Frequently asked questions


Question: I’m visiting Joshua Tree from out of town, and I got a DUI or a citation. Do I have to go to court?

Answer:  Generally, no. I can appear for you on most misdemeanors in state and federal court. The big exception to that is California state domestic violence cases, where the initial appearance is required of the defendant. For Joshua Tree felony charges, you will be required to attend the first court appearance, thereafter, by permission of the court, I can often appear for you. 

Question: Do I need a lawyer for a DUI case?

Answer: Yes.  The first reason is that you do not have any right to free counsel at the DMV hearing on your driver’s license, and you will lose that crucial hearing if you do not have a Joshua Tree DUI lawyer represent you at the hearing. Second, there are often good defenses to a DUI (including DUI with prescription drugs such as Ambient, oxycontin and Xanax). These include delays in procuring a blood draw, failure to maintain the PAS or Intoxilyzer devices properly, and confusion about who was actually driving.  And finally, even on DUI cases that are not winnable, I am almost always able to beat the original offer.  In every case, my goal is to get the best result possible.

Question: Will the District Attorney drop charges if the victim changes his or her story?

Answer: If you have been arrested, but have not yet gone to court, it is sometimes possible to convince the District Attorney to not file charges. Once charged, however, prosecutors will aggressively pursue a conviction, regardless of whether your spouse or partner recants their statement in a domestic violence dispute. Thus, it is very important to hire a Joshua Tree Criminal Defense Attorney immediately after an arrest. If you wait until the court process begins, the odds are very good that you will have to go to trial to prove your innocence.

Call Joshua Tree Criminal Defense & DUI Attorney Joseph T. Rhea
at (760) 327-3711 to schedule a free consultation.