Questions to Ask a Sacramento DUI Lawyer

Choosing from Sacramento County DUI Attorneys

  • Do you limit your practice to DUI defense?

Yes.  It’s difficult enough to keep up on the constantly changing laws in one field.  Plus, the law has become much more complicated than it used to be.  The California Vehicle Code is made up of more than 40 thousand code sections. When you add in the Evidence Code and Penal Code sections that also apply to DUI cases, the law becomes complex.  In addition, there are several good publications that focus on DUI defense and prosecution that an attorney should be familiar with.  Our office decided a number of years ago to focus on this one area of practice, to provide the best possible defense and service to our clients.       

  • Are you experienced in your specific county(ies)?

Yes.  We restrict almost 100% of our DUI practice to Sacramento, Yolo, Placer and El Dorado Counties.  The primary reason is that it allows us to keep current on the practices of the local judges and prosecutors.  It’s also important to be familiar with the general sentencing guidelines, which also vary from county to county.    

  • What information do you subpoena when reviewing your case?

At the beginning of each case we make a list of items we believe law enforcement might have in their possession.  Anyone can get police reports.  We think it’s important to subpoena the records that aren’t included in the reports provided by the DA and DMV.  Some of the most common are;  the Preliminary Alcohol Screening Device (PAS) records, In Car Camera (ICC) or Mobile Video Audio Recording Device (MVARS) records, Lidar/Radar records, 911 Call(s), Dispatch Audio and Logs.  The arresting agencies we deal with are; CHP-North, CHP-South, CHP-East (Rancho Cordova), CHP-Capitol Protection Services, CHP-Communications Center, Citrus Heights Police Department, C.S.U.S. Police Department, Elk Grove Police Department, Folsom Police Department, Galt Police Department, Los Rios District Police Department, Rancho Cordova Police Department, Sacramento Police Department, and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.   

  • What DUI associations do you belong to?

We belong to the California DUI Lawyers Association and the Sacramento County Bar Association.  We’ve been members of other associations over the years but our practice is confined to DUI Defense in California and our office is in Sacramento, so these are the two most important groups for us to support.

  • What training and experience do we have?

The California State Bar requires that attorneys attend a certain number of hours of continuing education every 3 years.  We attend as many DUI related seminars as time permits.  In fact, almost all of the continuing education units the California State Bar requires are devoted to DUI Defense.  In addition to seminars, there have been certification programs for the AlcoSensor IV Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) device (breath machine) taken at Ventura College and a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) training course on DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing, put on by Robert LaPier & Associates.  As for experience, the many years of DUI defense in the counties of Sacramento, Placer, Yolo and El Dorado Counties and the number of reviews you can find on our website and online are a testament to the quality and competence of our work.  

  • Are the attorneys local?

We’ve kept our office in the same building at 901 “H” Street since 1994, directly across the street from the Sacramento County Superior Court.  This also allows us easy access to Interstate 5 to the Yolo County Superior Court in Woodland, Highway 80 which leads to the Placer County Superior Court in Roseville and Highway 50 taking us to the El Dorado County Superior Court in Placerville.

  • How large is your firm?

Our office has had one or two practicing attorneys over the years and one individual handling the IT, website and managing the day to day affairs of the office.  In multi attorney offices that focus on volume, it’s easy to see how court appearances are missed and there is a lot of finger pointing as to who is responsible.  Here, your case won’t get lost in the shuffle that might be experienced in the larger firms.

  • How long have you been practicing DUI defense?

At the Law Office of Denis White, we’ve been practicing DUI defense since 1994.

  • How many DUI clients do you represent a year?

We average 100 to 130 cases per year.

  • Do you take other cases?

Very rarely do we accept cases other than DUI cases and Expungements.  Occasionally, a former client will have an issue that we are able to assist with but our focus is DUI Defense.  When we receive calls for concerning areas of law outside DUI defense, the best service we can provide is the names of a few competent local attorneys.

  • What percentage of your practice is devoted to DUI Defense?

A review of our internal records for the past couple of years show our cases to be 100% DUI or related by way of modifications and expungements. 

  • How often do you appear at the Sacramento Courthouse?

Rarely does a week go by without appearances in one or more courts in the counties we service.  Because our office is directly across the street from the Sacramento County Courthouse, most of our cases are there.  Rather than carry an armful of files to court at the same time, we try to spread the cases out.  That way, when we go to court we’re talking to prosecutors about your case rather than a whole bunch.

  • Have you worked with the prosecutor(s) in the counties where you practice?

Prosecutors come and go with promotions and changing assignments.  We have worked with most of the prosecutors and their supervisors over the years.  Some of the prosecutors are quite proficient in handling DUI cases while others are not.  We would rather be working with prosecutors that understand the law surrounding DUI cases and try to keep our cases with those individuals whenever possible.  At the time of this writing there are two prosecutors that job share. One works in Department 2 on Monday and Tuesday and the other on Wednesday and Thursday.  They alternate working on Fridays.

  • Have you worked with the judges in the counties where you practice?

Judges are also reassigned occasionally.  We have worked with all the judges that are presently sitting on the bench in the counties where we appear.  In most instances these days, judges and commissioners don’t have a very active role in DUI cases unless a case is set for a motion or trial.  In the past we were able to conference cases early on with a judge and prosecutor, in hopes of finding a way to resolve a case fairly.  Nowadays it seems that judicial economy, in an effort to move cases through the system quickly, prevents us from conferencing very many cases when we are at an impasse with the prosecutor.