The short answer is not if you represent yourself. And just because you were arrested and are being charged with a DUI does not mean that the District Attorney can prove the case against you. You still have a right to a jury trial and the same constitutional safeguards that apply to everyone else. Those priors are not admissible evidence against you in your new case; they only apply to sentencing.
If you hire an accomplished DUI attorney there are creative ways to avoid spending time in jail if you are convicted. When I am hired to represent repeat offenders, the first thing that I tell my client to do is get enrolled in some AA meetings. At least three a week. This will show the court and the District Attorney that you are serious about getting your act together and will make an impression. This combined with proof that you are employed will often times convince the judge to allow you to serve your time on “house arrest” or perform a certain amount of time working for Cal Trans.
Other times, especially on third and fourth DUI offenses, I have kept my clients out of jail by convincing the judge to allow an in-patient drug and alcohol rehab program. These typically run from 30 to 90 days. Also judges look very favorably on the “scram” program which monitors alcohol intake by placing an electronic device around the ankle of the defendant while the case is pending. If my clients are willing to continue with this ankle bracelet for the duration of the probationary period, often times the judge will completely strike any jail sentence.
There are many issues surrounding repeat DUI offenders that cannot be addressed succinctly in one article but always keep in mind, navigating the court system and knowing judges and district attorneys and having experience handling many cases just like yours can go a long way to avoiding jail. One phone call can make the difference between going to jail or keeping your job. Do not hesitate to call the Law Office of Richard McGuire.
For a Free Initial Consultation call (714) 337-9331