Transcript of Episode 007 “Ask a Lawyer with Joey Franks” – With a DUI – What Offenses Can Be Filed?

If I’m stopped and the officer suspects a DUI, what can I be charged with?

Attorney Franks: Five DUI charges. Number one is DUI refusal and that means you would not submit as requested by the cop. DUI First Offense MS is what it says. It’s the first time you’ve been charged with a DUI. DUI second offense is a second DUI leveled against you in five years. Third DUI is the third offense in five years. Aggravated DUI is a felony as you hurt someone in an accident and is a jury trial.

How long does it take for my file to work its way through court?

Attorney Franks: It depends on the court and there’s not an easy answer. It it’s from the time of arrest to the beginning of the trial, then we’re looking at 3 – 4 months, not including continuances requested by the state. That could add 1 – 3 months more. If we are appealing with a nolo contendere, it’s probably going to get pushed out six months because it’s a different court and we begin the process all over. The courts decide the schedule, hence the variable time frames.

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How does getting a lawyer help?

Attorney Franks: Attorneys know the law and rules of evidence. I practice and keep up with DUI laws. Since I specialize in criminal justice law, it makes for a better result. It’ll be less expensive and time consuming in the long run because I know all the ins and outs

Cost?

Attorney Franks: Well, what are charges? There’s normally something like a speeding ticket, failure to use your turn signal when changing lanes or turning onto another street or merging, careless driving; those kinds of things. There’s often a vehicle search for drugs and associated paraphernalia. Folks maybe have five charges and the DUI. So, more charges equal more cost. Sometimes in court, I can resolve things by speaking with the prosecutor and it takes an hour total. But, I’ve been in the courtroom for as much as 10 hours waiting for the case to be called. Also, keep in mind, I have to do extensive research and work with the client and tell them options.

What do you mean by options?

Attorney Franks: For instance, why did they stop you? Is there probable cause to pull you over? Can the cop articulate that they smelled booze on you? Did they hear you with slurred speech and that type of thing? What’s more, field sobriety tests are designed for folks to fail and are difficult to explain to the court. Cops miss cues and test standardization. Did you know, the test on side of the road is for probable cause only? The one at the station matters, but is the cop certified to operate the big intoxilyzer machine? Is the intoxilyzer machine certified as accurate and calibrated? What’s more, you have the right to confront your accusers, so if the cop is not at your trial, your case will most likely be dismissed. A DUI Lawyer will know the many defenses in a DUI case.