A rather large chunk of my DUI practice involves handling 2nd offense cases. Although I have written about this subject in the past, a meeting with a new client last week reaffirmed the reason why I seem to get a disproportionate number of 2nd offenders.. To put this in perspective, you must understand that the overwhelming majority of people who go through a 1st offense drunk driving case never get in trouble again and are truly “one and done’ customers. This means, of course, that of 2nd and 3rd offense DUI cases account for a rather small percentage of the overall number of DUI cases that wind through the court system each year. That stands in contrast to my practice, where I represent a much higher percentage, overall, of 2nd offenders. Although I certainly handle a lot of 3rd offense (felony) DUI cases, as well, the focus of this article will be on why I get so many 2nd time DUI offenders. I’ll leave to my other writings to explain the nuances and unique aspects of 2nd offense drunk driving cases.
The fact that I handle so many 2nd offense drinking and driving charges is, in large part, a compliment to me and my efforts on this blog. The story of the 2nd offense client from last week explains this rather well. As we spoke about his prior DUI case, it was natural for me to ask the name of the lawyer who handled it. My client hung his head in defeat and sort of laughed out a response, saying, before he revealed the name, “I know, I got taken.” He went on to relate how he thought that blowing way over $10,000 in legal fees made it seem like he was really going to beat the case. “The guy promised me everything,” he said, shaking his head. “I wish I would have found you before.” He then told me that he had read lots of my blog articles, and liked the way I write (I do my best to write conversationally, so that when I meet someone in person, the “voice” in my articles sound just like me when I talk). He said he appreciated the honesty in what I say, and my use of “real world” examples to make things as clear as possible. I thanked him, and then joked that, given how much the “promise everything” operations charge, maybe I should change the way I do things.
As funny as that may be, it really does cut to the heart of how I do things, and what differentiates me from so many of the other websites out there. First off, I hate it when lawyers try and scare people. This is something that makes me shake my head, because I run the other way if someone tries to use any kind of scare tactic as a “sales tactic” on me. By the same token, I have never seen an exception to the warning that, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” And here, the actual statistics tell a very clear and consistent story; year after year, of all the alcohol and DUI-related arrests in Michigan, less than one-quarter of one percent go to trail and win. In 2015, for example, out of 43,553 such arrests in Michigan a grand total of 62 were found “not guilty” after trial. That’s .14% (point one four percent). For everything you’ll read about beating a DUI case, you won’t see any of those lawyers linking to the actual numbers. It’s kind of like those self-study real-estate programs where you’re promised that you’ll be taught how to buy great properties with no money down and get rich. In the real world, that s**t doesn’t happen.