Assuming there is no defense: This mistake is number one for a reason, it is potentially the biggest mistake you can make. EVERY DUI case can and should be defended. It’s your Constitutional right. A belief that your case can’t be defended can only lead to one result – guilty: and this is the very result you should be trying to avoid. Remember that it is unlikely that you will ever regret aggressively defending your case, but you certainly might regret not defending it!
If you’ve already retained an attorney, then your attorney should be talking to you about what defenses apply in your case. If your attorney is not doing this, then chances are pretty good that he/she simply doesn’t know how to defend your case. This lack of knowledge can be fatal to your case.
On the other hand, if you are interviewing possible attorneys to represent you, discuss with him/her what defenses apply in your case, and equally important, how likely these defenses are to meet with success. Select the attorney who seems to be the most knowledgeable and who has the most positive outlook and attitude. As you go through this selection process it’s best to always remember one thing, success can only happen when you believe in your attorney and your attorney believes in your case!
There are hundreds of possible defenses to your pending Michigan DUI case, and without a knowledgeable lawyer there is no way to know if yours is one of the many cases dismissed or significantly reduced each year. This brings us to mistake number two:
Hiring the Wrong Lawyer: Like mistake number one, this mistake carries huge consequences. But how do you know who the best lawyer is for your case? Internet research is one excellent way. Look to see if the same lawyer is listed in multiple sites, especially consumer advocate sites like AVVO where lawyers are independently rated. Referrals is another great way to get to a great lawyer. At the Barone Defense Firm many of our cases are referred to us by prosecutors, judges and police officers. The people we see day in and day out, and know how we perform when “on stage” in the court room. Aggressive, effective, but always polite and respectful. At the Barone Defense Firm we often hear: “I wish I would have hired you for my first case, it was a far better case. Regret is a terrible thing. Don’t let this happen to you.
Hiring the Cheapest Lawyer: A great DUI lawyer once said: “good lawyers aren’t cheap and cheap lawyers aren’t good.” A great DUI education costs time and it costs money. Traveling around the country to attend and / or present at the top DUI seminars around the country each year is an expensive endeavor. The cost of a Michigan DUI lawyer is also an indication of how the lawyer perceives him or herself, and more importantly how the Michigan DUI lawyer is perceived by others. So called Michigan DUI lawyers sell out their clients every day because they didn’t have the time (meaning you didn’t pay for the time) to properly defend your case. Don’t let this happen to you.
Believing “My Cop Friend Can Get Me a Deal”: It’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to get a good deal because your best friend knows a judge who knows the prosecutor and can get your case dismissed routine will work. It doesn’t. There’s an old adage that good lawyers know the law, great lawyers know the judge. When it comes to Michigan DUI lawyers, you’d better stick with the lawyer and law firm that knows both.
Believing That You’ll be OK Because You’re a Doctor: Or a lawyer or a CEO, or just a plain great person. The judge, the prosecutor and the cop won’t much care about your social status. What really matters are the facts and circumstances of your case, and what you’ve done after your arrest, things like seeking alcohol treatment.
Falling For a Sales-Pitch: Lawyers are trained advocates, and when they’re advocating for their own pocket-books, you just might get taken. Before you even call a lawyer you find on the internet, make sure to do your due-diligence. One good way to find out if your lawyer is for real is to go to the court where your case is pending and ask the staff. Believe me, they know who are the good, the bad and the ugly!
Missing a Court Date or Deadline: One of the worst things you can do to yourself is to procrastinate and not make a decision on who to hire, and because of this miss an important deadline in your case or God forbid, miss an actual court date.
Not Becoming Involved in Treatment: One of the best things you can do to help yourself and help your lawyer is to become involved in alcohol or drug treatment. This is especially true for repeat offenders, but many first time offenders can benefit from treatment as well. The judge and the prosecutor will look very favorably on this fact, and it certainly can’t hurt. And, sobriety just may be the best thing that happens as a result of a Michigan DUI arrest.
Taking the Prosecutor’s Advice: Many people who go to court without an attorney ask the prosecutor what they should do. This can never turn out well. The prosecutor is there for one reason only – to convict you. And, even though many prosecutors are good honorable people, in reality, prosecutors only care about getting the conviction with the least amount of time and trouble.
Showing Up to Court Drunk: This is no joke. Unfortunately, we’ve seen it happen too many times. Many people charged with a Michigan DUI drink the night before their appearance, or worst yet, come to court after drinking. If you’ve been arrested in Michigan for DUI your best bet is to adopt a no- alcohol policy. In fact, if you hire the Barone Defense Firm to represent you, we’ll require that you stop drinking. It’s always a condition of your bond, and we can’t help you if you don’t help yourself.
Not Telling Your Lawyer EVERYTHING: The surest way to a humiliating and embarrassing defeat is an ill-informed lawyer. It’s up to you to hire the best Michigan DUI lawyer you can afford, and then to arm him will all of the information that may be useful to your case.