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Criminal Law


hearing within the 10 day requirement. It’s also important to remind clients to look out for MVA notices after the District Court case is completed. For a variety of reasons, the MVA sends out notices of suspension and revocation after court, and those must be answered within a very short window of time to avoid the suspension or revocation. All these nuances must be explained to the client from the beginning to avoid an angry client. Many attorneys who don’t practice regularly in this


area think that a first time offender has nothing to lose in District Court as a Probation Before Judgment is inevitable. Nothing can be further from reality. First and foremost, a PBJ is not a “given” in every jurisdiction. Consistency among the bench is not common. Terefore, it’s important to know what to expect – not only in each jurisdiction – but also from the various Judges. Moreover, dealing with parole and probation or the


Drinking Driving Monitor Program (DDMP) while on probation is not something most clients want even though on the outset it may seem simple and easy. Every attorney should look at a first time DUI/DWI case not as PBJ case but as a trial that may end in PBJ as a worst-case scenario. Often times, there are good defenses to such cases, and


again, it would be a disservice to the client to always take the “easy” way out. Also, in many scenarios a PBJ is not a “given” when there is an accident involved, if your client is underage, or if the breath test result is very high. Having a


trial in a DUI/DWI case can be very


challenging, but getting a “Not Guilty” is very rewarding. Given that a case has so many components, it’s often easy to break it down and have the State prove each component. It’s very important to know the relevant case law and be well- versed in the technical aspects of field sobriety tests and the nuances of the breath test. A well-versed defense attorney will begin to scrutinize the State’s case from the initial stop all the way through the administration of the breath test. Tus, knowing all the key components of a DUI/DWI is key to defending the client appropriately. Our philosophy is also to practice a variation of


collaborative law in defending our clients in court. Prosecutors, public defenders, Judges and police officers are more than willing to help with solutions. Te common goal is to make sure a first time offender is not back for a second offense. Although we often cannot reveal our entire defense to the State, it is often easy to work things out before trial in an effort to resolve the case. We have found that working


*NHTSA


Statistics show that 60-80% of suspended DWI/DUI offenders continue to drive.* Help your DWI client avoid further criminal behavior, and get back on the road legally, by installing a LifeSaferTM


, the most widely used ignition interlock in the United States.


50 Trial Reporter / Summer 2011


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