What should a Marine charged with a DUI do? 7 Answers as of September 14, 2010

One of my fellow marines was arrested last weekend for DUI. He is a marine and we want to know what could happen to him.

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Law Offices of John Carney
Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
He should immediately hire a veteran criminal defense attorney who specializes in DWI cases. I have done them for 27 years, and I only do criminal law. I am very reasonable as to fees, which start at just $500, depending on the nature of the case. Visit my website and feel free to call for a free consultation.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 9/14/2010
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
A person in the military should hire experienced counsel for any DWI. A DWI is a criminal offense. It also results in a civil license revocation. A criminal conviction often results in a period of probation which can affect a military career. While the person is on probation, they are often precluded from deploying or relocating out of state until the probation period has expired. This can be part of the negotiation even where defenses to the underlying offense are weak.

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Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 9/14/2010
Smith & John
Smith & John | Kenneth Craig Smith, Jr.
He needs to check with an attorney in the state where he was arrested.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 9/11/2010
The Law Offices of Lance Rogers
The Law Offices of Lance Rogers | Lance Rogers
Frankly, your friend will likely face more penalties on base than in court. However, if he has grounds to get the case dismissed or reduced to something less than a misdemeanor DUI he may be able to save himself considerable military punishment such as a dock in pay or loss of rank. He will have a misdemeanor arraignment in the future. It may be helpful to seek counsel before that time. Importantly, there is only a 10-day window to challenge the DMV license suspension so he should get a move on.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/10/2010
Law Offices of Juan Dotson
Law Offices of Juan Dotson | Juan Dotson
For starters, he should consult an attorney about his right to a DMV hearing; he must request this DMV hearing within 10 days of his arrest (we can prevent his license from being suspended until a hearing is conducted). This Marine should contact an attorney now to handle his DMV hearing as it will provide a brief preview of his criminal case.

Depending on what type of evidence was gathered, any of the following could happen to him at court, assuming this is his first DUI conviction. At his court date (arraignment), which is listed on the citation he was given upon being released, he will be offered probation, a DUI class (length of class depends on defendant's blood alcohol level), jail time, and a huge fine. If he chooses to plead guilty or no contest, his license will be suspended.

He should consult with an attorney prior to making a decision as an attorney could offer him advice on whether there are deficiencies in the state's case, such as whether the officer had any probable cause to make the stop or arrest, or whether the evidence was collected properly, etc. At times, we advise our clients to enter a not guilty plea when we believe the prosecution will have a difficult time proving a necessary element of the offense and use this deficiency as leverage to broker a better deal for the client, such as reduced charges (reckless driving or a simple moving violation) or reduced fines (wet reckless driving) or no license suspension.

As with all criminal cases, if he does not have the funds to hire a private attorney, one will be appointed to him at court, but not for his DMV hearing. Please have him read this site and contact me if he’d like to schedule an interview.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/20/2010
    Law Offices of Ramona Hallam
    Law Offices of Ramona Hallam | Ramona Hallam
    The answer will depend on where he was arrested and the circumstances surrounding arrest, including his Blood Alcohol Content, the jurisdiction that he was arrested in, and whether he was on state or federal property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2010
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    There is no mystery that he is now charged with a crime, with potential jail, fines, loss of license, probation, alcohol school, etc. The DMV will also suspend his license automatically. He will also be obligated by the Uniform Code of Military Justice to self report it to his commander. He faces USMC discipline and penalties.

    Upon release from jail or booking, he will be given documents that include a notice from DMV that he has only ten days to file a request with DMV for a hearing on an appeal of the automatic one-year suspension of license. Contact DMV and do so, timely. He can hire an attorney for that hearing if he wants.

    He also was provided a notice of court appearance for Arraignment. Go to that hearing and he may plead not guilty if he chooses. He will be provided a copy of all the police reports and charging Complaint. There he will 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, he will file any appropriate Motions. Unless he knows how to effectively represent himself in all this, he should hire an attorney who does. The conventional wisdom is that the attorney will be able to get him a better deal than he could on his own, or effectively try the case if forced to that. That is what he is paying for. His attorney will be able to use whatever legal issues, facts, evidence, witnesses, he may have in your defense.

    If serious about hiring counsel, and if this case is in Southern California courts, he should feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2010
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