You had been looking forward to the 20 hours of conversation for months.
As soon as you convinced your elementary school friend to make the long road trip, you had been looking forward to spending long hours talking about anything and everything. Your two daughters, one in college, one in high school. Her three children, an older son and two daughters. Between the two of you your children spanned the ages from 15 to 33. While you still had a daughter who was not yet reached the age of having a driver’s license and she has a son that is married and has started his career clear across the country, there are few topics that do not prompt a story.
Within the first few minutes of the drive, however, you realized that this conversation might be a little one sided. Within a few minutes of leaving her house, your friend who you had known for nearly 50 years began a story that would likely take the entire trip to dissect.
When It Rains It Pours
Although the story was long, your friend did not make it suspenseful. Cutting to the chase, she began the conversation by explaining that she had spent the morning making phone calls to find an attorney for attempting to find out the details about what is a restraining order. Although the topics of how to find an attorney, criminal defense lawyer, and DUI consequences had never been a part of any of your conversations in the past, these words and legal terms rolled of the tongue of your childhood friend. The story circled around several times and you found that you really did not need to ask any questions. When one part seemed a little confusing, in fact, if you waited a few minutes, or hours, she eventually circled back to fill in the blanks.
Although she seemed to hold it together during most of the involved story, she obviously teared up when when she detailed the DUI arrests. Her son, who had always been so dependable and so successful appeared to be fighting a battle with the bottle that was having severe repercussions. His marriage was a mess. His job was at risk. The immediate concern, however, seemed to be how to find an attorney who could help your friend’s 33 year old son escape the harshest penalties of his latest DUI offense. The selection of a drunk driving attorney was the key to what seemed a quickly unraveling life that just a few years ago had been so promising.
Finding a Way Out of the Storm
As you listened to your friend take a few phone calls and again ask about what is a criminal defense lawyer it appeared that your friend in her effort to find an attorney was becoming quite knowledgeable in topics that no one really wants to know about. The fact that she seemed to be methodically addressing a long list of things that had to get done seemed to be what was keeping her above water. If she stopped for too long to worry about the emotions she was really feeling she would drown. Keeping the focus on the concrete tasks of getting legal consultations made and planning for counseling sessions was the way she was coping with a devastating situation that did not have any easy solutions.
A review of some of the most recent statistics about drinking and driving and other actions requiring legal assistance is a reminder of how serious some situations can be:
- More than1.4 million people are arrested each year for DUI first offense.
- In the state of California the maximum penalty for a misdemeanor first DUI conviction is a $1,000 fine and more than $2,600 in penalty assessments.
- In the state of California, even an initial DUI conviction can also result in as many as six months’ imprisonment in the county jail as well as a six-month license suspension.
- 52.3% of all wrongful conviction cases are the result of eyewitness misidentification.
- The best legal defense is especially important because as many as 10,000 people in America may be wrongfully convicted of serious crimes each year, according to a survey of 188 judges, prosecuting attorneys, public defenders, sheriffs, and police.