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Home Blog Drunk Driving Who you are as a Person Matters in a DUI

If you look online for a Michigan DUI lawyer in the Greater-Detroit-area, you will quickly learn that examining and challenging the evidence is a critical component of handling a DUI case. Every DUI attorney talks about that.

One thing missing from all that talk, however, is any mention of the importance of you, as a person. Who you are, and what you are all about, matters a lot in a Michigan drunk driving charge

These important facts about who you are as a person need to be placed front and center stage in every DUI case .

Getting to Know You.

Often, my team and I get asked question like, “Doesn’t it matter at all that I’ve never been in any kind of trouble before?” 

While the answer is “yes,” there is a lot more to it than just a clean record. 

There is a concept called “social capital” that refers to things like a person’s social standing, meaning their job, their education, standing in the community, and the kind of family support they have. 

While such capital is not synonymous with money, the 2 things aren’t totally unrelated, either. Thus, it is unavoidable, when talking about “social capital,” to also be speaking, at least to some extent, about socioeconomic status (SES).

Who are You?

What about who you are, deep inside, as a person? What about having spent your whole life as a law-abiding, hard-working taxpayer? 

Doesn’t it matter, if you’re facing a criminal charge for the first time in your life, that you are a good person, have a job, and otherwise obey the law? 

Shouldn’t that count for something? 

What about everything else you’ve done right in life? What about your values as a person?

This aspect of DUI cases tends to be routinely overlooked in the legal rush to collect and examine evidence and otherwise focus on purely legal issues. 

Remember, success in a DUI case is best measured by what does NOT happen to you.

Unfortunately, in the online world of DUI legal marketing, this subject is simply igonred. The fact that it essentially goes without mention might lead you to believe that it isn’t very important, but that’s completely untrue

In fact, what kind of person you are can be critically important to the outcome of a DUI case, and can have a profound effect on what does or does not happen to you.

As Michigan DUI lawyers, we interact with people facing drinking and driving charges ever working day. 

If you become our client, one of the first things we do is get to know you. We want to learn about who you are and what you’ve done with yourself. We need and want to know where you’re at in life, and how you got there. 

Using this information, we put together a biography of you that we can present to the prosecutor and the court to help produce a better outcome in your case. From a strategic point of view, we need to get the prosecutor and the Judge to like you

To do that, we need to know who you really are: 

• Are you a husband, wife, father, mother, student?

• Or, are you someone who has worked hard to earn a degree, or an occupational or professional license of some sort? 

• Are you known and valued at work as honest and reliable?

• Do others think of you as an honest and helpful person? 

• Is your career path, livelihood or any opportunities for advancement threatened by the pending DUI? 

• Has the DUI arrest really stressed you out?

• What Do You Think and How Do You Feel About Your DUI?

Wouldn’t you agree that there is a huge difference between someone who can’t sleep at night over his or her DUI, and who can’t stop thinking and worrying about it, as opposed to someone for whom it’s just an expensive inconvenience they can simply pass off to some lawyer? 
Nobody is going to have any real sympathy for the kind of person whose only real concern over a DUI is to throw enough money at it to make it go away. These kinds of differences are important and need to be taken into account as your case is handled. 
We’ll make sure that you are NOT just seen as a file number in the court system, but it takes some effort to make sure those who process your case are reminded of that. That’s something my team and I do instinctively.
To be fair, most people are “stressed” about a DUI, but someone with a good job, or for whom a DUI represents a threat of some sort to their employment, tends to stress out a lot more than someone with less to lose. This fact alone says something about the person who takes the matter very seriously. 
There is a rather stark contrast between someone for whom having a clean record is important to his or her employment and someone who really doesn’t care.
Let’s take 2 imaginary people and assume that both were arrested on the same night, and compare them, based simply on socioeconomic status (SES) factors, so we can see the difference:

Worried Wanda is a 50 year old woman with a really good job. She has a lot of responsibility, both at work and in her family life. She has a nice home, a nice spouse, and several children, all headed for or already in college. 

This DUI arrest is her first, ever. Ir has caused a lot of anxiety and some sleepless nights. She plans on spending some time looking for a DUI lawyer who understands the gravity of the situation and in whom she has confidence.

Bad Luck Billy is a high school dropout who pretty much crashes and “lives” wherever he can. Long estranged from his family (he never really knew his father, and his mother was not around much during his childhood, leaving him to essentially raise himself), and pretty much never formally employed, he “gets by” doing odd jobs, panhandling, and and scamming. 

He has been arrested for all kinds of things in the past, including disorderly conduct, and is a familiar character to the local police. Because he is indigent, he’ll take whatever lawyer the court appoints in his case.

Obviously, Wanda has more social capital, and clearly a lot more to lose as the result of her DUI charge. 

Even though this example is an oversimplification, it should never be overlooked that who you are matters in a DUI case. It is foolish to the point of being both hypocritical and naïve to think otherwise.

Yet beyond that, suppose that Wanda, in the first example also volunteers at school, or church, or helps out in some capacity in her kids’ activities. Or, by contrast, maybe she is the classic “homebody,” but keeps a nice house and is a great neighbor. 

Doesn’t that begin to tell a bit of a story about who she is? 

What are her interests? Maybe she plays a musical instrument,  or does things like those “walks” for breast cancer/

Maybe she collects purses, or loves to garden. 

Whatever her interests, as we begin putting together this information, we likewise begin “fleshing out” a real understanding of the who she is as a person. As we do that, and a picture of her comes together, she begins to look far less “risky” and more like someone for whom a DUI is a big deal, and a one-time deal, at that. 

By contrast, Billy just seems like a growing risk.

Accordingly, who you are – particularly when you are a good person – does matter in a DUI case.

If this information is not considered every bit as critical to your case as the evidence itself, then you’re never going to be seen by the court system as anything more than just another file number, and no different than anyone else in the herd. 

As your DUI lawyers, we’ll make sure that never happens.

It Matters

This isn’t rocket science, but it is so basic that if often gets missed. 

Think of the ad for the Dyson “ball” vacuum, for example: While the whole world was getting caught up in HEPA filters and suction so strong that the vacuum could hold a bowling ball, Dyson comes up from the rear and pointed out that none of that really matters if you can’t get the vacuum in tight spots and clean under chairs and around corners. 

That’s pretty basic stuff, but it was completely overlooked by everyone else. This is really the same thing.

My team and I will make sure that everything you’ve done right in life is used to your advantage.

No lawyer can do more, and we will never do less.