What should I do if I hit someone after having a few drinks? 4 Answers as of July 22, 2010

I was drinking very little at a cocktail party with my wife this weekend. I only had a few glasses of wine. After we left the party, I drove home because I knew there was no way that I was above the legal limit. On our way, we were driving through a very dark area and I could barely see anything. I accidentally hit a woman who was in the street. She was scraped, but was not seriously hurt. I was arrested and charged with DUI among other things. I am in good standing with the community and don't want to go to jail and be humiliated. What should I do?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Offices of Juan Dotson
Law Offices of Juan Dotson | Juan Dotson
Yes, hire an attorney immediately even if the injured woman has not hired an attorney. Do not talk to this case to anyone except your attorney. This includes your insurance company as their interest lies in minimizing their exposure, even if it means throwing you under the bus to save a buck.

Although you have no criminal record, this DUI arrest can be filed as a felony by the district attorney since it is a DUI causing injury (Vehicle Code section 23153). Your witness (assuming they are not intoxicated) may be valuable in proving that you were not driving impaired.

As with all criminal cases, if you do not have the funds to hire a private attorney, one will be appointed to you at court, but not for the DMV hearing. Please call my office to schedule an interview in my downtown Los Angeles or Long Beach office.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/21/2010
Hale Law Group
Hale Law Group | Joshua D. Hale
You should hire an attorney immediately. Unfortunately you are looking at some serious issues here. You need a serious attorney. Give me a call as soon as possible!
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/21/2010
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
Immediately hire an attorney and follow his advice. Say nothing to anyone but him. You face DUI with aggravating factors, possible felony charges due to the injuries. Jail is a possibility you have to face. You also face a civil suit for personal injury and other damages. I hope for your sake you have adequate insurance.

Upon release from jail or booking, you’ll be given documents that include a notice from DMV that you have only ten days to file a request with DMV for a hearing on an appeal of the automatic one-year suspension of your license. Contact DMV and do so, timely. You can hire an attorney for that hearing if you want. He can advise if you have any likelihood of success in that appeal.

You also were provided a notice of court appearance for Arraignment. If you don’t hire an attorney, go to that hearing and plead not guilty. You’ll be provided a copy of all the police reports and charging Complaint. There you’ll have to set a date for Pre-Trial hearing where negotiations with the DA are first conducted. If the case is not plea bargained, it will be set for Trial. Prior to that, you’ll file any appropriate Motions. Unless you know how to effectively represent yourself in all this, hire an attorney who does. The conventional wisdom is that the attorney will be able to get you a better deal than you could on your own, or effectively try the case if forced to that. That is what you are paying for. Your attorney will be able to use whatever legal issues, facts, evidence, witnesses, you may have in your defense.

If serious about hiring counsel, feel free to contact me.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/21/2010
Click to View More Answers:

Need more information on drunk driving law? Visit our free DUI resource page to learn more.

If you need immediate assistance, fill out a free case evaluation form to connect with a DUI lawyer in your area today!