Cases, where a person is charged with driving under the influence or DUI, are often complicated in nature. While it may be tempting to proceed without a lawyer, experts highly recommend hiring a DUI attorney you could trust to avoid unnecessary penalties for circumstances that might be out of your control.
How To Choose A Good DUI Attorney
There are a lot of kinds of lawyers out there who might want to represent you in your DUI case, but you should know that making this decision should not be taken lightly. What you need may not coincide with what they offer so it is best to follow these steps in ensuring that you choose a DUI lawyer you can trust:
- List Down Potential Candidates
Create a database of potential candidates to help you deal with your DUI charges. In a spreadsheet, write down the professional’s names, contact information, their area of specialty, and cost.
- Do Some Research
Since the dawn of the Internet, it has become easier to dig up information you need for specific situations. In fact, the worldwide web has developed into an avenue for professionals, like lawyers, to reach more clients by showcasing their services on their websites.
Maximize this by doing some research on the DUI attorneys recommended by your peers and others that are included in your initial list. You should also seek reviews from their former clients to know how skilled they are in their trade.
- Know Their Qualifications
Bringing in an unqualified DUI attorney to represent you might cause more trouble than it’s worth so be sure to check your lawyer’s qualifications. The official websites of agencies governing these professionals may be able to provide lists of people licensed to practice law as well as those who have a history of malpractice.
- Talk To Them Personally
After doing your homework, your list should already be shorter now. This means it is time to choose one legal counsel to help you with your DUI case using the final step of any hiring process: interviews.
While it is well and good to speak to them online or over the phone, talking to a potential DUI attorney can help you test your compatibility. It would also show you the extent of each lawyer’s understanding of your case and determine if they are trustworthy or not.
Although you have dug up these details when doing your research, it is imperative that you still ask them the following questions:
- Where did you take up law and when did you graduate?
- What are your affiliations?
- How many years have you been practicing law and how much of that was dedicated to DUI cases?
- How often have you appeared in proceedings at the court where my case will be heard?
- How well do you know the prosecutor in my case?
After knowing the basics about the person, you should also ask how they intend to handle your situation. Some of the questions you can ask are:
- How often do you negotiate with the prosecution for plea deals? Do you plan on doing so in my case?
- Are there instances when DUI cases you handle are brought to trial? Do you think mine would?
- What situations might work for me and how will you handle it?
- What can I expect from you with regards to my DUI case?
And, of course, you should also ask how much the DUI lawyer’s services would cost. Aside from seeking a documented proposal on this, you should also ask the following questions:
- What will my payment method be? Is it a flat rate or do you charge per hour?
- What services are included in that fee?
- Should I expect other legal expenses aside from your fee? If so, what are those?
- Do you have different payment methods? What are they?