I handle a lot of DUI cases, and I speak with a lot of people facing this charge. Over the years, I have repeatedly heard a few things that could politely be called “urban legends,” but that I think are more accurately described as bulls**t. To be clear, I am about to dismiss these notions completely, but once again I must repeat that since I only handle DUI cases in my area, I cannot say for sure what happens in other places (although I strongly suspect that neither of these “fables” is true outside of my area, either). In this article, we’ll deal with the “deal of the century” scam involving the worlds greatest Plea Bargain. In the next article, we’ll dismiss another often-mentioned, but never-true rumor.
The first “urban legend” I hear is that someone knows someone else who knows some lawyer who can have a DUI dropped to the civil infraction of Careless Driving. This “deal” is usually available for a hefty legal fee, all paid in advance. This deal does not happen. Ever. Alcohol-related Traffic Offenses are never, ever, ever “dropped” to civil infractions, or any other kind of non Alcohol-related Traffic Offense, except in the most unusual, exceptional and rare kind of case. This kind of case comes along once every few years, at most.
When someone runs this kind of hair-brained idea by me, I first tell them that such “deals” don’t happen, and then I suggest that if it’s such a sure thing, they should work out some kind of arrangement with the lawyer which provides a refund of some of that hefty fee if the deal doesn’t go down as they’ve been made to believe.
Not surprisingly, that kind of deal doesn’t happen, either.
Think about this for a moment; the internet is filled with all kinds of Legal websites dealing with DUI. Some, like mine, detail how DUI cases are usually handled. Others focus on (very expensive) ways to challenge the case, but absolutely none of them even hints at the “dropped to a careless” deal. Could it be that, different as the approaches of the various Legal websites may be, they are all at least above-board, whereas the phantom “deal” which always comes secondhand is a scam?
Listen, if you think a deal like that can be had, let me help you get rich. See, I got an e-mail from this Princess in some far away country who has a few hundred million dollars stuck in her bank account, and in order to get it out, she needs your help….
Another Big Scam Involving DUI Cases that is Always Untrue
In the previous section, we dismissed the scam-notion about someone who knows someone who knows some Lawyer who can get a DUI “dropped” to the Civil Infraction of Careless Driving. In this article, we’ll tackle another “urban legend” that has some people literally shaking in their boots when they contact me about their DUI charge. Again, I need to make clear that I only handle DUI cases in my area, so although I suspect that what I’m about to say is true everywhere, I can only confirm that it’s true in my area.
Part of my job as a DUI Lawyer is to make sure my Clients are well-informed. In order to be able to fully explain what will and will not happen in any given case, I believe it’s essential for me, at least, to limit my practice geographically so that I appear in the same Courts, in front of the same Judges, day-in and day-out. This allows me to learn how each Judge handles a DUI case, and in turn, I can prepare my Client for what to expect.
The “urban legend” that I hear often enough to warrant addressing is that the Judge who will be hearing my Client’s case had a son or daughter killed by a Drunk Driver. In certain cases, it may be that the person has heard that one of the Judge’s in a particular Court has suffered this loss, but the point is the same. So let’s get rid of this rumor right now:
If there was even a grain of truth to any of this, you would expect that either that Judge would recuse (disqualify) him or her self from hearing DUI cases, or at least have faced a rash of motions for recusal by Lawyers for those facing DUI charges. But it never happened.
If you or someone you know is facing a DUI charge and have heard this rumor, you can take it to the bank that it’s absolutely, 100% false. DUI charges come loaded with enough problems, but this, at least, isn’t one of them.