7 Steps to Successfully Defending DUI Charges

Step 1:

Hire a Local & Knowledgeable DUI Attorney

Hire an attorney who focuses their practice on DUI cases, and has had success doing it. An attorney that is intimately familiar with the DMV's laws, DUI laws, constitutional law, and the science behind DUI cases is a must.  

A local attorney is best.  Local attorneys are familiar with local prosecutors and judges and know the ins and outs of the local courts, which can substantially benefit clients.  

Mike Donaldson is a Temecula DUI Attorney and member of the California DUI Lawyer's Association. Take a look at his results below.  

Call (951) 387-4982 now to begin defending your DUI case.  

10.0Michael Wayne Donaldson

Step 2:

Challenge Your License Suspension with the DMV

People accused of DUI face a license suspension imposed by the DMV.  The suspension lengths vary depending on the existence of any prior DUIs or license suspensions, and the severity of the incident. Your DUI Attorney will set an "Administrative Per Se" Hearing with the DMV within 10 days  of your arrest to challenge your license suspension and attempt to save your driving privileges.  So you must ACT QUICKLY to save your license.  

Ensure that the attorney you hire has conducted DMV Hearings before, as they are substantially different than court proceedings.  Temecula DUI Attorney Mike Donaldson has represented hundreds of clients at DMV Hearings on DUI cases.  

Step 3:

Develop Strategy for DMV Hearing

The DMV will "set-aside" a license suspension for a variety of reasons.  The most common reasons for winning a DMV Hearing in DUI Attorney Mike Donaldson's experience are

  • The person was not driving a car or was not observed driving a car;

  • The person did not have a BAC of .08% at the time of driving;

  • The officer did not have probable cause to stop, detain and arrest the driver;

  • The officer failed to comply with the breath-testing requirements of Title 17 (Title 17 regulates the proper maintenance and administration of breath tests);

  • The breathalyzer was not properly calibrated and maintained;

  • The officer failed to observe the driver continuously for 15 minutes prior to administering the breath test;

  • The blood sample was not withdrawn, stored, and analyzed in accordance with Title 17;

  • The driver had a rising blood alcohol level.

These are some of the best defenses Temecula DUI Attorney Mike Donaldson has put forth at DMV Hearings.  

Step 4:

Prepare for the Criminal Case

Preparing for the DMV Hearing is just one part of a DUI case.  Your DUI Attorney must also prepare for the criminal side of the DUI case.  

Preparation for DUI cases must begin early.  It is important to have clients relay their recollection of the incident to the attorney early on, as memory begins to fade.  If necessary, it is incumbent than an attorney send out investigators early, and begin discussions with expert witnesses if necessary. Temecula DUI Attorney Mike Donaldson has prepared hundreds of DUI cases in criminal courts, and knows how to best defend your case.  

Step 5:

Begin Gathering Mitigation Evidence

Most misdemeanor DUI cases do not go to trial.  As such, it is often necessary to reach a favorable plea bargain on behalf of the client.  The following factors can help reach a favorable plea bargain:

  • Abstaining from alcohol use;

  • Participation in a recovery program (if necessary);

  • If the client is a professional (nurse, doctor, armed services member, firefighter, police officer, etc.), make sure the district attorney is aware of the severe administrative consequences that can result upon a DUI conviction, and bargain for a reduced charge;

  • Letters of support or recommendation;

  • School transcripts for students.

Step 6:

Prepare for Trial


Although most criminal cases, including DUI cases, do not go to trial, jury is a necessary and valuable form of recourse for clients.  To prepare for trial, all investigation, witness statements, and consultations with expert witnesses must be concluded and prepared.  Your DUI attorney should have a strategy in mind for the trial and be prepared to submit that theme to a jury.  

Ensure that you hire a DUI Attorney with DUI trial experience.  DUI trials are complex, and Temecula | Murrieta DUI Attorney Mike Donaldson started litigating DUI trials years ago.  

Step 7:

Set the Client up for Success after Disposition

If a favorable plea bargain is entered, or a jury comes back with a guilty verdict, then your DUI attorney should ensure that you are put in a good position to deal with the consequences of a DUI conviction.  Your DUI attorney should provide you with clear instructions on obtaining a restricted license, a SR22, how to pay your fines, and how to satisfy the terms of your probation.  

Mike understands the stresses that come to clients as a result of DUI cases.  He works hard to put clients at ease.  Put your faith in the right attorney, an attorney who understand the complexities of DUI cases.  Give Mike a call, or use the contact form to the right or below.  

Mike Donaldson is a Temecula | Murrieta DUI Attorney.  

(951) 387-4982

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