The holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas provide a perfect time to celebrate. With most of us confined to home for the last year, we are all eager to get out among people again. The holiday dinners will probably lead to many drinking more than they should and encountering men and women in Black and White rather than a Jolly Santa in a Red Slay.

Psychologists tell us that the “Covid Stay Some Order” has caused mass depression, resulting in more drinking than normal. Couple that with football season and I anticipate more callers asking me “Can you get me out of my DUI?”

The honest answer to that is maybe....but the odds are against it. Any lawyer that tells you YES, they can dismiss your DUI without examining the facts is lying to you.

The first question on every new client’s mind is what can you do for me? …and what will it cost? If I was a doctor and you had stomach pain, you would not ask me “what is wrong with me and what will it cost” when you first met me and before I examined you. You would understand a doctor would have to take a history, perform a physical exam, order blood tests, X-Rays, and MRI’s etc. Maybe the doctor would even perform exploratory surgery before telling you what was wrong. If it was Cancer the surgeon might stitch you up and explain there is very little he or she can do to cure you of Cancer.

A DUI is usually not cancer, but with a (1) High Blood Alcohol Reading of .15+; (2) Drugs (Prescriptive or street drugs) or (3) a Traffic Accident, your case becomes more challenging. This means that the results your lawyer can achieve are problematic and the possible sentence will probably involve more jail time. Yes, they do ask for jail time.

The Indio Court is much tougher on DUI’s than many other jurisdictions and our local DA’s ask for JAIL time on ALL DUI’s. This is probably because we have more DUI FATALITIES here in the CV than anywhere else in California...per capita. During this Covid 19 period there have been more trials in Riverside than ALL of the other 57 counties COMBINED.

On any criminal case there are different degrees of success. I usually explain to clients on their first appointment, that many years ago I was in the office of famed criminal attorney Robert Shapiro, my best friend at the time, who later became O.J. Simpson’s lawyer. We were planning on going to dinner and discussing cases on which we were working together.

Shapiro got a call from a prospective client and had to stay late to meet with him. He asked me to sit in the office with him, but of course I was to say nothing.

When the client came in Shapiro said “I don’t want to know anything about your case.” He merely asked “what are you looking for?” He then explained that there are different degrees of success. If I go into court and the DA wants a year in custody and I can get you 6 months, that is success. If they want 6 months of custody and I can get you 2 months, that is success. If they want 30 days and I can get you 10 days, that is success. If they want 10 days and I can get you a weekend and/or home arrest, that is success.

It is impossible to guesstimate what the success will be on a case when you only hear the client’s side of the story. It is necessary to review the police report for probable cause for the stop, how well you did on the OPTIONAL field sobriety tests and the chemical test results for the Blood Alcohol Reading as well as your criminal record.

Clients often think that because they have a clean driving record or have been a pillar of the community that will factor into their guilt or innocence. That is wrong. It may affect the sentence, but not GUILT or INNOCENCE.

Sometimes a prior record will aggravate the sentence and philanthropic work in the community may mitigate the sentence. However, they have nothing to do with GUILT or INNOCENCE.

Many clients get “Black & White Fever” because they were nervous about the police stopping them. The driver may have innocently said something that was wrong and that may negatively influence the case. Of course failing the attitude test also makes the case more difficult, as the DA is more likely to want to punish the driver.

The best advice I can give you is to Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over…and not by Santa! So DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE OR TEXT AND GET A DUI OR ACCIDENT, CALL A TAXI, LYFT OR UBER………IT IS A LOT CHEAPER THAN CALLING ME