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Top Ten Tips > First 48 Hours

10. Don't Act on Casual or Bad Advice.

A good Mendocino County DUI lawyer will tell you: never, ever blindly follow legal advice offered by Mendocino County law enforcement, or an employee at the Ukiah DMV, or at the drinking driver DUI program classes, or even friends and family. With respect to government employees, although sometimes well-intentioned public servants, still, police and other government workers are paid (and often rewarded with bonuses, promotions, medals and social media recognition) to arrest you, convict you, punish you, and move on to the next case.

Mendocino County police and DMV employees do not know you, nor do they have the motivation, skill or experience to help you identify subtle legal issues in a very complicated area of the law, or to give you practical and/or legal advice in your unique circumstances in order to make this situation easier for you. It is actually illegal for anyone to give you legal advice without a license to practice law, precisely because of the many rules and laws which can adversely or beneficially impact your individual DUI situation.

A police officer recently boasted to one of Jake's clients that he has "never lost a DUI case." This is a rare admission by a local veteran police officer that he is absolutely not a neutral party in your case. It would be reasonable to conclude that cops may tend to have a sense of investment and pride in the outcome of their DUI arrests, their yearly totals, and visions of ceremonies, awards, promotions, pay raises and prestige. It is also important to understand and remember that your arresting and attending officers will testify against you. So then, why would you ask for, or listen to, or follow advice from someone whose motivations are completely opposite to your best interests? The only person whose sole and exclusive responsibility is to help you is your Mendocino County DUI attorney.

Click on Know Your Rights on this site for more discussion about civil rights abuses of all kinds, and about Mendocino County police, and thinking before you speak or act when confronted with the police. Given these realities, Mendocino DUI lawyers are always puzzled by anyone who seeks or follows casual legal advice from any official paid to bring you down, and undisputably lacks the necessary legal training and experience to identify and process all of the legal complexities in your unique case. Moreover, simple human nature dictates that their advice will more often be motivated by their own convenience, pride, and advancement, rather than the best interests of someone like you who they don't know and whom they are accusing of a crime.

Government Employees; Some Examples

Police & DMV. Often Mendocino County law enforcement officers will subtly lead you into conversation and admissions, or convince you to consent to investigatory interviews or searches, any of which may lead to criminal charges which would not have been possible if you had questioned or considered resisting such vague police statements as "I'm going to have to ask you to...," or "Here's what we're going to do...," or "I want you to...." Specifically in the context of Mendocino County DUI cases, you may find yourself manipulated into performing field sobriety tests (you are never required to perform any of those tests), or giving a breath test and declining the more accurate, re-testable, blood test, or a cop may subtly convince you not to exercise your right to get a blood test after you take the breath test in a DUI case. A blood test requires extra police time and effort; you follow his/her advice, the officer saves time, and your Ukiah DUI attorney loses an opportunity to win your case.

Press Democrat 2011 Top Cop Coverage Press Democrat2012 Top DUI Cop

Another common example of bad advice is a Mendocino County police officer or Ukiah DMV counter clerk stating that you don't "need to" or "have to" get a DMV hearing and you should just "wait" until you receive a notice from DMV. A recent client related that when she called to ask for a hearing, the DMV employee stated "here's what you do: get an SR-22 and you'll get your license back!" Another client emailed Jake that when she tried to get her DMV hearing set up within the first 10 days after arrest, "They told me that I would have to set up an appointment but I should wait until I go to court to figure out what to do with my license, so come back in 30 days to see if I can get a restricted license." Refer to Tip #3 Contact DMV for more examples of misleading statements from DMV employees.

A good Mendocino County DUI lawyer will explain to you that not only is this "advice" wholly and completely over-simplified, but in addition, if you don't successfully ask for a hearing and challenge the DMV administrative suspension, you will lose any possibility to take control of the process and you will lose the opportunity to delay, or protect yourself from, a driver license suspension. There is an entire process for protecting your right to drive against illegal police actions, or ill-informed government employees, and if you casually follow such advice, you will lose valuable rights that could have saved your driving privileges.

