We recently represented a medical professional specializing in emergency medicine who faced his second DUI charge at the Westminster courthouse in Orange County. During our representation for this second DUI, he unfortunately incurred a third DUI, also at the Westminster courthouse. This individual’s job required him to travel between hospitals in the LA and Orange County areas for surgeries and equipment training. A jail sentence would have resulted in job loss.
Our client, a medical professional in his early 30s, frequently travels to different hospitals to perform surgeries and trains other doctors in equipment use.
Charges or Allegations:
The charges were for his second DUI, and while out celebrating, he picked up a third DUI. The legal challenges included his inability to attend DUI court due to his demanding work schedule, necessitating a solution like home confinement. This was a challenging option to secure, as home confinements are more common for second DUIs than for third ones.
Our law office’s strategy involved enrolling our client in residential rehab and arranging for him to live at a facility, demonstrating his commitment to addressing his issues. We also ensured he enrolled in DUI classes. Additionally, we collected documentation to show his need for mobility at work, underscoring that DUI court was not a viable option.
The case progressed through the legal system, from arraignments and pretrial for the second DUI to negotiations for a disposition allowing house arrest or home confinement. The third DUI complicated matters further, requiring a similar approach with the arraignment and pretrial, and posed challenges with the judge and prosecutor.
The case resulted in our client being able to serve his sentence under house arrest, thus avoiding jail and retaining his job. Despite the closeness of the DUI charges, keeping his job and staying out of jail were his primary concerns. A compromise involved installing an ignition interlock device on his car for three years.
Our client was able to maintain his job and avoid jail. He has since remained sober, abstaining from drinking and driving, and continues to thrive in the medical field.
What is your experience in handling third DUI cases, particularly for professionals with demanding careers?
Our experience in handling DUI cases, particularly for professionals with demanding careers, is extensive. We have represented individuals from various fields, including real estate, medicine, physical therapy, and professional sports. In many of our cases, we have successfully managed them discreetly, often resolving the cases without our clients needing to appear in court.
How does your firm approach cases with complex job-related constraints, like the need for travel in the medical field?
In cases with complex job-related constraints, such as those involving travel in the medical field, we meticulously gather and inventory all details of our clients’ responsibilities before starting negotiations. This approach differs from other attorneys who may initially agree to certain terms and then add the client’s specific requirements later.
What alternative sentencing options can you explore for DUI cases to avoid jail time?
For third DUI cases, several alternative sentencing options are available to avoid jail time. One common option is the DUI court program, an intensive outpatient program requiring regular check-ins. Another option is house arrest, where a person pleads guilty and then applies for it, as was the case in this scenario. Additionally, there is an option where a person completes their sentencing before the plea to obtain pre-credits, often used when a person has a challenging past and might struggle with securing or completing house arrest.
Can you help with enrolling in and managing court-mandated programs like DUI classes or rehab while maintaining work commitments?
Yes, we assist with enrolling and managing court-mandated programs, such as DUI classes, and coordinate with local rehab facilities as per court requirements. We also arrange for our clients to receive credits for participating in residential rehab programs.
How do you negotiate with judges and prosecutors in cases with multiple DUI charges?
Negotiating with judges and prosecutors in multiple DUI cases is complex. Prosecutors often seek jail time, while judges aim to facilitate the justice system, balancing deterrence, punitive measures, and rehabilitation. It’s crucial to understand the tendencies of each judge and prosecutor in the room for effective negotiation, knowing when to discuss certain issues like presets and credits.
What strategies do you employ to ensure minimal impact on a client’s professional life in DUI cases?
Our strategies to minimize the impact on a client’s professional life in DUI cases involve considering the client’s profession and limitations before starting negotiations. This approach helps us understand how much we can negotiate and what compromises can be made.
Call to Action:
If you are facing a second or third DUI in the Orange County Superior Court, contact our office for skilled legal assistance.