Monterey & Salinas DUI Attorney Guide to Surviving Your DUI

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					 Monterey & Salinas DUI Attorneyʼs Consumer Guide
  to Surviving A DUI With Or Without A DUI Defense
 Attorney (This Guide was Made For Those Arrested
    for DUI in Monterey County) Part One – Draft 1
    Part 1 of a 3 part series (for publication in Spring 2010).
          By Matthew Williamson, Monterey DUI Lawyer
The purpose of this guide is 3 fold (youʼll notice I love 3ʼs):
First: Help you through a DUI arrest in Monterey County
(including DUIs in Monterey, Salinas, Marina, Seaside,
Pacific Grove, Fort Ord, etc) by giving you good, practical
information.
Second – Give you a background of when it is important to
get a dui attorney and when you may not really benefit from
one (I personally turn away more cases then I take because
itʼs not always beneficial to hire one)
Third – Give you some practical tips and along the way for
your DUI arrest from someone that has been helping people
for over a decade.
Let me be upfront with you, I do NOT normally advise
anyone to go to court without an attorney – but I do
understand the current state of the economy, and the
misleading marketing by other lawyers, hence the creation of
this guide. You can divide a DUI case into 3 distinct phases:
   1)      Phase 1 – After Arrest, Before First Court
           Appearance (usually in Salinas or Sometimes King
           City) – If it is a Misdemeanor, court is usually at 8:15
           a.m. Plan on arriving at least 15 minutes early to find
           parking.
Disclaimer: Not a substitute for a good dui attorney’s specific advice to your case. For
Advice (831) 657-0100 © 2010 Monterey Salinas DUI Attorney Guide to Surviving
Your DUI
   2)      Phase 2 – After First Court Appearance and Until the
           DMV and Court Case are Decided (over)
   3)      Phase 3 – After the Court Case and DMV Case
           Decided


Each phase requires different tactics depending on the
outcome you are looking for (Iʼll address each phase after
the common goals of my clients).
Iʼve found after representing and advising literally 1000ʼs of
DUI arrestees in Monterey, Salinas, Marina, Carmel,
Seaside, King City, etc. (basically all of Monterey County)
that most people are looking for one of several outcomes.
   1. Most are wanting to mitigate the damage – they know
      they were probably over the limit, want to take
      responsibility, but want to lesson the negative impact
      (save on insurance, avoid jail, save money etc.)
   2. Some want/need to get off completely (doesnʼt matter if
      they are innocent or not, they just want or need to be
      found not guilty) – examples would be a truck driver (1st
      offense they lose their California Class A completely for
      1 year, and on a 2nd offense they lose it forever – even
      if they were in their own personal car at the time
   3. Some want to plead guilty and get this behind them as
      soon as possible.
   4. Some have outcomes/goals that are very specific to
      their situation - avoid the driving suspension time to
      take their kids to school, medical appointments, etc.
Phase 1:
        What do you do? VERY first thing you do is request a
        DMV hearing, preferably AFTER talking to a qualified
Disclaimer: Not a substitute for a good dui attorney’s specific advice to your case. For
Advice (831) 657-0100 © 2010 Monterey Salinas DUI Attorney Guide to Surviving
Your DUI
       attorney – key word is qualified – NOT a sales pitch
       attorney (see my other document on getting the best
       DUI lawyer in Monterey or Salinas – picking the right
       DUI defense attorney is almost as important as the
       facts to your case…but I digress). Be very careful who
       you talk with – there are even local attorneys that list
       themselves as “Expert” attorneys, although they have
       very few jury trials and may not have even won a single
       one of those – please watch out – some newer
       attorneys look very experienced because of their age,
       when in fact, they are relatively new at practicing (this is
       their 2nd career or it took the literally years to pass the
       bar – ask them when they graduated from law school
       and when they finally practiced the bar).
       BIG NOTICE: You normally only have 10 CALENDAR
       days from the date of the arrest to request your hearing
       (as described below) – or you will most likely lose your
       right to drive, EVEN if you have a great DUI case.
       PRACTICAL POINTER: If you know you are going to
       plead guilty, going to go with the public defender, or
       represent yourself – I do NOT recommend requesting a
       hearing. WHY? Only a small % of those representing
       themselves actually win their DMV hearing (last stats I
       read stated is was around 4%). If youʼre going to the
       public defender they do not handle the DMV case
       because it is considered Civil and not criminal in nature
       and therefore you are not entitled to a court appointed
       attorney. If you are going to just plead guilty, the guilty
       plea usually causes an automatic loss with the DMV
       case.
HOW TO REQUEST YOUR HEARING

