While the Coronavirus crisis unfolds, our office is open (remotely) and handling cases, while both following the law and observing best practices. Although some court functions have been limited, in our roles as criminal, DUI and driver’s license restoration lawyers with active and pending cases, we must and will remain available to both our clients and the courts, as well as the Michigan Secretary of State.
No matter what, some things are time-critical. For example, in a DUI case, it is very important to at least make a request to preserve the video evidence case right away, because many police department recycle (meaning erase) these recordings every 30 days. This is true right now – today – even though any new DUI case itself might not be heard in court for many months, long past the point where the police car dash-cam video has been erased, and therefore unavailable.
As I write this installment, pretty much everything is in-flux, and they will likely continue to change as the situation evolves. This means that any procedure we put in place or promise we make today may go out the window tomorrow. Nevertheless, because we are an established law firm with many ongoing cases, we simply cannot be unavailable to our clients, much less the courts or Secretary of State. This means we’re here for new clients, as well.
Because “closing down” has never been a consideration, our office will be available during all regular business hours. This goes a lot farther than some well-meaning promise to just “be there for you,” nor is this some half-baked way to do things. In fact, we have ALWAYS handled ALL of our consultations over the phone, during regular business hours, right when a person calls us. Nothing about that has changed, even though we’re working remotely.
In addition, because many of our clients live out of state, or the person paying the bill is a family member, we have had a system to be hired by phone for as long as I can remember. This means a person can call us, have a consultation, and whether then, or later (I always encourage everyone to check around), can hire us right over the phone so we can get started on his or her case.
While there is a “time is of the essence” component to things like DUI cases, that’s not as true for matters like indecent exposure and aggravated indecent exposure cases. While there is always some advantage to getting started early, most criminal cases will not be seriously compromised unless the defense lawyer needs to make some kind of timely request for evidence.
Even though there is nothing to be lost by waiting, this IS a good time to start the ball rolling in driver’s license restoration and clearance cases for anyone who needs to win back his or her license. Often enough, people contact us and want their license yesterday, and, no matter what, the system just doesn’t work that way.
Nor do we, either. My office guarantees to win every first time driver’s license restoration and clearance case we take. We provide our guarantee because of the careful way we do things. Handling a license appeal case properly means NOT doing it quickly, as speed, in this context, is really the opposite of careful attention to detail. The more time we have to spend on a license case, the better, and right now, a lot of people have just that.
We could get lost in the weeds in all of this, but the larger point is that our our practice open. As Michigan court and Michigan Secretary of State procedures change almost daily to adjust to the new reality of the Coronavirus, we will immediately adapt to them. As I tried to make clear above, we are lucky in that we have always handled our consultations and taken retainers over the phone.
The reality is that by the time this article gets published (it was finalized on Saturday, March 27, 2020, and will be published on Monday, March 30, 2020), there will probably be more changes to the way criminal, DUI and driver’s license restoration cases are being handled. We’ll be on top of that.
To be clear though, that’s not self-congratulatory on our part; every lawyer with a viable practice should be equally up to date on how things are being done. We’re not taking any victory laps here, but rather offering legal help for those who need it.
If you are looking to hire a lawyer for a criminal, DUI or driver’s license restoration case, do your homework. Nothing has changed in that regard; be a smart consumer and read around. See how other lawyers explain things, and how they explain themselves.
When you’ve done enough of that, start checking around. My team and are are very friendly people who will be glad to answer your questions and explain things. As I noted, all of our consultations are done over the phone (confidentially and without charge), right when you call.
We can be reached Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (EST), at either 248-986-9700, or 586-465-1980.