Interviewer: What charges do you see that accompany DUI charges typically? Do you receive a traffic ticket usually with DUI, or do you get some other unusual charges with DUI?
Brian Sloan: It really depends on the officer. I see plenty of cases where the sole charge is DUI. I see other officers that decide to not be as nice and will add on speeding charges or cracked windshield charges or making a wild turn charges. Usually, some kind of traffic infraction is the reason for the stop.
Additional Charges Are up to the Discretion of the Arresting Officer
The reasonable officers will say, “I’m not going to charge any additional criminal or civil offense when I arrest them for DUI.” There are some officers that will basically throw in everything that they can think of. In a way, just to really punish the person and make it so that they have to deal with multiple, additional criminal or civil infractions along with their DUI charges.
Interviewer: Is there anything different you, as their attorney, you have to do when that happens? Or that doesn’t happen very often?
Brian Sloan: Usually I just make sure that those other criminal or civil charges are dismissed in exchange for whatever type of plea deal is negotiated. However, it does become a little bit more problematic when you go to trial because you are literally going to trial on all of those small civil infractions and criminal charges that the officer came up with.
A Conviction of Multiple Charges in Addition to DUI Will Lead to Increased Penalties
Those charges can lead to consequences. They can lead to more jail time and can lead to more civil penalties. They can also lead to more points on your driving record.
It really is unfair because, again, it’s completely up to the officer. The prosecutor can decide to leave those charges or can decide to dismiss them, but prosecutors seem to leave it up to the officers. Again, it comes down to two people there in the exact same situation. One of them is treated just as any other because one officer decided to use their discretion and tack on some additional charges.
How Will Your Attorney Fight Multiple Charges?
Interviewer: Do you find that additional charges help you or hurt you when negotiating with the prosecutor?
In Some Cases, Extra Charges Look Frivolous or Unnecessary to a Jury
Brian Sloan: I don’t think necessarily either. Sometimes they can be helpful if there’s a trial and I can comment to the jury, “This person was also charged with this offense, and that is what they are truly guilty of, not the DUI.” It can add to the credibility of the attorney arguing in front of a jury.
Your Attorney Will Not Be Able to Contest an Added Points to Your Driver’s License as That Is Determined by Motor Vehicles
Rarely have I had a client that actually get additional jail time or additional fine and fees because of those little add-on criminal and civil charges. What we have no control over is the points associated, which is solely up to the Motor Vehicle Commission.
An individual can lose their license for additional months, maybe even a year or two because of those added on charges that other officers won’t waste their time with.