I have a lot of people come and ask me when we sit down for the first meeting related to their DUI case, whether I think it’s a good idea for them to go to rehab and whether it will help them in their DUI matter. The reality is this – the prosecutors who see people who have to go to rehab related to a DUI see those people as a threat. Somebody who drinks way too much, and therefore has to go to rehab is not somebody they typically want out on the roads in Los Angeles.
So, if you have a horrible alcohol problem and you think going to rehab will help you as a person, then obviously rehab might be the answer for you and if you have multiple DUI’s or a felony DUI – where you’re looking at county time or prison time – then a lot of times what I’ve been able to do is get the person into a rehab instead. The theory behind that is to tell the prosecutor listen – you want the person off the street for a period of time, live-in rehab will do that, also it will get to the route of their problem which is obviously alcohol. Really, when it comes to using a rehab-type strategy in a DUI case in Los Angeles, you’re trying to avoid jail or prison time.
So, those people who are going to rehab or doing AA meetings when they have a first time DUI, it really doesn’t make any sense and it probably could backfire if the prosecutors find out about it, because then they will think that person has an alcohol problem, they need to put more restrictions on them than the average person. So, really in determining whether or not you should go to rehab there’s a number of different things you should consult. First and foremost, you talk to your attorney about it and then you both decide whether or not that’s a strategy that you want to use in relation to your DUI case. A lot of times when people are facing jail time, they consider going to rehab as it relates to their DUI case. However, before you do something like that, you need to realize that whatever days you get in rehab, you’re actually going to have to do. So, if you get 180 days in a live-in rehab, you’re going to have to do the full 180 days where you can’t get out of the rehab. If, on the other hand, you get 180 days in the county jail, you’ll probably be out within a very short period of time because of the over-crowding in the Los Angeles county jail as I submit this blog post.
So, your best strategy is to sit down with your DUI defense attorney, let them have all the details. Don’t lie about it. Don’t add things. Don’t omit things. Give them all the details that are necessary for them to help you make the right decision, and then once they have that information they will assist you, they will give you what they think is the right way to handle it, they can negotiate for you and resolve your DUI matter.