What Information Do You Need From DUI Clients To Begin Working On Their Case?
In this article, you will discover:
- Crucial information to share with your DUI attorney
- Why hire a DUI attorney regardless of how you plan to plead
- When a plea is entered in the DUI process
When I initially meet with a client, I need to hear their story to find out everything they can remember and anything that might be relevant, not just to their case, but to their life. For example, we want to know, does somebody have a history of any mental health issues, are they a veteran, what’s their immigration status? Other issues can tie in and end up being important in the resolution of a criminal case. We want to hear your story about what happened when you were arrested. We also want to listen to your story about what was happening in your life and how that may relate to your case; it’s just about connecting and hearing your story. We will have an opportunity to get more evidence as the case goes along so if someone is not clear on every detail of what happened, that’s okay. We will get police reports, and usually have audio-video. By going through that evidence, I can generally get a much broader picture of what happened during the case, and we can go back through those reports together. Often that will help fill in any gaps that someone may have in remembering. But what is essential for me is to know is as much information as that person can remember about their case, what goals are, and what their personal life situation may be that may affect their case. You don’t need to prepare for a meeting, I just need you to come in and be open to discuss your case, that’s always a good starting place and we can build on that as we get more information.
The Point In A DUI Case Where A Plea Of Guilty Or Not Guilty Will Be Entered
The process in California is that your first court date is called an arraignment, and at your arraignment, the court wants to know if you want to plead guilty or not guilty? The main purpose of your arraignment is to inform you of your charges and for you to enter a plea. Now you have the option of saying guilty right away, but for most people at the arraignment they haven’t seen all the evidence. So rarely will a guilty plea be entered at the arraignment. Entering a not guilty plea is a means to negotiate; a not guilty plea doesn’t mean you are going to trial right now. A not guilty plea doesn’t mean I didn’t do it or I’m not taking responsibility. A not guilty plea means I don’t want to plead guilty at my first court date, I want a chance to negotiate and see my evidence. When not guilty plea is entered at your arraignment it goes to the next phase usually called a pretrial, where we examine the evidence and can negotiate with a judge or prosecutor. Sometimes cases will be set for trial down the road, but we have chance to work on it and potentially resolve it before that. A person can always change a not guilty plea to a guilty plea later on through the plea-bargaining process.
Why Hiring An Experienced DUI Attorney To Represent You If You Plan On Pleading Guilty Is Still Wise
This is one of those instances where it depends on what someone’s goals are, which is why it’s so crucial for us to meet with the client and find out what their goals are for their case, and to find out if we are a good fit. If someone doesn’t have any interest in exploring their options and they want to walk in and plead guilty, the court will let you do that at your very first court date. However, many people find that experience unsatisfying because the way that it’s done doesn’t allow you to see your evidence.
The court isn’t going to sit and go through your police report or your possible options with you. They’re just going to expect you to stand up and plead guilty right there on the spot without having been advised by anybody. If you don’t have an attorney, the court will not discuss your case with you they will expect you to understand what is happening. Often I have a client meet with me after they’ve entered a guilty plea and they regret it. They decided that it’s not what they want to do anymore upon further reflection, but you can’t just go and take it back. The process of undoing a guilty plea is more complicated. So, if someone has any doubt that they want to enter a guilty plea, they should pause and consult with an attorney because it is way easier to stop it before it happens than to try to undo something that’s already happened.
So, if you have any doubts, take that doubt as a sign and opportunity to pause and get some guidance from an attorney.