The Law Offices of Stull & Stull specializes in handling legal defense for DUI (Driving under the Influence).
If you were recently arrested in Orange County for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your body is likely under a tremendous amount of stress. You are probably very worried. More than likely, you haven't slept well and may be ‘sick to your stomach’ over everything that has happened.
If this sounds like you, relax, take a deep breath and remember, “It is not the end of the world.” Unlike other criminal offences, a DUI conviction is not a crime of moral turpitude. A crime of moral turpitude is one that would prevent you from obtaining employment or professional licensing. An example of a crime of moral turpitude would be a theft or forgery case, or any case where you were proven to have knowingly committed a criminal act.
Driving under the influence cases do not fall under this category. With respect to employment, remember that if you are convicted of a DUI, you could, theoretically, still qualify for political offices or any other leadership position – remember, President Bush was convicted of a DUI.
Having said that, a DUI case should NOT be treated light. It can have serious repercussions - if it is not handled correctly. With proper legal representation, you will make it through this period of time and ultimately you will be okay.
The Law Offices of Stull & Stull has handled hundreds of DUI cases. We have 45 years of combined criminal trial experience in Orange County as well as Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Kern, Tulare, Fresno and Ventura counties. The Law Office of Stull & Stull is based in Laguna Beach, California.
Many of our clients are very busy, overworked professionals or are afraid to go to the courthouse. Most of our clients also do not like to sit in a court room for 2-4 hours of their day and listen to the Judge call each case before he gets to their name. The good news is there is a provision in the Penal Code – Section 977(a), which allows your attorney to make all of your court appearances with your approval.
This means, ultimately, you may never have to appear in court. Our typical client never steps foot in the court room. We handle all of the court appearances and, if the case reaches the point where we enter a plea, we can send the plea by mail and you simply have to sign a few documents and have your signature notarized. Furthermore, we go to the alcohol liaison office and set up the appointment for the court ordered DUI school and the Mothers Against Drunk Drivers panels for you, so you do not have to wait in their offices.
Having an attorney represent and attend court on your behalf can save you many, many hours of anxiety, frustration and time. We are very experienced in the process, and we handle most misdemeanor cases for clients without them ever having to appear in court.
You likely have a number of questions relating to your arrest and defense. Some examples of the questions or concerns you may have are:
You will have lots of questions regarding these issues and we have lots of questions to ask you regarding these issues in order to accurately answer your questions. The best way to handle your questions and concerns is to meet with us personally to go over each point of concern. We will answer your questions and give you a better feel of where you stand with your particular case.
If you search around the Internet, you may find a “punishment chart” that explains the statutory penalties the courts can impose for a DUI case. Remember, the courts do not have to follow the minimum sentence guidelines, and can sometimes be less or more severe (depending on your circumstances). The courts can also impose a combination of different penalties for one charge. The only way to know your options is through legal consultation based on the specifics of the charges against you.
On a first time offense, the fees can vary. However, if this is a first offense, in which we can build a clear defense strategy, the fees are generally $2,500-$7,500. However, based on certain circumstances, as well as the individual case, the fees can be less or more.
Additionally, there can be other legal costs, which can range from investigative costs (for example, if we need to send an investigator to interview witnesses, take photographs, create video re-enactments or perform various other investigative tasks) the costs will vary and will be billed to our client on a “dollar for dollar cost basis” (we do not “mark up” any of these fees – and will provide you with a copy of their billing to our firm, if requested).
Additionally, if required, our client may have to incur the cost of an expert witness – In the case of a DUI, this person will be someone who is an expert in calculating and analyzing blood alcohol content, alcohol and breath measurement machinery and field sobriety test procedures. These fees are usually a minimum of $200, and, depending on whether the expert’s testimony is required for court, the fees can run up to $1,500.
Not every case needs an investigation or expert witness involvement. However, we do have these services at our disposal if they are needed.
We have prepared additional articles concerning California DUI (driving under the influence). You may also contact our office for free consultation for a current legal matter.