If you’re talking about the people themselves, it’s dealing with the consequences; for most people, it’s the driver’s license consequences, because people don’t realize how dependent they are on their driver’s license and their ability to drive until the State takes away their right to drive for a period of time. Most people don’t have an alternative plan for that; I live in Douglas County and in the city of Castle Rock and, although we’re part of the Denver Metropolitan area, we have no public transit down here. When I have clients who face losing their driver’s license, even for a month, it can have catastrophic consequences for them.
Most people don’t think about those things or have a plan in place as to how to deal with those kinds of things, so that’s certainly tough for people to deal with. Most attorneys don’t understand how technical and scientific these cases are and what it actually means to effectively handle a DUI case. Most attorneys who are general practitioners or criminal defense attorneys who handle anything and everything that walks in the door, are ill-suited to handle most DUI cases, and so their clients, quite frankly, get the short end of the stick when it comes to a real competent and expert evaluation of their case because those attorneys don’t understand the level of science and the level of scrutiny that needs to come with these cases.
What Can people Do to Return to Normalcy Once their DUI Case is Over?
For most of my clients, that’s a conversation we have when we first meet on day one. The more quickly I can reassure someone that their life is not over, that we are going to be able to recover from this mistake, or that we will be able to prove someone’s innocence, and the quicker I can get them to relax to put it in my hands and to let me be the one who worries about it. That allows you to start living your life, which means the better off you are. That also ties into the mitigating aspects.
If I have someone in my office whom I think has a problem with alcohol, whether there are proof issues in their case or not, I believe it’s my job and certainly in my client’s interest to work to get them help for those issues. In most convictions, there will be alcohol treatment education and therapy that will be ordered. But even when I see people come to my office and I know that I can probably get their case dismissed, there are underlying issues that will cause problems in their normal day-to-day lives and which could lead to possible future DUI charges. It’s incumbent upon me to make sure that they get the kind of help they need so they don’t cause further damage to their life, regardless of the outcome of their criminal case.
Getting back to normalcy for most people starts from day one and begins with acknowledging that this is a mistake that people make and learn from before moving on. That’s what I counsel people to do and that’s what I help them to do.
What Are The Important Things People Should Know with Regards to DUI Charges?
The most important thing that people need to keep in mind is that, for most people a DUI is just a mistake; it doesn’t mean you’re a criminal, and it doesn’t have to necessarily change your life. For most people, whether it’s a first offense or a third, the importance of seeking early consult with an attorney who knows what they’re doing can be critical. Even if you come and meet with me on your first offense and you decide that you don’t want to utilize my services, I guarantee you will receive some valuable information during that hour to hour-and-a-half that you’ll be able to take with you and improve your situation.
There are a lot of good attorneys out there who handle DUIs like I do, so even if you don’t retain an attorney at the end of the day, it can’t hurt to meet with a few who know what they’re doing and who are willing to give you some of their time for free to talk about your situation and help you create a plan of attack for moving forward.
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