Disclaimer: Not a substitute for a good dui attorney’s specific advice to your case. For
Advice (831) 657-0100 © 2010 Monterey Salinas DUI Attorney Guide to Surviving
Your DUI
What I normally have my clients do (if I donʼt do it for them),
is request a DMV hearing by calling the San Jose #, NOT the
number on the form given in Sacramento (the # on the form
given is one of the many DMV traps). The # for cases in
Monterey and Santa Cruz County is currently (408) 229-
7100 – NOT the 916 area code # on your temporary license.
       When you call:
               1.     Get the name of the person you talked with
               2.     Request an in-person hearing, in Seaside
                      preferably (currently – this is subject to
                      change) – do NOT let them talk you into a
                      telephone hearing…why?...because itʼs
                      easier for them to say no to you on the
                      phone, then it is in person. Also, if you need
                      to question a police officer, itʼs easier to judge
                      their truthfulness in person then for them to
                      reading hidden notes on the other side of a
                      phone.
               3.     Request a copy of “discovery” – this is the
                      evidence they plan to use against you (you
                      want this in advance to help present the best
                      defense to keeping your license)
               4.     Request a stay of execution (I know this
                      sounds terrible, like someone is going to be
                      shot) – this is so you can continue to drive
                      (assuming you were legally able to drive
                      before you were arrested) until the outcome
                      of the court or DMV case.



Disclaimer: Not a substitute for a good dui attorney’s specific advice to your case. For
Advice (831) 657-0100 © 2010 Monterey Salinas DUI Attorney Guide to Surviving
Your DUI
               5.     Finally, write down the date and the time you
                      talked with the DMV – just in case they deny
                      it in the future, you can show your phone bill.
NEXT STEP
The next step is deciding if you want a private attorney to go
with or for you to court (yes, they can appear on your behalf
and you donʼt have to go to court in many cases).
My advice (but remember, I am an attorney….but I donʼt take
a lot of cases anymore) is that it is usually a good idea to at
least consult with an attorney (see my Consumer Guide…
“How To Choose A DUI Lawyer in California”…Including The
7 Dirty Secrets of DUI Attorney Advertising They Donʼt Want
You To Know)
       WHEN YOU MAY NOT WANT TO HIRE AN
       ATTORNEY
       Here is when you may not want an attorney:
       If all the following are true, then you may not want an
       attorney:
       1.      This is your first offense for DUI.
       2.      No accident was involved.
       3.      No other charges were brought.
       4.      You can you go without any driving at all (not even
               a restricted license) for approximately 6 weeks (I
               know it says 4, but on a practical level it takes a
               few weeks for paperwork much of the time).
       5.      Your alcohol level is under .15.
       6.      You are not on probation for anything else.



Disclaimer: Not a substitute for a good dui attorney’s specific advice to your case. For
Advice (831) 657-0100 © 2010 Monterey Salinas DUI Attorney Guide to Surviving
Your DUI
       7.      You know you were under the influence or at least
               .08 or more (assuming you were 21 or over at the
               time)
       8.      You donʼt mind appearing in front of the judge.
       9.      A DUI on your record is not going to cause you a
               lot of problems in your career, or with any license
               you might have.
       If all of the above are true, then you may want to just
       have your case reviewed by an attorney, but not
       necessarily hire them, unless they can show true value.
       WHEN TO HIRE A MONTEREY DUI ATTORNEY
       If any of the below are true – then get an attorney and
       make it a good one:
       1.      Itʼs a multiple offense (especially a 3rd offense or
               greater – a third offense is a minimum of 120 days
               in jail and usually significantly more) – a good
               attorney may be able to help you avoid actual jail
               time.
       2.      An accident was involved – especially if someone
               was injured (if injury involved, itʼs very common for
               the case to be charged as a felony) – even if you
               are guilty; many times a good attorney is the
               difference between a felony (and possible prison)
               on your record and a misdemeanor (and avoiding
               prison).
       3.      You alcohol level was .15 or great and
               ESPECIALLY if it were .20 or greater (this can lead
               to longer and therefore more expensive DUI
               classes).
       4.      Other charges were brought (child endangerment,
               resisting arrest, etc.)
Disclaimer: Not a substitute for a good dui attorney’s specific advice to your case. For
Advice (831) 657-0100 © 2010 Monterey Salinas DUI Attorney Guide to Surviving
Your DUI
        5.     You have a career, or license, that will be
               negatively impacted (Doctor, Nurse, Teacher, Pilot,
               etc.) – careers can be lost or protected with the
               choice of attorney


