What Do People Commonly Experience after Being Charged with a DUI?

Interviewer: What have you learned about people’s behavior and their reaction to being arrested and prosecuted for a DUI?  In other words, what sort human insight has been gained through the whole process?

Most People Want to Put the Experience behind Them as Quickly as Possible

Paul Geller: Most people are very nervous, which is normal.  They are very concerned about work, which is completely understandable.  Also, many times they want to try to put this behind them as quickly as possible.

Properly Defending a DUI Charge Is Not an Overnight Process

One of the biggest challenges that I have is, and that people need to understand, is that I tell people when they come in for consultation, this is not an overnight process.  There is an immediate action that we do need to take with the Department of Motor Vehicles.  That has to be done within 10 days of arrest, with some exceptions, to stop the Department of Motor Vehicles from automatically suspending my client’s license. That step will allow them to continue to drive throughout this process.

The Discovery Process for DUI Defense Does Take Time

The next thing that takes place is that I end up sending out subpoenas and requests for records, video, audio recordings, records regarding the breath machine or the blood records.  The discovery process on a DUI can take quite some time.

While the DMV Action Requires Immediate Attention, the Court Appearance Is Usually Not for Several Months

I’m very aggressive when I contact the DMV right away, and that’s because I use that process to help me better analyze the court process as well as trying to save my client’s license with the DMV.  Oftentimes, the court process or the court appearance is not for several months.  So I use that DMV discovery process to , as I said, to not only to try to save my client’s license but also to start preparing for and strategizing for court.

One of my biggest challenges is explaining to people that as much as possible, they have to go back to their everyday routine. If it is someone with a real alcohol problem and addiction problem, that’s something else that we would address separately and start treating that problem through rehabilitative measures.

The Typical Person Arrested for DUI Does Not Have a Serious Alcohol or Substance Abuse Problem

The typical DUI is not that person.  It’s someone who may have just had a few drinks and was stopped at a checkpoint or something of that nature, a traffic stop.  That’s your typical DUI.  One of my biggest challenges is to help these people get back to their everyday routine and gain their trust and understanding  such that I can properly do my job.  That often takes quite a bit of time to work through these cases while they can get back to some sense of normalcy.

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