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DUI Answers

DUI Myths

There is considerable misinformation about DUI cases, even among attorneys not particularly experienced in the field.

 

Fighting your DUI. In the past few hundred cases, not one of mine has had to go to trial. Trials are very expensive, and to challenge a breath test result invariably requires an expert witness at great cost. Moreover, the breath test is almost bullet proof, regardless of what you read on the internet from attorneys who love going to trial with your money. The effective way to challenge a DUI is on procedural technicalities, and I include those challenges in my base fee, not my trial fee.

 

Expungement. Alaska does not have expungement. At all. There is a provision for a ‘suspended imposition of sentence (SIS,)’ but it does not apply to DUI cases.

 

Breath test challenges. If the breath test is verified to be calibrated, and if it does not abort due to mouth alcohol […]

Fight Your DUI

I recommend without hesitation that you always hire a private attorney to defend your DUI case. I can also state forthrightly that, in more instances than not, the result will be the same. In the majority of cases, the police follow the rules enough that the DUI is a solid one.

 

I have defended many, many DUIs over the 36 years I’ve been practicing. I’ve seen what appear to be hopeless cases with high BAC results turn into dismissals. I’ve seen the opposite end, in which someone who blew right on the line was convicted, because the police did everything right. As I describe it, it’s luck of the draw.

 

DUI cases almost never go to trial. Despite what you read on the internet, breath test results are almost always bullet proof. If there is a challenge to the Datamaster result or procedures, that challenge comes by way of pretrial motion, not […]

After DUI Arrest in Alaska

Drivers Licenses

Upon a first conviction, you will lose your license for 90 days (one year for a CDL.) If you are convicted of DUI or lose your license administratively, you may not drive at all for 30 days. You may obtain a ‘limited/unlimited’ license after the first 30 days, provided you comply with all DMV requirements: complete an approved alcohol class, pass the written and vision, pay a reinstatement fee, obtain SR22 insurance, and have an ignition interlock device installed for the remaining 60 days of the 90-day revocation. You do not have to obtain a limited/unlimited. You may simply decide not to drive for the 60 optional days. But because you get credit for the costs of the ignition interlock device against any court fine, there’s no reason not to obtain the limited/unlimited.

 

You may then reinstate your license fully after 90 days from the start of revocation. You must (mandatory) comply […]

Field Sobriety Tests

Rule #1: You do not have to take the field sobriety tests. You must take the portable breath test in the field, or be charged with an infraction. You MUST take the breath test (Datamaster) at the police station or be charged with an A misdemeanor, Refusal to Submit, which carries the same penalties as a DUI.

 

You do NOT have to submit to field sobriety tests, and I always recommend that you tell the police officer: Thank you, but I am not willing to take the field sobriety tests. I want to talk with my lawyer immediately.

 

Stand firm on both those things: No field tests, and a request to speak with counsel

 

If you take field sobriety tests, this is a quick analysis:

 

All the time I hear my clients say, ‘And I passed all those tests.’ Then, when I listen to the recordings, it becomes apparent that my client must […]

How Do I Find The Best DUI Attorney?

Call around. Talk to people in the community. Call and speak with the lawyer. The good ones won’t charge for a consultation.

 

Here’s my take: Lawyers are like everybody else … There are a few really good ones, a few really bad ones, and a whole bunch in between.

 

There are two things you’re looking for: A lawyer who does a lot of DUIs, and a lawyer who cares about you. A lawyer who possesses only one of those qualities might be capable but could give a hoot, or he/she might be a fine person but not have a clue about DUIs.

 

Shop around. I value my reputation and always want my clients to feel comfortable with what I’m doing. I never promise results, but I work hard and care about what I’m doing.

DUI Arrest Rights

DUI First Offense in Alaska

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Free Consultation – Advice From an Experienced Attorney

I do not charge for an initial consultation to discuss the basic facts of your case, the general laws of DUI, as well as the possible consequences.

 

It is important to me that you feel comfortable and confident with me as your attorney, and I’m willing to take some time at no cost to you in order that you may evaluate me as a lawyer.

 

One note: I am frequently asked to give a quick opinion as to whether a case is defensible, or I’m asked to quickly read the police reports and give an opinion. Any lawyer who gives an opinion about the merits of a DUI case based on what you recall of it or based on a cursory reading of the police reports isn’t a lawyer of merit. Police reports give very little information that might help you. All the substance of a DUI case is contained in […]