Before You Plead Guilty

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Before you Plea Guilty or Take Your Case To Trial, Get a Second (Or Third, Forth) Opinion

“I pled guilty to a DUI (in Prince George’s County). Now DC wants to take away my CDL. Can you do anything for me?”

That’s a true story.  This gentleman called me on the phone sounding exhausted and desperate.  He had obviously called several other attorneys before he finally made his rounds to me.  He explained that he entered a guilty plea to a DUI (1st offense) in PG County District Court a couple weeks ago and received Probation Before Judgement.** The judge ordered him to pay some court costs, take some alcohol and traffic safety classes.  He told me he received an Order of Revocation Notice from DC DMV.  It ordered him to surrender his Commercial Driver’s License.  He was ordered not to drive any motor vehicles until his license was reinstated. That means, he has to wait at least 180 days from the date of revocation before he could re-apply for his license.

The problem is … he drives a commercial vehicle for a living.  His rent is due.  He has child support to pay and his current baby mama is pregnant.  He was looking for any hope I could give him.  Sadly, I couldn’t.  It pains me to talk to clients like this guy.  “You are too late sir! There is nothing I can do for you.”  I take no pleasure to deliver the doom-and-gloom news to people.  He paid $3,000.00 to his attorney to handle his DUI.  He trusted that his lawyer would give him the best advice.  Getting a PBJ was probably great advice unless you lose your job over it.  

The moral of this story is … get a 2nd opinion from another qualified lawyer before you plea guilty or consider taking your case to trial.  If the first doctor you saw tells you that you have a terminal illness, do you trust that doctor or would you talk to another doctor to get a second look? I know lawyers aren’t cheap.  But making the wrong move in your case may cost you even more than your expensive lawyer bill.  Think again!

**Probation before judgment in Maryland (PBJ) is when a defendant is put on probation before a judgment is entered for their criminal or traffic case. A PBJ keeps your record conviction-free under Maryland law.
To get a 2nd, 3rd, 4th opinion from us, please call 202-455-5610. 

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