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Criminal Defense From A Former Prosecutor

Arraignment postponed in DUI case against actor Michael Madsen

The attorney representing actor Michael Madsen appeared in court but did not enter a plea for his client. Police in Malibu arrested the 61-year-old actor for allegedly driving under the influence after he hit a pole with his vehicle. Because of his previous DUI arrest in 2012, the California penal code could send him to jail for up to 364 days if the court convicts him on two misdemeanor DUI charges.

The court postponed the arraignment but ordered that the actor begin attending at least two meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous every week. Additionally, Madsen must willingly submit to drug and alcohol testing if asked to do so.

In a media interview, his attorney hinted that he might try to defend his client from DUI charges by claiming that medication prescribed by a doctor interfered with Madsen's ability to drive. The attorney said that the actor, whose film credits include "Reservoir Dogs" and "Kill Bill," took the medication earlier in the day than he should have.

Legal advice after a drunk driving arrest could prepare a person to enter a plea. In addition to providing guidance within the criminal justice system, an attorney could help someone understand the potential consequences of the situation. A conviction could involve a jail sentence that leads to job loss, but the advocacy of an attorney might convince a prosecutor to reduce charges. A lawyer could look at the circumstances of the arrest and suggest a DUI defense strategy. Even if a plea deal becomes necessary, an attorney might negotiate terms that swap jail time for alcohol treatment. Legal assistance could also set a person on a path to license reinstatement.

Source: NBC Los Angeles, "Actor Michael Madsen Ordered to Attend Weekly AA Meetings", City News Service, May 21, 2019

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