I've been practicing now in San Fernando court for 30 years. I started out working for the District Attorney's office and then a Superior Court judge, and then in the early 1990s, I began defending people for DUIs just like you, handling cases in San Fernando court -- hundreds since the early 1990s.
So, I know how to deal with a DUI, and I know how to identify attorneys who have the best characteristics. So, probably the number one characteristic is the courthouse. You've got to be local to is. You've got to handle cases there. You've got to know the judges and prosecutors, know who the supervisors are, and know what it takes to get the best result.
You've got to know when a case is worth trying and when a case should be negotiated, and you've got to understand what a case is worth if you are going to negotiate it.
In other words, should the charge be less? If so, what should the new charge be? Should there be jail time in the case? Should your client lose their driver's license? These are all things people are concerned with when they get busted or arrested for a DUI. California primarily uses some common statutes for driving under the influence, including:
- Vehicle Code 23152(a) VC - driving under the influence;
- Vehicle Code 23152(b) VC - driving with blood alcohol content 0.08%, or more;
- Vehicle Code 23152(f) VC - driving under the influence of drugs.
California Vehicle Code 23153 VC defines the crime of DUI causing injury. This law makes driving under the influence more severe in a situation where somebody was injured.
It is described as somebody driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs and causing physical harm to another person as a result. Our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys will review this top further below.
Knowing the Local Court and Trial Skills
The number one characteristic for the best DUI lawyer knows the court is being local to it and understanding its players. I know the prosecutors. I know the judges.
The second characteristic that I believe is important knows how to try a case. Many of the DUI attorneys that are advertising, if they're doing DUI cases, they're not going to trial very often because many of these cases don't go to trial.
That means they don't have excellent trial skills. I think there's a huge segment of DUI defense attorneys who have never done a trial in their life. Do you want that as your attorney?
They've got to have the ability to go to trial. Even if you're not going to go to trial, you want to make sure that the prosecutors realize that if it's a close case and you're trying to get a different charge, you could go to trial as an attorney beat them.
If they know all you do is resolve cases, they will not give a better resolution. Why should they? So, being able to go to trial is crucial. I've done probably close to 250 jury trials over the years.
I know how to fight these cases. I know what it takes to win. I know when it's the right move to negotiate it, and I'm certainly very transparent and honest with my clients as it relates to that.
Likability of Attorney
I think another thing when it comes to DUIs is likability. What I mean by that is, I believe your attorney has got to be liked and respected in the courthouse where your case is pending. San Fernando is a pretty tight-knit courthouse.
I know all the prosecutors. I know all the judges because I've been dealing with them for many years and handled many cases in that particular courthouse. That's crucial because if the attorney is not liked or is not experienced or known in the courthouse, they're not going to get the best resolution.
Plain and simple. They won't know who to talk to. A lot of times, if they're not experienced, they won't know what to say even to try to get a better resolution, and they won't know how to make the crucial decision as to whether or not to fight the case, file a motion or simply try to resolve it.
Honest Assessment of Your DUI Case
It would help if you had an open and honest attorney telling you the truth about your driving under the influence case and not someone who makes false promises.
And you see this often. You call in and talk to the attorney and their staff, and right away, they're talking about getting the case dismissed and other information that doesn't have anything to do with your case.
I know this is because I meet with people after they've met with other attorneys who don't understand why the attorney is saying certain things. After all, it doesn't have anything to do with me – and it was overly optimistic. It sounded like they would get my case dismissed, but I was confused because they had all the information, and it seemed unrealistic to make that kind of statement this early in the case.
So, I think honesty and being straightforward are crucial factors. You don't want someone who's just going to lie to you so they can get your money, and you get bad news later about your case. You could have to plead guilty, and you're getting harsh punishments that you don't want.
So, if you want the best attorney, you've come to the right place. I've handled thousands of DUI cases in the San Fernando court. I've been practicing for 30 years. I stand at the ready to help you. Pick up the phone. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. Hedding Law Firm offers a free case consultation to discuss the specific details of your case and legal options moving forward.