Santa Cruz Good Times

Feb 11th
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Crime Time: You Should Hire a DUI Lawyer—Even for Your First Offense

spons larsBy Lars Shallberg, Surf City Criminal Defense

There’s really no debate on this: if a person is charged with a DUI which also alleges prior convictions, they need a DUI lawyer. Period. Maybe the more interesting question arises when a person is charged with a first offense DUI. Those folks may find themselves thinking, “Hey, it’s a just first offense, there are going to be mandatory fines, a mandatory alcohol program, and probably some sort of license restriction. I can handle this.”


lt’s not that simple, though.

The laws relative to DUI cases are based upon an exceptionally complex body of law that is among the most heavily-litigated of any legal discipline. The result of all that litigation is that DUI laws are subject to near-constant challenges and evolution. The resulting changes can have a profound impact on the consideration, cost and consequences associated with a DUI case.

Whether it’s a first offense DUI, an offense involving prior convictions, or a felony DUI, the chance that a private citizen will understand the issues at play are exceptionally remote. It’s virtually always a good idea to hire a lawyer on a criminal case. And if the case involves drinking and driving, it’s extremely important to hire a lawyer whose focus is DUI law. Here’s why:

Lawyers know the law: DUI laws are complex and subject to frequent change. It’s important to hire an attorney familiar with current case law and statutory developments.

Lawyers understand the courts: It’s essential that your attorney knows the court system, understands the court process and is able to effectively navigate the criminal justice system.

Lawyers know the DMV system: DUI cases are almost invariably accompanied by a parallel DMV administrative action regarding license suspension, restriction or revocation so your attorney must be familiar with the DMV process and DMV Hearing procedures.

Lawyers are skilled at case analysis and preparation: DUI lawyers know how to evaluate a case, investigate and research issues pertinent to the case, and negotiate with the DA based on the results of that analysis/preparation.

Lawyers know the science: effective DUI representation requires a keen understanding of the science involved in breath and blood alcohol analysis, the ability to identify potential issues in the testing process and the capacity to use that information to their client's benefit.

Lawyers understand sentencing: It is imperative that DUI attorneys are familiar with sentencing alternatives that optimize the ability of clients to meet any confinement sanctions with minimal disruption to meeting their family and employment obligations.

These considerations all speak to the issue of competence, the legal acumen and professional experience to effectively represent people in DUI matters. But apart from the core competence aspect, perhaps the most important thing in selecting an attorney is identifying someone with whom the client is personally comfortable. The reality is that the attorney and client are partners who share a common goal: achieving a result that will best serve the client’s interests.

DUI Attorney Lars ShallbergIf you have a DUI or criminal case, make sure you secure the services of a seasoned professional whose primary objective is the protection of your rights and your freedom.

People usually get into trouble because of a bad decision. If it’s time to start making good decisions right now, contact me at (831)-535-2363 or visit today.


DUI Attorney Lars Shallberg

TAGS: Sponsored column, Lars Shallberg, DUI lawyer, DUI, First Time Offense, Criminal Defense, Drunk Driving