Law Office of John Stanko — SF Bay Area Criminal Defense

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I Have Just Been Arrested for a DUI, What Is the First Thing I Should Do?

The first thing you should do is call the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV will automatically suspend your license thirty days after the date of your arrest. To contest the validity of the suspension, you must request a hearing within ten days of your arrest. Do not make the mistake of confusing the ten-day time limit with your court date—the DMV hearing is completely separate from the court proceedings. If you fail to request a hearing, or lose at the hearing, the DMV may require that you complete a drunk driver program before they return your license to you.

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What Kind of Punishment am I Facing on the DUI Charge?

A DUI conviction can result in jail time, probation, fines, DUI offender school program, and license suspension or restriction. The severity of the punishment will depend on the circumstances of your case and whether you have any prior DUI convictions.

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What Can I Do to Increase My Chance of Getting the Most Favorable Result on My Case?

(1) Try to remember as many details as you can about your arrest. It may be helpful to write down all the facts so that the events stay fresh in your mind. There are two important reasons for remembering the details of your arrest. First, if you have to testify in court, the jury will look more favorably on you if you are clear on the facts of your own case. Second, certain details of your arrest may help your attorney formulate a defense or strategy in your case.

(2) Think realistically about what you want to do with your case. Your attorney can help by discussing the possible outcomes of your case and formulating a suitable strategy or defense based on your goals. For instance, if you want to fight the case because you feel that you are innocent or have a good defense, inform your attorney so she or he can properly prepare and present your case in court. Keep in mind that what matters is not so much whether you are guilty or innocent, but whether the prosecution has enough evidence to prove their case against you. Remember: you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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Do I Need to Get an Attorney if I Just Want to Plead Guilty to the DUI Charge?

Even if you want to plead guilty or no contest to the DUI charge and get the case behind you as quickly as possible, it is to your benefit to consult with an experienced DUI attorney. Typically, when you represent yourself and want to plead guilty to a charge, the prosecution has no incentive to offer you anything other than the standard disposition, even if the case warrants a lesser disposition due to evidentiary weaknesses. An experienced DUI attorney will be able to assess your case and determine whether there are constitutional violations or other defenses that potentially weaken the prosecution’s case. Using this information, the attorney can negotiate with the prosecution for a reduction of the charge or disposition, and in some cases, even a complete dismissal of the charge. Without the representation of an experienced DUI attorney, you reduce your chances of getting the best possible result.

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Should I Get a Public Defender or Hire a Private Attorney?

A public defender is a court-appointed attorney available to indigent defendants. To qualify for a public defender, you must submit an application to the court and you must meet the court’s requirement with respect to the amount of money you make per month. Although most public defenders are competent attorneys, they usually carry heavy caseloads due to the fact that our court system is so congested. Unfortunately, carrying such a heavy caseload means that a public defender sometimes cannot devote as much personal attention to each individual case as each individual client might like. Also, if you qualify for a public defender, he or she will only handle your court proceeding and cannot handle your DMV hearing.

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How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Attorney to Represent Me in My DUI Case?

The cost of retaining an attorney to represent you on your DUI case will vary from attorney to attorney. Generally, the fee should be based on the complexity of your case.

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Why Should I Hire John Stanko?

John Stanko is an experienced, aggressive DUI attorney who will represent you in court and at your DMV hearing. He will appear in court on your behalf and work hard to obtain the most favorable result in your court case and your DMV hearing. Depending on the circumstances of your case, he may be able to negotiate a dismissal or reduction of your charges. No matter what the circumstances, you can be assured that we will do whatever we can to get you the best possible result.

Remember that the prosecutor is an experienced attorney whose primary interest is to convict you of the DUI charge. Therefore, it is to your advantage to be represented by a local, experienced, DUI attorney who will aggressively defend your case.

He offers quality, personalized representation, while maintaining fees that are among the most reasonable in the Northern California. In addition, he offers many alternative payment options.

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Start the Defense of Your Rights Today

For a free consultation and to learn more about how I can help, call us or contact me directly at my firm, the Law Office of John Stanko

Client Reviews

This letter is written with gratitude, appreciation, admiration, and respect. Going back to October 2004, our family was in a turmoil. With my husband in custody during the early morning hours, and unsure of where I was to turn, you were there for us. You stood beside me, helped us through a most...

Dr. Henri and Evelyn LePre’

Dear John Stanko, I'm sorry this is so late! But I want you to know how much I appreciate your understanding and your expertise in court! You are a great lawyer and I thank-you so much for helping us in a time of need. I wish you much success in all that you set out to do. Sincerely.

Rose B.

Hi John, here is my testimonial. I could have written a book for all you’ve done for me. Hopefully I didn’t leave anything out! I hope you and your family have a happy and safe holidays! When I first called John Stanko for his services, he was professional and courteous. Although I was a first time...

Mark Aguirre

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