A DUI is never a good thing. Whether a 1st offense or 2nd offense charge, the whole situation usually comes with a lot of potential consequences, both legal and personal. Many are threatened, but only some are likely. If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving, there are a lot of things you want to save, including your freedom, your job, and your dignity. In a certain sense, you need to save face after a drinking and driving stop . About the best thing you can do right off the bat is to calm down, slow down, and realize that this is not a race. Take your time to figure things out. Even though it may feel like it, you’re not in need of some immediate rescue. Instead, know that thoughtful, timely planning will always produce better results than quick, reflexive action.
A DUI charge can threaten, or at least be perceived as a threat, to your job, your ability to drive, and your social status, as well. Whether you’re an engineer, a nurse, a physician, a teacher, or just about anything else, and although you understandably fear losing your job, the good news is that such a thing is very unlikely to happen. Even so, despite the fact that you may keep your job, a DUI may become “known” in certain organizations and settings and wind up being a huge embarrassment and cause a lot of personal and emotional stress. For example, the nurse, physician or other medical professional, the whole incident may never go beyond having to report it to LARA, the state licensing body. The engineer who travels, however, may find, at least for a short time, that his or her temporary driver’s license poses an obstacle to renting a car when traveling for business.
These issues are very real, but they are also, unfortunately, the ones most often exploited by lawyers who are long on marketing skills and somewhat shorter on candor. Sure, it sounds great to avoid any and all of these problems, but the reality is that most of the time, you’re not going to be lucky enough to stumble into a case that will just “go away.” The best outcome in any DUI requires a more cerebral approach both on your part and the part of your DUI lawyer. No stone should be left unturned in the quest to get your case “knocked out” or to otherwise beat it, but your plans should also include what to do beyond that. Speaking just by statistics alone, any given case is more likely to go through the court system rather than be thrown out of it. Let’s look at what saving face in a DUI really means in most cases…
First, let’s begin by observing that unless you’re an ambulance or a school bus driver, a DUI will not likely be the end of your career, or even the cause of the loss of your current employment. It’s normal to worry about things like that right after your arrest and release, but you MUST know that’s not likely to happen, so making a decision to hire a lawyer who advertises that he or she can “save” your future or your job is almost certainly a huge mistake. In a way, that’s like picking a dentist who promises that he or she will fill a small cavity to save you from getting brain cancer: not gonna happen.
Beyond your work, you almost certainly don’t want anyone else to know about this. Chances are you are acquainted with plenty of people who have gone through the Michigan DUI process even though you know nothing about it. As much as they’re happy for that, you’ll be happy, as well, if none of them find out about your incident. Here’s the million-dollar secret to making sure that doesn’t happen, and I’ll give it to for free: DON’T TELL ANYONE! That’s it. There’s no surer way to keep something quiet than to keep it quiet. This means that beyond your partner or spouse, or anyone else who absolutely must know, don’t say a word about this. Remember, the moment you share a secret, it’s not a secret anymore.
No matter how important you are in some aspects of your life, when you enter a courthouse to face your own DUI charge, you simply become part of the herd. This isn’t always a bad thing. I always make it a point to try and protect my clients from having to air their business in a crowded courtroom. When you think about, the more a person has to lose, and the more accomplishments and/or responsibilities he or she has, the better, at least in terms of explaining to the Judge that this DUI incident is an aberration and that those accomplishments and responsibilities stand as incentives to make sure there is never any repeat performance. The trick here is explain all of this in a courtroom that’s as empty as possible.
This means, in a somewhat ironic way, that you want to enter the court as an anonymous face in the crowd, only to be seen as special and unique for your few minutes in front of the Judge, and thereafter leave the building unnoticed. The goal is to “save face,” and I can help with that. And that’s really the point here – the ability to save face. Even if your boss never finds out that you were arrested for a drinking and driving offense, having the wrong coworker, neighbor or even family member learn of what is often a single instance of poor judgment can be downright humiliating. Maybe you have a good job, but now you’re kind of stuck because the DUI prevents you from going to Canada, or you can’t drive a company vehicle. There really is no situation where a DUI will help you move forward; we need to clear as many of those impediments as possible, including those that are just “personal.”
My job is to help you do just that. It goes without saying that we first look to any viable legal challenge to the evidence in your case. Legal and technical issues affecting the admissibility and/or strength of the evidence do occur often enough that I pretty much assume in every case I take that I’ll want to obtain and carefully review the police in-car video right away. Most DUI cases, however, get resolved through the court process. Success in any DUI case is always measured by what does NOT happen to you. We need to keep the consequences as few and manageable as possible; we need to make the process as smooth and unintrusive as possible, and we need to make the whole experience as painless as can be.
In the final analysis, if things are done right, you can walk out of court unnoticed, with your job and your reputation intact, and if not a smile on your face, at least not a grimace of humiliation. That’s what I mean by “saving face.” If you’ve been arrested for a drinking and driving offense anywhere in the Detroit area, meaning anywhere in Macomb, Oakland or Wayne County, do your homework, read the information provided by as many lawyers as you can, then call around to see how your concerns are addressed. Make sure you call my office, as well. We’re here to help, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 to 5:00, and can be reached directly at 586-465-1980.