At 56, I was arrested for DUI/DWI. Prior to this my only vehicle violations were for minor traffic challenges like speeding tickets. I was simply not prepared for the whole experience, so I quickly sought legal counsel. After considerable research and interviews, I settled on the firm of Barry Simons in Laguna Beach. They had me write down all of the details I could recall from the start of that day up and until I was released at the police station.

A conviction would have a significant impact with my employer, my career and my reputation. I needed strong representation to have any chance in lowering the charge.

The attorneys and staff at Barry Simons firm are all very friendly, and the attorneys I spoke with about my case all seemed very knowledgeable, but my recommendation here is based on my experience of having Peter Iocona represent me at trial.

Peter ensured that I understood what the outcome could be of going to trial, while detailing how we could fight every potential argument by the DA. Granted, I have not had much experience with criminal court, but I witnessed the hard work spent on his preparation. His dedication to my defense, his ability to lay out and have me engaged throughout the process was amazing. He was able to make me understand my role, a participative role, throughout the trial. He listened to my comments about what I observed whether it was during jury selection or in witness testimony.

The trial, yes, a lot was on the line for me personally, but I sincerely believe that everyone was impressed with how Peter conducted my defense from start to finish. He was affable to all; he endeared himself to the court (bailiff, clerk, judge) from a friendly but highly professional manner. As a defense lawyer should, he made it very clear to each member of the jury that it was the DA’s responsibility to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt (emphasizing that if even only one point failed that reasonable test. a not guilty decision must be returned).

He took some non-traditional tactics as well, like reserving opening remarks, allowing the DA to tell his story first. In cross-examination, he consistently demonstrated to the court that he was more informed on how to conduct the Field Sobriety Tests (FST’s) then the arresting officer. He did so without showing malice to the officer, but clearly showed reasonable doubt on how the FST’s were conducted. His knowledge of the science behind driving impaired was as strong (or stronger) than the DA’s professional witness. Peter was able to impart the right knowledge into the jury’s understanding, raising that all too important doubt.

The trial portion (after jury selection was complete) lasted two full days. Although he was prepared to bring forward defense witnesses, he discussed it with me and we agreed that the DA had not overcome reasonable doubt. Here he did another bold act: he waived the reserved opening remarks, choosing rather to rest. DA gave closing statement, but Peter in his closing emphasized every area of doubt that the jury should have.

The result: Not guilty on the second count (driving above a .08) and a 50/50 split on the first count (hung jury). The judge rendered that it was doubtful that the DA could retry the first count successfully and dismissed that count.

I shall be forever thankful to Peter for his hard work, his dedication, his success on my behalf. He is an outstanding individual professionally and in character. BTW – every single juror stayed for post trial interview and all requested his business card!