Have you been charged with a DUI? Are you looking for an attorney?
Believe it or not, finding a good DUI lawyer is not as simple as looking one up online. The right attorney for you will need to be someone you can confidently put your trust in during a difficult time.
Here’s what you need to know about finding a great DUI lawyer.
1. References and Reviews
Before settling on an attorney, you’ll want to make sure former clients have been happy with them. Talk to trusted friends and family members and see if they can recommend someone. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Was there a good outcome for the case? Was the attorney knowledgeable and professional? Were there any unexpected fees?
If you can’t get any personal recommendations, look up DUI attorneys in your area online. Remember that you’ll want someone local because they will clearly understand the laws and regulations in your area.
Look over the attorney’s website and see if there is a section devoted to traffic law. Many lawyers specialize in this type of litigation and are happy to advertise their expertise.
Read online reviews and see what former clients are saying. If you’re seeing mostly positive comments, make note of what others are impressed with. Is it their style, knowledge, or efficiency?
If a lawyer is getting negative reviews, be wary, especially if you’re seeing the same comment several times.
You can also ask for at least three references. Call them up and see if what you’re hearing in-person matches what you’re reading about online.
Many lawyers offer free initial consultations. You can use this as an opportunity to discover whether or not they’re right to handle your case.
Ask your lawyer what percentage of their caseload is devoted to traffic law, and to DUI cases in particular. What were the outcomes?
Talk to your lawyer about a case they handled that was similar to yours. What was their strategy for winning?
The right attorney will have plenty of experience litigating DUI cases. Make sure you’re working with an accomplished professional.
3. Will I Work Directly With You?
Oftentimes, folks will hire a particular lawyer and end up spending most of their time working with other personnel in the practice. These could be associates or paralegals.
If you’re going to be working with other professionals, ask to meet them. You’ll want to know that you’ll be comfortable with whomever you’ll be discussing your case with.
4. How Do You Charge?
Your attorney may charge a retainer fee, an hourly fee, or flat rates or percentages. Before you hire them, make sure you know exactly how you’ll be paying for their services.
5. What Do You Charge?
The fees for your case may vary depending upon how much preparation is required. It will also depend upon whether you take a plea or take your case to trial. In addition, you’ll pay more for lawyers in certain geographical areas, or in more urban neighborhoods.
Before you hire a criminal defense attorney, get at least three estimates from local lawyers in your area. Make sure that the fee you’ll be paying is reasonable for the amount of work your case requires.
A professional attorney will also be willing to give you their fees or pay schedules in writing. You won’t want any surprise fees as the case goes forward.
If you don’t understand something you see, ask them to explain it to you. The right attorney will be willing to take the time to answer your questions.
6. Who Will Represent Me in DMV Proceedings?
You’ll want to find out if the fee you’ll be paying your lawyer covers representation in your DMV proceedings.
What goes on at the DMV is separate from the criminal case itself. It’s an administrative process that handles the suspension of your license.
It’s helpful if your attorney can represent you in both your administrative and criminal proceedings. Find out if your lawyer will be there, or if they will charge you an extra fee.
7. How Do You Handle Communication?
Many attorneys are unable to respond to text messages or emails while they’re in court. This can be frustrating, especially during a difficult time when you have a lot of questions and anxiety.
Find out if your attorney returns communications within twenty-four hours, or if someone else in the practice will. You’ll want to make sure your comfortable with your attorney’s method of communication when you hire them.
The Right DUI Lawyer
The right DUI attorney for you will be someone that has an impressive background in DUI experience and training. They should be knowledgeable, have a good ethical record, and inspire your confidence in them.
Your DUI lawyer should be someone that other lawyers respect. They should be confident and aggressive in handling your case, yet respectful when speaking with you.
It’s also helpful to look for a lawyer who’s involved in local organizations as well as your community. A reputable attorney will be someone committed to making your community a healthier, more ethical place.
Picking up the Phone
Finding the right DUI lawyer will require a bit of homework. You’ll want to do your research and make sure you’re hiring someone with good outcomes and plenty of experience. Once you’ve found the right attorney at the right price, however, you’ll be making a decision that could put your experience behind you and get you back to your life.
Don’t stop looking for a great lawyer now. For quality DUI legal services, contact us today.