Santa Rosa DUI Awards

DUI Program Staff. Yet another common example is a Ukiah DUI program employee stating that you can't enroll in their mandated program until after a Mendocino County DUI court conviction or until after your separate Ukiah DMV case is resolved, or that you should enroll in their short program rather than the standard program required by the DMV to reissue your license. This is not correct; poorly conceived and inaccurate DUI program advice like this often causes someone without a good Mendocino County DUI lawyer to be suspended longer than required by law. Understand that cops and bureaucrats who are fond of quoting rules seldom see or care for the larger legal picture, or promoting your rights like a Ukiah DUI lawyer does on your behalf.

A DUI program "counselor" was overheard by one of Jake's clients, saying, "DUI lawyers are a waste of money." Some police and bail companies are known to give unsolicited opinions like this as well. Obviously this client disagreed, calling Jake after the DUI class to report the improper personal opinion voiced by county staff in a court-ordered DUI program. Just like with everything else in life, some people need help and some people don't want it, or can't afford it, but there are lots of important reasons to hire a lawyer when faced with a real DUI criminal case in Mendocino County superior court, and a driver license suspension at DMV. See Jake's discussion of why to hire a Mendocino County DUI lawyer at Tip #2 Hire a Ukiah DUI Lawyer, and click to see many pages of sincere, grateful Testimonial Reviews on this site where DUI clients arrested in Mendocino County offer up a different experience than this counselor's general ignorance of lawyers would suggest. With the benefit of hindsight after hiring a Ukiah DUI lawyer, and after Mendocino County DUI cases were resolved by Jake, former clients have generously stated they strongly disagree that hiring a DUI attorney was a waste, or anything but an enormous relief and lifesaver, well worth a reasonable fee. The client who called Jake to relay the counselor's comment in class promised she was going to stand up in her last class and voice her confidence and gratitude for Jake's advocacy on her behalf, and for his guidance navigating the intimidating, complicated, "drive you crazy" world of cops, bureaucrats, courts, and DMV.

That same DUI program was reported to have advised, "When you finish our 3-month DUI program, you can apply for your license back." This information is so bare and lacking in proper context, timing and procedures that it is fundamentally wrong in its simplicity, and someone who does not hire a Mendocino County DUI attorney, and just follows advice like this, is likely to suffer a driving suspension far longer than necessary. Click to see Jake's comprehensive discussion on this site regarding Getting Your License Back.

Friends and Family

Discussing value of DUI LawyerUnfortunately friends and family who obviously do care for you, still don't have the training or experience, and may be motivated by their own frustrating history without even being aware of it. You are well-advised to do your own research and come to your own conclusions before acting (or failing to act) to protect your sanity and your future. A caller recently stated to Jake that "half my friends say I should just walk in and get it over with, and half say hire a lawyer, so I don't know what to do." Jake's answer: a DUI lawyer can walk in for you, determine if there is anything to be done to lessen the consequences, and resolve a DUI case in the best possible way, with all of the critical explanations, directions, tips and tricks, so you don't have to try to do it yourself, risking mistakes, a poor result, and years of regret; if you can afford a reasonable fee, then why wouldn't you hire a good Ukiah DUI lawyer? Make decisions based on common sense, not the pessimism or disappointment of others.

Lawyers

If you want no-nonsense, accurate, thought-provoking advice on what to do after a DUI arrest, ask an experienced, local Ukiah DUI lawyer. Take advantage of free Mendocino County DUI lawyer consultations; it's one of the few times you truly have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Testimonials

Any result portrayed was dependent on the facts of that case, and the results will differ if based on different facts.

Our DUI Lawyers

Dave Jake Schwartz is an Honors Graduate from UC Hastings Law School, and UC Davis, former Federal Judicial Clerk, and Nationally Qualified Sobriety Tests Practitioner. Member of the California Bar for 30 years, North Bay resident for over 20 years, handles only DUI cases, including thousands of North Bay DUIs and DMV hearings: first/multiple offenders, minors, seniors, tourists, undocumented immigrants, veterans, probation violations, suspended license, public intoxication, open container, minor in possession, child endangerment, collisions, hit and run, evading, resisting arrest.

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Dave Jake Schwartz