How a Single Client Changed Me, and This Law Practice Forever

24 Hours of SobrietyOne afternoon 30 years ago, a Fullerton Police Officer was on routine patrol when he observed a vehicle parked against the curb with a person slumped over the driver’s wheel.

Stopping to investigate the circumstances, he approached the vehicle, and knocked on the window several times without response. To determine if the person inside perhaps needed medical help, he opened the car door, only to have a young man fall out into the street. Subsequent investigation led to him being arrested and charged with DUI after a blood test determined his alcohol level was .22!

His name was Bill W. and when he hired me I spent little time on examining why a young man of 18 would have be so intoxicated in the early afternoon to pass out while driving.

My focus was only on “getting him off” the case, for which I charged him a fairly significant fee. Questioning only the circumstances of the police officer’s intrusion and arrest, I filed and argued a motion to suppress the evidence, which under prevailing cases at the time was granted, and Bill’s case was dismissed. Being well-paid, and pulling off a miracle was all that mattered to me, and following the case I went on my way without a thought of Bill.

Less than six months later, I was awakened by my answering service in the early morning hours, and was told by the operator that Bill was on the phone and needed urgently to speak with me. When connected, I could barely recognize Bill’s voice through his sobbing. What I understood was that he had been arrested for another DUI.

What he said next is as clear in my memory as if I had heard it today, so many years later.

It’s much worse this time, Mr Freeberg. They say I hit a kid on a bicycle, and I killed him.

As vividly as the words, I remember the combination of his tragedy made me feel as if I had just been kicked in the stomach. That feeling would persist for a very long time, and while painful it, would become the impetus to re-evaluate my role as a lawyer, and my responsibility to my clients.

For the first several years of my practice, doing jury trials was the highlight. Having to convince twelve men and women, good and true, of your client’s innocence was always a big challenge. Primarily because, in a huge majority of the cases, the clients are in fact guilty. I enjoyed the challenge, and was well paid for accepting it.

How ironic it was that the person whose case would ultimately change my entire practice would have the same moniker as one the two founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. Although at the time I had never heard of Bill Wilson, known by all on the recovery community as “Bill W”, I would come to know his life’s work in intimate detail.

We are here to help.

At the Law Offices of Lloyd L. Freeberg, our qualified, experienced, and knowledgeable criminal defense team of attorneys are dedicated to aggressively representing your legal rights and helping you kick your addictions to alcohol and/or drugs. We have devoted our legal careers to fighting for the legal rights of our clients while helping them stop the vicious and destructive cycle of addiction.

Practicing law in Orange County since 1973, Lloyd L. Freeberg has earned the reputation of being one of the most respected criminal defense attorneys serving all of Southern California. His associate attorneys share his same passion for helping clients who are facing criminal charges stemming from drugs and alcohol. Lloyd L. Freeberg has extensive professional resources and vast legal knowledge he put to use helping his clients achieve justice and the best possible legal outcome for the individual cases.

We focus not only on WHAT our clients did, but examine WHY they did it.
Knowing this, we can begin to bring about a long term solution so they can live
the life they are entitled to live.

A Few Words About Sobriety Law from Lloyd L. Freeberg

“I have a constant problem, which is convincing people that drug rehab actually works. Perhaps the greatest experience I’ve had along those lines was one day a few years ago, when I was sitting having lunch with a couple of deputy district attorneys. Two gentlemen walked up to me, younger guys, and one guy said to me, “Hey, do you have a minute?”

I said, “Yeah, sure.” I didn’t know this guy from Adam, but we walked out to the front of the restaurant and he reached into his pocket and he said, “I promised when I got one of these, I was going to give one to you and one to my wife.”

His friend with him then said, “Oh, is this the lawyer you’re always talking about in your rehab?” And the young man proceeded to introduce me to his friend by name and what he pulled out of his pocket was a 20-year AA chip.

He proceeded to thank me for getting him into rehab a little over 20 years before. And my standard response was, “You don’t owe me anything, you’re the one who did all the work.” But what was also gratifying was his friend, Richard, chimed in and said, “I got tired of seeing Glenn go to these meetings alone, so I started going with him and now I’ve got 10 years sober.”

I didn’t hesitate to go back and share the conversation with my lunch partners, because they need to be constantly reminded and have it reinforced that this stuff really works.”

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges of any kind – in particular, related to drugs and/or alcohol – we urge you to contact the Law Offices of Lloyd L. Freeberg today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial legal consultation to determine your legal rights.