What Can A DUI Lawyer Do For Me?
Any DUI lawyer will tell you that the penalties for a DUI can be quite severe. Even a first-offense DUI is punishable by up to six months in the Orange County jail. Moreover, there are many “enhancements” that require mandatory jail time, even for a first-offense DUI. Also, as second-offense DUI, by law, requires some jail time. But it gets even trickier when you consider that each courthouse has its own policies and procedures for handling DUI cases. And on top of that, each judge in each courthouse has his or her own parameters in what they will allow and what they will not. An experienced DUI lawyer will be aware of these subtleties and can help you successfully navigate a very perilous legal landscape.
For example, a specific pretrial judge in the Central Justice Center may allow “home confinement” instead of jail time on a second-offense DUI. But if the case is settled in the arraignment court, where most self-represented DUIs are settled, you will surely do jail time. An experienced DUI lawyer who works regularly in the Central Justice Center will carefully shepherd your case into that pretrial courtroom. There, your DUI lawyer will make a compelling argument to the judge why you deserve home confinement. Thus, instead of serving time in jail, your DUI lawyer gets a deal whereby you get to serve your mandatory sentence on home confinement, (where going to work is allowed), rather than suffer the nightmare of serving actual jail time.
Or consider the first-offense DUI where the defendant is also charged with a speed enhancement. The defendant faces a mandatory 60 days in the Orange County jail. But when the defendant’s DUI lawyer shows up, the District Attorney knows that the case may go to trial. This threat is simply not real when a defendant shows up alone, with no DUI lawyer to represent them. But when the DA is faced with the possibility of going to trial against an experienced DUI lawyer with a winning trial record, they may just accede to the DUI lawyer’s request to dismiss the speed enhancement and make a no-jail offer to settle the case.
These are typical scenarios that play out regularly in the Orange County courts. Far too often it is the unrepresented client who actually goes to jail. The skill and experience of your DUI lawyer makes all the difference.
How Much Does A DUI Lawyer Cost?
Most DUI lawyers charge a “pretrial” fee for all work short of actually going to trial. That’s because the vast majority of DUI cases do not go to trial. However, some DUI lawyers actually charge up front for a trial, even though it is highly unlikely to occur. That’s why you should NEVER pay for a trial in advance. As for the “pretrial” price, we attorneys are unregulated in what we can charge. However, the typical pretrial fee for an Orange County DUI is between three and five thousand dollars. We charge on the low end of this.
If you cannot afford a DUI lawyer, you may be entitled to a public defender. This option is NOT as bad as people say. Public defenders are extremely familiar with the judges and DAs, as well as court policies. The only real drawback with a public defender is that they spend very little time with each client. But representation by the public defender is better than no representation at all.
Free Telephonic Consultation
At The Law Office of EJ Stopyro we offer a free, no-obligation, telephonic consultation and case review. Call us today at (949) 278-6353. EJ will be happy to explain the court and DMV process and help you explore your options.