Transcript of Episode 009 “Ask a Lawyer with Joey Franks” – When’s the Best Time to Hire a DUI Lawyer?

When should I retain a DUI attorney if I’ve been pulled over?

Attorney Franks: Right when you get out of jail. Go and get on the Internet and look around and try to find somebody that is in your wheelhouse. It needs to be an experienced fit for you. Call and do a consultation with the DUI Attorney.

Can a DUI charge turn into a felony?

Attorney Franks: In fact, most are misdemeanor charges. However, DUIs can be changed to a felony charge in three different ways. First is a third offense DUI. You could get some real serious time in the state pen. Then there’s Child Endangerment DUI and that can be really bad. It’s a misdemeanor unless a child is injured while you’re driving drunk in a car. Also, there’s aggravated DUI. That’s when you cause an accident and seriously injure someone in your car or the other car. That most defiantly is a serious offense felony with many years of jail time involved.

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What do you do for those charged with a DUI?

Attorney Franks: The first thing I try to do is prevent an initial appearance and reduce the time you’re in court. I know you need to make a living and can’t be in court all the time. Then I try seeing your court file. New rules for the courts allow discovery that wasn’t there before and prosecutors have to give us those files. I look at what they have against you like reports, crime labs, cop statements, car cam videos; those sorts of things. For instance, did the cop fail to prove a DUI beyond a reasonable doubt? There’s lots to look at there and I look facts and apply the law to your benefit. We’re aggressive when going to court. – so that makes me an aggressive DUI lawyer here in Jackson MS.

Can you help immigrants who get pulled over for a DUI?

Attorney Franks: With legal immigrants, there could be visas or paperwork issues because we have to disclose the DUI to the authorities. What’s more, Illegal immigrants could be deported from the United States. Sometimes in small towns, no action is taken at all. But, normally a DYI is not a huge road block to being a legal immigrant.

Again, what happens if children are in the car during a DUI stop?

Attorney Franks: It’s DUI Child Endangerment with a bigger jail and fine penalty. You’re looking at a year in jail for this. If a child 15-years, or younger is in the car, then there’s another offense. However, it’s a misdemeanor unless the child is injured.

Many times, we can resolve things to your benefit. Let’s say the cop does not get proper information for the kid and can’t prove they are under age 15. The statute requirements are not resolved. But, my best advice is please don’t drink and drive and don’t drink and drive with a child in the car. The cops are keeping their eyes out and will throw the book at you. That being said, I’m here to help.