Is it worth it for me to invest in a lawyer to have the case dismissed? 18 Answers as of February 21, 2012

As I was exiting the freeway in a double turn lane, the passenger side of my car was hit by another individual. I believe, he thought I was turning in the opposite direction. After we both pulled over, a highway patrol officer stopped. He smelled alcohol on my breath after we were telling our respective sides of the story. I was given a breathalyzer and passed other tests. The result was .09. I had a margarita for lunch. This is my first offense. Judging by all of this alone, is it worth it for me to invest in a lawyer to have the case dismissed?

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The Law Offices of Victor J Mazzaraco
The Law Offices of Victor J Mazzaraco | Victor J Mazzaraco
Being in an accident while legally under the influence is not something to take lightly. You mention hiring a lawyer to get the case dismissed, but why do you feel so confident of a dismissal? I do d.u.i. cases regularly and prosecutors don't often dismiss cases where the blood alcohol is over .08. If you can afford an attorney I'd hire one. I'd advise you to take advantage of a free consultation - look in the phone book or online, most of us offer them.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/14/2012
Attorney at Law | Dorinda Ohnstad
You're not likely to get the charges dismissed but may be able to argue for a wet reckless given the BAC level. There may also be an argument that you had a rising BAC as there was likely a lapse in time from the accident until the officer arrived and conducted the FSTs and had you blow. A wet reckless is significantly less costly and only carries a 12 hour DUI course instead of a 3 month one to get your license back. An attorney is generally necessary to get the reduction, although a good court appointed attorney could do the same as a private attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/13/2012
Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN
Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN | Michael Bialys
It may be worth just to get it lowered to a non-DUI or alcohol related offense.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/21/2012
Law Office of Jeff Yeh
Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
Absolutely. If you plead to a DUI, expect your insurance premium to at least double, installation of IID on your vehicle ($100 per month of rental fees), serve at least 3 years of probation, pay fines of close to $2000, attend class for 3-9 months, costing anywhere from $500 to over $1000. Worst of all, your license will be suspended for at least 6 months, and you will have a criminal record. Prosecutors don't like accident cases, so you better have a good DUI specialist in court. And remember, you have only 10 days to save your license!
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/13/2012
Law Offices of James A Bates
Law Offices of James A Bates | James A Bates
I would say yes. If you go in alone, the DA will try to get you to plead guilty to a DUI. There is a good chance it could be reduced to a lesser charge. You are very close to the legal limit. A lot depends on what you said to the officer. If you told him it had been hours since your last drink, that is bad. It means you were falling from a higher level. If you said it had only been a few minutes since your last drink, you are in a better position to argue that you were only a .04 or so when you were stopped. The alcohol was still in your stomach and not in your blood stream.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/13/2012
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    I don't know the case will be dismissed but it is always best to be represented by an experienced criminal defense attorney when charged with a crime inc. DUI.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/13/2012
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    In California you have violated the vehicle code for a DUI if your BAL is above 0.08. With a BAL of 0.09 you will need an attorney to have any chance to have it dismissed or reduced to a lesser count.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/13/2012
    Hammerschmidt Broughton Law
    Hammerschmidt Broughton Law | Mark A. Broughton
    You should have done so already!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/13/2012
    The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann
    The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann | Christopher J. McCann
    You definitely should fight this. You have a low blood alcohol level. If you had recently drank, there is a very good change you were below the .08% limit when you were actually driving. What it was later when they tested you doesn't matter. While it is still possible to get a DUI when under .08%, because the other guy was at fault for the accident, I don't see any bad driving required to support such charges. Hire a lawyer who focuses on DUI right away. You only have 10 days from the date of arrest to contact the DMV to schedule a hearing and avoid a suspension.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/10/2012
    Law Office of Anthony Sessa
    Law Office of Anthony Sessa | Anthony Sessa
    As a general rule, in life, when you are confronted with a situation involving the criminal justice system, always engage in attorney to help you. Once you are convicted for any crime, infraction, misdemeanor, or felony, there will be unintended consequences into the future that will hound you forever.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/10/2012
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    Absolutely! Especially since your BAC was a .09. This result is open to south attack. Even if your case is not completely dismissed, you have a better shot at pleading to a lower consequence so that you do not have a DUI conviction.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/10/2012
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    Yes. Your case will probably not be dismissed. You will have to fight and beat your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/10/2012
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    You better invest in a lawyer. This is serious. You have to request a hearing from the DMV within 10 days of your arrest. The DUI is a misdemeanor. This case is simply not going to be dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/10/2012
    Attorney at Law | Ernest Krause
    Have you been arraigned? If not, go to court on your own, tell the district attorney you want all "discovery." This is the evidence against you, including the police report. Tell the judge you are looking for an attorney and want a month or so to find one. Read the "discovery" carefully. A competent attorney would be worth an investment if you have some money to spare. But shop around. Attorneys need clients at least as much as defendants need attorneys.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/10/2012
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    It is definitely recommended for you to have an experienced DUI lawyer represent you in this case. Although it is possible that an attorney could get a case completely dismissed, there is no guarantee of that result no matter who you hire. An attorney can work the case to look for flaws in it and appropriate defenses in an attempt to get the DUI charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge. Unless there is no question or argument that the other person was 100% at fault (and that is rarely the case), they will likely try to use the DUI arrest against you in seeking damages in what is called a "restitution" hearing. And even if it was determined that the other driver was 100% at fault, it wouldn't mean that your case is automatically dismissed given that you had a BAC higher than .08. With the accident involved, your case becomes more complicated with potentially more risk involved (above an already serious DUI case). You may find that not having an experienced attorney representing you may cost you more in the long run.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/10/2012
    Law Office of Brian K. Wanerman
    Law Office of Brian K. Wanerman | Brian K. Wanerman
    That depends on many factors that may affect your situation. For instance, depending on what kind of work you do, a conviction may affect any licenses you need to stay in business or employed. You should consult an attorney for advice before making the decision whether to hire one or represent yourself. Most attorneys will give you an initial consultation for free.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/10/2012
    Todd Landgren, Professional Law Corp.
    Todd Landgren, Professional Law Corp. | Todd Landgren
    Depending on the County and Court, an .09% probably wuold be reduced but not dismissed, depending on all aspects of the case. A lawyer would definitely help, but don't expectthat it will be dismissed without going to trial. In most courts, you would be lucky to get a"wet" reckless offer, which really doesn't amount to poop.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/10/2012
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi | Elliott Zarabi
    Having a lawyer is always better than not having one! You should do everything in your power when fighting criminal charges. So, my answer is, yes you should have an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/10/2012
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