Properly Addressing Prior DUI Convictions
In this video, board-certified DUI attorney Ben Sessions discusses how to properly address prior DUI convictions.
My name is Ben Sessions. I do these videos as an informal chance to talk to you about issues that are important in the defense of DUI cases. These are not professionally produced videos and it's just me sitting in front of my computer talking to you about issues that are important. One of the things that clients often talk to me about is how it is that they handle a case in which they have prior DUI's, that they'd been convicted of. Prior DUI's are really there's two different categories that you can place those types of cases into. There are cases in which there are absolutely having to go in, they're going to have to go to trial on the charges, and there are cases in which a plea agreement must be worked out. The reason being is because with these prior DUI charges pending, you often face a much-enhanced sentence possibility if you were convicted after a trial, that is you probably faced the possibility of going to jail probably for a lot longer than you ever realized was possible. I see sentences on a second or third DUI that range anywhere from 10 days to three, four, five, six months in jail. That's a lot longer than most people recognize that they could possibly be sentenced on a DUI charge.
And when you have a second DUI or the third DUI that's pending against you, these are the real possibilities that you need to face. There are people that come into my office that say, Ben, I know that I face those types of jail sentences. I know that those are a real possibility, but as a result of me having a prior DUI, if I'm convicted of this charge, and I lose my driver's license, I will no longer be able to support myself and my family. And those people know that going into the case, they're going to have to find a lawyer who is willing to try the DUI. That is to take it to trial, no matter what the facts are, no matter how bad they are. And we need to find a defense to that case. I try those cases on a regular basis. And what I would encourage you to do is every lawyer that you sit down with, one, figure out what category it is you fit into, that is, are you going to have to work out a plea to the charge or are you going to have to try the case?
Figure out which category it is that you're in and find out whether or not the lawyer that you're speaking with is willing to try the case if you have to, no matter what it is it's coming down, at the pipe at you. And whenever you figure out what it, what category it is that you're in, then you can make a much more educated decision about how it is you would like to proceed. You know, what type of lawyer it is that you actually need.