There are times I'd like to really detail how I've handled a particular DUI charge, or the specific result I've accomplished, but I have to hold back in the larger interests of diplomacy and politics. In this article, I'm going to focus on an extremely good outcome I produced in a local DUI case just 2 days before it was written. The 2 points I want to make are first, that outcomes like this may surprise and encourage the reader, but are commonplace for me and second, that the fact that I don't brag much about these kinds of results isn't so much because I'm modest, but rather because I think it is important to never put any court in a spotlight it may not appreciate, especially when the break I've gotten may make the court seem "soft" in a way that a Judge wouldn't appreciate.
The case at issue was handled in a Metropolitan Detroit area court. My client was charged with 3rd offense drunk driving, which is a felony. His 2 prior offenses both occurred within the last 10 years, so by all appearances, he was on a roll. To keep the reader's interest, let me fast forward to the conclusion: I got the felony charge dismissed and the client was able to avoid getting that on his record; instead, he was able to plead to a reduced misdemeanor charge and, better still, when all was said and done, he walked out of court without having to do a single day in jail. There is even more good news to the story, but we'll save that for the end, because the strategy I used is key to how I produced these results, and why such outcomes are all part of a day's work for me.
Never forget that Judges are elected. It is, understandably, a political liability to be seen as "easy" on drunk drivers. For that reason, I generally don't believe it helps in the practice of defending DUI cases for any lawyer to start cataloging his or her accomplishments in drinking and driving cases with enough detail to identify a particular court. No matter how you analyze things, it never hurts a Judge's ability to get reelected or standing in the community if he or she develops a reputation for being tough on drunk drivers, although the opposite is certainly true. Accordingly, I usually omit any geographic reference when I write about any of the cases I have handled.
In some of my other articles, I have mentioned that the best outcome possible in any DUI case is the produced by knowing the facts and the law as well as the skillful management of perception, science and time. That certainly sounds highbrow enough to be profound, and in its proper application, it really is; the problem is that skillfully managing things like perception and time requires being stealthy, or, one might even say, secretive. It is a given that the magician wants to amaze the audience, and giving away the secret to the trick is not the way to do that. What this means, then, is that I can't really get too much into how I do the things I do. As a prosecutor recently said to me in another context, "best to not let them see how the sausage is made." Even so, there is a lot I can share about how we go from arrest and charge to good result...