Is It Ever Advisable to Not Put up a Defense and Plead Guilty to a DUI Charge?
Interviewer: Do you encounter many clients that call you and say,” I drank, I did it. I’m guilty. Maybe I should just give up.”?
It Is Always Advisable to Have an Attorney Review the Facts of Your DUI Case
Jerald Novak: That does happen, and obviously I am not with the client at the time of the occurrence. It’s hard for me to say, yes, you’re guilty, or no, you’re not, and that’s not my role in any case. My role is to review the facts, review the evidence, and say to my client, yes, I can, or no, I can’t, martial the facts in your favor so we can get a positive outcome.
A positive outcome in a lot of cases is not guilty. In other cases, a positive outcome might be a reduction of the charges. A positive outcome for some people might be resolving the case without going to jail or without going to a penitentiary. A positive outcome can be different things for different people depending upon their circumstances and background.
Fighting a DUI Charge: An Attorney Can Almost Always Positively Impact the Outcome
Interviewer: I understand you can’t give percentages of wins or guarantees. But how often would you say because of your intervention and your representation that someone gets better results that they might have gotten on their own or if they didn’t challenge their case?
Jerald Novak: I think the vast majority of the cases I definitely improved the outcome of their case. I would say there are probably a few cases that I haven’t improved the outcome of the case. Again, we have to look at the client and what the client’s needs are and what the client’s goals are.
My goals are to do the best possible job I can for the client. In order to do that, I need to know the client, get to know the client’s background, and find out what the client’s goals are so I can shape our defense to accommodate what my client is seeking.
An Attorney Cannot Guarantee to Win Every Case but Can Improve the Outcome of the Vast Majority of Cases
Interviewer: It’s not everyone that says I just want to get this dismissed and get rid of it? People want different specific outcomes?
Jerald Novak: I think that you have to be realistic. You can’t win every case, but you can improve the vast majority of the cases. Again, some people come in, say, I’m a first offender, but I absolutely, positively have to win. This is because I have a security clearance or because my job dictates that I can’t have this on my record.
Or, I’m part of a team and it will affect my ability to serve on this team, or they’re a member of the military, or an airline pilot, or truck driver, or a hazmat operator. These are people for a variety of reasons they have to go to trial, their whole life will be disrupted if they’re found guilty of this offense.
Again, you have to get to know your client and their circumstances. In some instances, a reduction of the charge or an amendment of the charge may be their goal. In other cases, the avoidance of jail, or the dismissal of the suspension will be their goal. The nice thing about that is because their goal isn’t unreasonable it can be achieved for a reasonable fee.