher rates (not nearly as high) for 3 years and no classes, and the fine was much smaller. It sounds like your case is more cut and dried, but still, you might want to consider a lawyer, just to get the charges reduced. FWIW, I had a boyfriend many years ago who also got a DUI (alcohol, blew WAY over the limit). He got a lawyer and went to court and got acquitted, so there you go - even when you're guilty as sin, you can still sometimes get off with a good lawyer. Just sayin'.... I'd say fight it
Don't get an attorney. It's a waste of money and you'll still have to pay the fine, do the community service, take the DUI classes, etc. It's just that if you add on the cost of an attorney, you'll blow a few MORE thousand dollars. And your old DUI doesn't matter because it's outside the time limit (believe it has to be within 7 years these days to make a difference).
The classes are actually a good idea for you, though, because (I hate to lecture) it's not about you accepting you got caught; it's more about the fact that you endangered your own life and others. THAT'S what's scary and very wrong here.
That said, no one should judge, because anyone who has had an alcoholic beverage and has driven and has not gotten a DUI has simply been LUCKY. It's not hard to blow .08. --Have some experience with this.
My spouse got a DUI years ago and we tried to fight it because it was clearly an illegal stop. We hired a lawyer paid him $5K (and that was 10 years ago) and it was a complete waste of money. He is a well know DUI lawyer but I thought he was one of the most disrespectful people I've ever come acrross. I also don't think the outcome would have been any different had we used no lawyer. If you are not even going to fight it I'm not sure it would be worth the money. Though maybe someone will have some advice about a decent lawyer out there. good luck
Yup, see if you can get an attorney. This is going to basically cost you a few grand, if not more with an attorney hired. You will likely be ordered to attend a class or two, possibly community service. Whatever you do, do not miss your community service--I think a niece of my friend got arrested when she showed up for her service and no one was there, so she went home, then they arrested her for being a no-show. So it's kind of like the army that way. Good luck! Know a few of those!
I have a friend who hangs out with a lot of hard partiers, and she once said that she didn't think that DUIs were that bad because everyone she knew had at least one on their record. I gave her a reality check and let her know that there is nobody in my life who has had a DUI, unless you count an old boyfriend who was in AA because he was an alcoholic. Your post concerned me because this has happened to you before. I don't have any legal advice for you, but I wanted to offer some support while you do some soul searching about why you drink and drive. I hope that you're talking to your spouse about this so that you're not so alone. If you call the local AA Central Office (510- 839-8900) they may be able to give you some advice. Many people who drink and drive have been through those doors, so there could be a lot of people who can help you with this. Good luck. anonymous, too
Please consult an attorney. Please! This is not a simple traffic ticket, This is a crime, and you would be a fool to go to court without counsel. What about this: ''If a person is convicted of a first violation of Section 23152, that person shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 96 hours, at least 48 hours of which shall be continuous, nor more than six months, and by a fine of not less than three hundred ninety dollars ($390), nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).'' That's Vehicle Code section 3536(a). Your attorney can make sure that all mitigating circumstances, including your very sincere expression of remorse and unquestioning admission of guilt, are taken into account. You should also know that the breath-testing machines are not infallible, and there are serious legal issues involved in certifying and verifying the proper functioning of a given device. I think I've stayed on the right side of not actually giving legal advice, but you really should get an attorney, and there are very reputable ones out there who specializa in DUI cases.
I am an attorney and handled a lot of DUIs in the past although I do not do those cases anymore and have not handled them in years. Please do not heed the advice that you can talk to the court clerks and they may let dates slide. That could result in the court issuing a warrant for your arrest.
DUIs are complicated cases. You should consult with the public defender's office in your county. You may qualify for free services and if you don't you may qualify to pay a partial fee. You also may be able to get a referral from them.
If I were in your shoes, I would obtain a copy of the police report in your case and have the case evaluated by a lawyer who is experienced in DUIs and who works in the courthouse where your case is filed. Call the public defender's office and ask if there is a duty attorney who can speak to you so you can find out if you qualify for their services and if not, ask for a referral. don't do it yourself
I don't know what a historical DUI will do to the severity of your current consequence, but if it were me, I would consult with a reputable and vetted criminal attorney who has expertise in this area.
Not to be preachy or judgemental, but if this is not a first DUI (or there were additional times when you were driving under the influence but not caught), maybe you should consider some counseling or AA. I attended a speaker on substance at my child's school, and the speaker said that the average times someone drives drunk before getting caught was something like 7 or 9 times. Good luck to you both. Anon