Just about everyone has heard the old saying, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” As a DUI lawyer, it is imperative that my approach in every case is to find a way to “beat ’em.” For all we could say about it, the bottom line is that you will not find a way out of a DUI case in Michigan without looking for it. DUI charges do not dismiss themselves. Yet I have also discovered that, while listing my successes feels like bragging to me, the reading public apparently likes this sort of stuff, and uses it as at least one measure by which a lawyer is judged. This article will be about a case I recently handled; in this instance, I got the whole case dismissed. While every situation is different, this case is a very clear demonstration of the important principle that the best outcome in any case is achieved by combining a thorough knowledge of the facts and the law to the skillful management of time, perception and science.
The case at issue was thrown out of court the week before this article was written. My client was charged with operating while intoxicated (OWI) 2nd offense in a local, Metro-Detroit area court. As I’ve noted before, I try to avoid identifying any particular court because I don’t think there is a single Judge out there who wants to ever be perceived or portrayed as being “easy” on drunk drivers. Fair and lawful as the dismissal at issue was, Judges sell themselves at election by promising to protect their constituencies and by being “tough” on criminals. You won’t see a Judge running for reelection talking about all the case DUI cases he or she has thrown out of court. In fact, you can take this to the bank: Judges don’t dismiss DUI cases because they want to, but rather only because they have to, and the reason they have to is because a lawyer like me has worked hard to find the way out. That’s what happened in the case at issue here.
As much as I believe it advisable to refrain from trumpeting identifying court information in the cases I describe, I also believe in not revealing too much detail about how I achieve certain results. Think about it; if the “secret sauce” in a winning case is the result of the careful management of time, perception and science, why would I want the Judge or the prosecutor to know all that. They might think that what I call that the careful “management” of time or perception is, at least in some cases, really a purposeful manipulation of those things. The cold reality is that you can get a court-appointed lawyer who is loved by the Judge and the prosecutor because he or she quickly pleads out every assigned case and moves the docket along at breakneck speed. This is great for the Judge and prosecutor, but if you’re the client, it’s much better if your lawyer makes things easier for you rather than them. The point I’m making is that being effective isn’t about being brash and obnoxious (some lawyers prefer to use the terms “tough” and “aggressive”) while stomping into court all full of antagonism and bluster. In a case where getting the most time is important, thundering into court like an angry bull may just speed up a showdown, and the benefit of stretching things out will be lost.
In the case that was dismissed last week, a blood test was taken, and the prosecution was counting on the results for its evidence. At first glance, the case looked pretty much open and shut. Yet a careful review of the evidence led to me finding legal grounds to challenge the blood test results, and, at the end of the day, the Judge wound up dismissing the whole case…
Important here wasn’t just that I had found a reason to challenge the blood test results, but rather when I did so. Had my challenge been made too early (meaning had I been too aggressive), the prosecutor may have been able to overcome it and we could have been in a very different situation. In this case, it was truly the careful management of time that played the most important role in getting the case dismissed. Of course, there is a lot more to this, but it goes without saying that I don’t want to provide the other side with any kind of checklist to make their cases more “airtight.” At the end of the day, my client, who had (appropriately) been charged with a 2nd offense DUI was able to walk out of court with the whole case against him completely dismissed.
There is a whole lot of salesmanship that I could jump into right here. However, if there is a takeaway to be had, it’s that good work is the key to good results. In that sense, you should never “roll over,” or get sold out. Catchphrases like “tough” “aggressive” and “fight” can sound good, but success is really had when a more diplomatic, intelligent and tactful approach is used. As I frequently point out, the best results come about when a thorough knowledge of the facts and the law are applied to the careful management of time, perception and science. That’s precisely how I was able to get what seemed like a pretty solid 2nd offense DUI case tossed out of court.
If you’re facing a DUI charge in the Detroit area, you deserve the knowledge and security that the evidence has been carefully examined. If there is a way out of the case, I’ll find it. Beyond that, you should not have to pay a king’s ransom for top-shelf legal services. I cringe when I hear that someone paid way too much for a lawyer who isn’t even a full-blown “DUI lawyer.” To be clear, there are no bargains to be had at this higher end of representation, but that’s very different than just being fleeced. As with every kind of product or service you buy, you should do your homework. For my part, there is a good chance that I’ve already addressed whatever issue(s) you have in one of my hundreds of blog articles, or on my site (soon to be completely redone). As you search for the right lawyer to handle your case, feel free to call my office anytime Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 586-465-1980.