        THE RULE FOR DECIDING TO GO WITH AN
        ATTORNEY
        Mattʼs Golden Rule of Choosing an Attorney: Will the
        attorney provide you the benefits you need at the price
        that is appropriate for your situation. In other words –
        what is the cost-benefit analysis.
        BEHIND THE SCENES SECRET (See my Consumer
        Guide… “How To Choose A DUI Lawyer in
        California”…Including The 7 Dirty Secrets of DUI
        Attorney Advertising They Donʼt Want You To Know*) If
        the attorney advertises price in a direct mail piece
        (direct mail itself is not bad), donʼt go with them.
Other Phase 1 Considerations
   1.        Consider whether you need to take pictures / video of
             where you were followed by the police (if that
             occurred), and driving before the scene changes
             (construction, weather, pruning of trees, etc.)
   2.        Consider whether there is a benefit in starting the
             DUI class early – and if so, which one should you
             take?
   3.        Insurance planning – believe it or not, there are ways
             to attempt to save on insurance, but they need to be
             planned for.
   4.        If needed, pre-court sentencing planning to avoid jail
             – jail alternatives – treatment programs, etc.
Disclaimer: Not a substitute for a good dui attorney’s specific advice to your case. For
Advice (831) 657-0100 © 2010 Monterey Salinas DUI Attorney Guide to Surviving
Your DUI
             a. Itʼs important these be planned correctly so they
                can be counted towards any jail time
   5.        Especially in a multiple offense, planning for the first
             day in court – this can make a major difference (Iʼve
             seen someone that should have gotten at least 120
             days, get 5 with the right planning).
   6.        Finding out who your judge is and whether you
             should file a motion to get rid of the judge before the
             time expires for doing do (in the past this has been
             the difference between doing a few hours of
             community service type work and doing weeks in
             actual jail).
   7.        Gathering evidence for the DMV case if it is going to
             occur before the court case
MYTH #1:
        I didnʼt have alcohol, so I canʼt be convicted of a DUI,
        because I wasnʼt Drunk Driving in Monterey.
        FACT: DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence (it
        can be influence of prescription medications, illegal
        drugs, pot, etc. – not just alcohol)
SUMMARY (of Part 1)
        In phase #1
        1.     Request a DMV hearing (either yourself or through
               an attorney) – if you need to keep your protect
               your right to drive (see how to do so above) OR if
               you have a bad case and need a chance to lock
               the officer into his/her story before they have time
               to discuss it with the governmentʼs lawyer and
               possibly change it

Disclaimer: Not a substitute for a good dui attorney’s specific advice to your case. For
Advice (831) 657-0100 © 2010 Monterey Salinas DUI Attorney Guide to Surviving
Your DUI
       2.      Decide if there is any benefit to hiring an attorney
               (i.e. you need to avoid jail, save money, time, or
               your license)


       3.      Decide what things are needed to be done before
               your first appearance (use the 7 point checklist
               started above for brainstorming.


If you have any questions and are thinking you might need
an attorney, feel free to contact me at my office at (831) 657-
0100. Remember, I may not take your case, but I can
probably lead you in the right direction.
In Part Two:
       I canʼt address every situation, but Iʼm going to talk
       about several common issues:
       Jail – Whether you are in danger or not of going to jail
       depends on several factors. They biggest three are a)
       is this a first offense or a multiple offense, b) was an
       accident involved, c) are any other charges being
       brought.
       Fighting the Case:
       Negotiating the Case:
       What to considering when representing yourself in a
       plea deal.
               and more…



Disclaimer: Not a substitute for a good dui attorney’s specific advice to your case. For
Advice (831) 657-0100 © 2010 Monterey Salinas DUI Attorney Guide to Surviving
Your DUI
*IF YOU THINK YOU MIGHT NEED AN ATTORNEY,
PLEASE LOOK FOR MY Consumer Guide… “How To
Choose A DUI Lawyer in California”…Including The 7 Dirty
Secrets of DUI Attorney Advertising They Donʼt Want You To
Know – See my website www.MontereyDUI.com for a copy.
                                           BIOGRAPHY
                                Matthew Williamson did his
                                undergraduate work at
                                California State University
                                Chico where he graduated with
                                honors from the pre-law
                                program. He then enrolled in
                                law school, graduated in 1996,
                                immediately took and passed
                                the California Bar Exam, and
                                opened his practice in
                                Monterey December 1, 1996.
He has practiced DUI Law in Monterey County since 1997.
Heʼs been a paid presenter on DUI defense and has put on
several elite seminars relating to DUI defense, along with
producing and publishing several DUI defense informational
audio CDʼs and DVDs. He has advised 1000ʼs of people
arrested for DUIʼs in both Monterey and Santa Cruz County
– including taking numerous cases through jury, as well as
court trial. He runs his practice on a personally developed
and tested Outcome Focused Defense System, which he
has taught and continues to teach to attorneys throughout
California. He is not only trained & certified to give Field
Sobriety Tests, but certified to teach otherʼs to give them
(less than ½ of 1% of DUI attorneys in California have this
certification). Although he no longer does exclusively DUIs –
he limits his practice to 3 main areas of the law and takes on
Disclaimer: Not a substitute for a good dui attorney’s specific advice to your case. For
Advice (831) 657-0100 © 2010 Monterey Salinas DUI Attorney Guide to Surviving
Your DUI
a limited # of cases (less than 5 personal DUI cases a
month) using his Outcome Focused Defense System. If you
are interested in his services you may contact him at (831)
657-0100.




Disclaimer: Not a substitute for a good dui attorney’s specific advice to your case. For
Advice (831) 657-0100 © 2010 Monterey Salinas DUI Attorney Guide to Surviving
Your DUI

				
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