Even though being arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) is stressful, you need to be as well-informed and prepared as you can when you face this situation.
Hiring a highly qualified DUI attorney will make the situation less stressful and improve your chances of success. The attorney will help in deciding whether to fight the charges or plead guilty. For complicated and drawn-out cases, the attorney will help you work through the legal complexities of your case.
A DUI conviction can leave you without a driver’s license, unemployed, and possibly behind bars. It is therefore imperative that you find a good lawyer as soon as possible to help you weigh your options.
Here are the four main steps you need to take to be sure you hire the right DUI lawyer.
- Prepare a Shortlist of Potential Lawyers
You can start by getting recommendations from trusted family, friends, work colleagues, etc. A lawyer that you previously used in another matter can refer you to a good DUI attorney, such as those at http://hurwitzlawgroup.com.
If you’re afraid to ask friends, colleagues and other people you know because you’re too embarrassed, you can use the DUI Defense Associations, National Associations for Criminal Defense Attorneys, or the State Bar Association to conduct a private search. Also available for use are numerous websites that provide ratings and directories for attorneys.
- Examine their Qualifications
After preparing the shortlist, you need to determine who among the potential lawyers you’ve listed is most qualified to represent you. You want an attorney who has strong academic qualifications, has extensive training and experience in DUI cases, has no ethics related complaints against them at the State Bar, and has not been disbarred.
Check the State Bar website to confirm that they are licensed. Give preference to local lawyers who are familiar with and are respected by local prosecutors, judges, and courts.
- Have an In-Person Consultation Meeting with the Attorneys
This helps you determine which attorney inspires the most confidence in you. During consultation, bring all the documents related to your case and share all the facts about it. Ask the attorney how experienced they are in handling cases such as yours and if they will be the ones handling the case.
You should walk away from the consultation with a clear understanding of the strategy the attorney recommends for your case, so carrying a pen and paper to the meeting might be a good idea.
Go for an attorney who you’re comfortable speaking with, has great communication skills, exhibits confidence, and inspires trust.
- Consider Your Budget
The DUI attorney’s fee will depend on how serious your case is as well as the jurisdiction, with typical fees for simple cases being about $1000. Other factors that may determine the attorney’s fees include their ability, reputation, and overall experience.
The fee should be determined in advance. Get a breakdown of the fee and negotiate where you can. In the end, hire the best DUI attorney your budget will allow.
Willis E. Barden has served as a DUI lawyer with a well-established law firm for 11 years. He’s committed to helping his clients get the best representation and the most favorable outcomes. Learn more about DUI and getting a DUI lawyer by visiting http://hurwitzlawgroup.com.