That can definitely be true. That's probably a strategic decision on your attorney's part to avoid the possibility of the ALR attorney calling you to testify, which she can do if you appear for the hearing (because it's technically not a criminal proceeding). Beyond whether you agreed to take a breath test or not, the only subjects that should be addressed at an ALR hearing are whether the officer's involvement with you was legal to begin with (usually whether what he or she saw you doing while driving before the stop constitutes legal grounds for a traffic stop), and whether there is evidence that you were intoxicated (and for this, they don't have to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt). Unless there's some unusual fact situation involved, there's probably not any reason why you would need to testify, and you can't get in trouble for not being there.
Yes, as a general rule, it is bad to have client present at the ALR hearing. You can be called as a witness by the DPS attorney and perhaps lose a case that your lawyer could have won if you had not been there.
I have seen new lawyers in a panic when their client shows up against instructions and the opposing counsel the party to the stand, which they can do if you are there.....follow your attorney's advice and next time, ask him/her why they are recommending something.
READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia.... more
READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. We have not established an attorney-client relationship unless we have a signed representation agreement and you have paid me. I am providing educational instruction only--not legal advice. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.
This is not a professional ethics question. Accordingly, I have edited the practice area you specified so that you will receive responses from lawyers who specialize in criminal defense in general and DUI defense in particular. As a professional ethics lawyer with no expertise in criminal law or DUI, I am unable to answer your question.