On a scale of 1-10, I'd rate Mr. Arnesen a 12 :)
I had the misfortune of a DUI arrest a few months ago. What made this a particularly difficult case, was the fact I had had 2 prior arrests---one in 1998 for DUI and the other in 2000 for refusal---and the laws had changed significantly since that time.
The lawyer handling my former cases was no longer in practice, and I was scared to death, to say the least. I came to this site hoping to find someone I thought I could put my trust in. I had read several profiles (one of which was Jay's) and sent an e-mail question to my top 3.
I received retainer agreements from the other 2 via e mail within the first hour, but Jay actually called within 15 minutes, to ask specifics of my case and my prior history BEFORE agreeing to meet that day, to go over the rest.
3 things that appealed to me were he was a former police officer, he was certified in the new Alcotest and could serve as his own expert if we went to trial, and he was licensed for less than 10 years. Sometimes, the longer a lawyer is in practice, the more he or she tends to do things according to routine. Within 5 minutes of speaking to Jay, I knew that he still had a passion for the law, and he saw my case as a challenge.
He asked me to put my trust in him---which wasn't easy, because I knew the worst case was I could be charged as a third-time offender. He gave me no false hope, but did tell me he was relatively certain I'd only be charged as a first-time offender, due to the 10 year step down rule, and the refusal charge (back then) not carrying the same penalties as DUI,( which it does now).
I had a high BAC reading as well, which from everything I've read carries with it mandatory ignition lock for a year with even a first-time conviction, over .15.
It's safe to say, I didn't give this man very much to work with, but he told me to trust him---and strangely, he made that very easy for me to do. His voice was calm, confident, and he was non-judgmental. This enabled me to give him every detail of that night, past history, etc, confident that it wasn't for his own amusement, but to give me the best defense possible. He always ended his conversations with "leave the rest to me", which made me feel safe, and protected.
I'm a self-proclaimed control freak, and for once, I really didn't feel the need to call everyday for an update. I truly felt once I had chosen him for legal representation, he had it ALL covered, and I paid him to worry for me, so I literally left it all in his hands, and didn't worry until my final court date.
The final result was he was able to get me a plea, as a first-time offender. I did lose my license for 90 days, but he also managed to have the BAC reading suppressed. This was HUGE because I knew I not only faced the ignition lock and costs related to that, but also my insurance company dropping me as a customer. The DUI laws and consequences are VERY harsh in NJ, and extremely costly to say the least. All the facts stay on your driving record---permanently--and even if you decide to move out of state, you'll not get away from paying that grand a year in surcharges to NJ to get licensed elsewhere.
Now, I'm sure you could find a less expensive lawyer. I had plenty of advertisements in my mailbox from lots of them, and you'll have your pick of the litter of those types of attorneys. On the other hand, if you want a man that knowledgeable, professional, and has a true passion for what he does and wants to win your case as much as YOU want him to win your case? Hire him without hesitation. Write the check, and don't even THINK about what is going on, until you go to court! Follow his instructions to the letter, and remember that he's a whole lot smarter about this stuff than you are.
I took the time to write this, because I know what it's like to be frantically looking through reviews, for someone you can trust! I hope this saves you some time.
If you're reading this, Jay, thank you again ;)