This client had unreasonable expectations of his DUI defense from the beginning in that he thought we could have the court accommodate his lifestyle needs, which included his desire to have his BAC number “lowered” so he could remove the interlock device from his car, have no jail time and minimum house detention as well as reduction in the frequency of UAs required. He assumes that there are simple “checkboxes” in DUI cases that we casually filled in. I can say that in my 25 years of DUI defense practice I have rarely, if ever, encountered any case that merely required checking off boxes, and this certainly wasn’t one of them, as will be explained here. He also expresses disappointment that we instead should have instead pursued the fairness and equity side of a DUI more. This is due to his misperception of the law. The law mandates specific penalties for specific violations and there is very little room to win a reduction in them by arguing fairness or equity. This was his first DUI conviction true, but he incorrectly states he received almost the maximum sentences with no aggravating circumstances. In fact, there were several aggravating factors, among them a BAC in excess of .20, an accident and his attempt to flee from it. He could have received a year in jail, but we negotiated a plea with the DA for 30 days of in-home detention in exchange for dropping additional charges on the initial arrest. Finally, he states he feels the things would have gone better for him if we had done “a little extra work.” Our representation began by us sending his blood sample for re-testing, which confirmed the high BAC number. We then filed motions to suppress evidence and set a trial date. His license was revoked by the DMV but we were able to guide him through the process of early reinstatement resulting in him getting his license back in two months instead. However, after driving for 10 months, his license was again revoked due to three incidents where the interlock detected alcohol in his blood. We were able to get the Court to allow him to leave the country for an extended international business trip and two more times allow him furloughs to to travel for business in the U.S.. We also vacated five hearings to accommodate his schedule. We were able to have his monitoring unit switched to another type to accommodate his travel schedule. We exchanged over a dozen emails communicating with him during our representation. Despite all these incidents, we were able to get him an early termination of his probation.
Our firm represented Derrick at a DMV license revocation hearing for refusing to take a blood or breath test and in county court to defend him on careless driving and DUI charges. Jim Forslund advocated all of the appropriate defenses at the DMV phone hearing. However the Hearing Officer concluded that license revocation was warranted. A pretrial conference was held and Derrick declined to accept the District Attorney's settlement offer. The firm filed a Motion to Suppress evidence and proceed to a motions hearing. The judge denied the motion and set the case for trial in June. He applied the same standards as those used at the DMV to determine if the express consent test request was warranted. Mr. Pareja advised this client that there was a good chance of acquittal at trial, but Derrick decided not to deposit the additional funds necessary to take the matter to trial. The firm moved to withdraw from the case on May 20, 2015. Derrick has decided to accept a plea bargain and post an anonymous complaint. He is the one who plea bargains. He will be entering his plea on the date set for trial in December. If you look below, Darcey says we talked her into going to trial. Our role is to advise our clients through the court and DMV process. We do not tell people what they want to hear, but what they need to hear and explain options. The client decides what to do, based on that advice. We cannot please all of the people all of the time, but we try. Our satisfied clients vastly exceed those who post anonymous complaints. We base our fees, as Abe Lincoln stated, on our time and our advice. Derrick's advice is free and you may read it here on the Internet.
In response to this review, we were retained by this client a little over a month before our client's Department of Motor Vehicle license revocation hearing and we thoroughly prepared the case by obtaining documents including a criminal history search and police reports, as well as endorsing a witness. We vigorously defended on the issues of probable cause and refusal to submit to alcohol testing, arguing precedents in case law, but the Hearing Officer was not convinced and affirmed the license revocation. In the underlying county court case, the DA made an offer of a reduced charge of DWAI, which this client rejected and chose to proceed to trial. We represented the client at a one-day county court jury trial. For that trial, we also prepared a vigorous defense, as we are for all our clients, including filing a motion to suppress evidence, use of evidence from the DMV transcript, and subpoenaing the police dispatch tape. We started preparation a month in advance and had a number of meetings with her. The trial resulted in a guilty verdict, which is something we cannot guarantee won't happen for any client. At the outset we advised that the odds on a refusal case at best are 50-50. Regarding the second issue of us encouraging a client to proceed to trial so we would receive more money, we analyze facts and defenses for each individual situation and leave the decision up clients about proceeding to trial. Our advice is based on our combined 60 years of DUI practice experience. We always leave that decision up to our clients and never encourage anyone to take any action for the sake of making more money. In fact, we purposely keep our flat fees at a reasonable level, have not raised our trial rate in twenty years, and make every effort to accommodate each client's financial situation by breaking payments into manageable amounts paid on a monthly basis.