Second DUI arrest? Follow Aldon Smith’s example

If you have been arrested for a DUI more than once then chances are you may have substance abuse issues. If so and you’re ready to address these issues than you should follow Aldon Smith’s example of the San Francisco 49ers. If you’re not a football fan or you don’t read the news. Then continue reading….

Aldon Smith is the Pro Bowl linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers. He was recently arrested for his second DUI. Rather than just show up to Court without doing anything, like so many people do. He decided to enter himself into a 28 day inpatient treatment facility before any legal actions began. Also he will do this stint in the middle of the football season. I think his actions are great for several reasons.

First if he truly feels like he has substance abuse or dependence issues than it is probably best for him to get the help he needs. There are many ways to try and address alcoholism and inpatient treatment is a great way to go. Assuming you’re ready for that kind of lifestyle change.

Secondly by entering this program before he gets charged with a DUI he is completely taking responsibility for his actions. Before he even appears in front of a Judge or Prosecutor he is showing them he is taking this seriously and he is trying to be accountable for his actions. Believe it or not this will go a long way towards him getting the best possible outcome for him in the criminal case.

As a DUI Lawyer in Seattle, I have had several clients take this approach on a second or third DUI. And when it came time to start the criminal case they were in a much better position had they just sat around and done nothing.

Heck I even had a client charged with a first offense DUI take this approach. The DUI itself had pretty bad facts and because of that the Prosecutor was not going to be offering any kind of plea deal reduction. But my client decided to take a leave of absence from her job and enter a 28 day inpatient treatment program.

When my client got out the Prosecutor was so pleased and surprised she had taken that level of accountability, I was able to get the DUI charge significantly reduced. A deal otherwise we never would have even be able to get.

The other reason entering this kind of program might be a good idea on a second offense DUI has to do with the release conditions imposed at a DUI arraignment. Let’s say you have Court here in Seattle. On a second offense DUI I can tell you from experience the Prosecutors in Seattle are going to ask the Judge to impose at least $10,000 in bail, plus a SCRAM and Ignition Interlock requirement while the case is pending. And most Judge’s will do it without blinking an eye.

However if the defendant shows up to the arraignment having just got out of treatment then typically the Judge is so impressed there is an outside chance none of those conditions come into play. Or at the very least just the ignition interlock device which is far less expensive and intrusive than the SCRAM bracelet.

So the bottom line is if you’re facing a second DUI arrest here in Seattle. You should follow the example of Aldon Smith and consider entering an inpatient treatment program. Especially if you’re considering going the deferred prosecution route or you want to avoid having significant conditions of release imposed while the DUI is pending.