8 Tips for Hiring a DUI Lawyer
DUIs can be costly. On average they range from $5,000 to $12,000, but can be much higher depending on the state. For example, California DUI laws add additional penalties that can push total fees and costs up to nearly $27,000.
Hiring a solid DUI lawyer may well be the difference between keeping a license and not. With stakes this high, you need to be hiring the right attorney that can help represent you robustly.
While avoiding fees and keeping a license are important incentives, keeping a DUI off your record tops the list of reasons to hire a lawyer. A record creates risks to your insurance costs, job prospects, and reputation.
Knowing what to look for and how to choose between attorneys in your area may seem daunting. To help guide you through the process read through this handy list of tips.
Hiring a DUI Lawyer
When you hire a lawyer you are hiring a representative for your interests. To that end, the attorney you hire should fit well with your personality and goals. There was a time when hiring a lawyer was about asking around who might know someone, but today the internet is filled with lists.
Sites like USAttorneys provide great resources for understanding elements of the law. They also provide registries and lists of attorneys to get you started on your search. We try to provide a mix of advice and listing ourselves.
Read through the following 8 tips to gain a better understanding of what the process of hiring a DUI lawyer entails.
We’ve broken these down into three sections.
- Selection Tips
- Consultation Tips
- The Decision
Selecting a DUI lawyer starts with understanding the qualifications of the prospective lawyer. The most important questions follow.
Does the lawyer specialize or have expertise in DUI. Lawyers work in many different fields and most cover more than one category or topic. The major divide in law is between civil law and criminal law.
Because DUI falls under criminal statutes, you will want to look for a lawyer that works more with criminal cases than civil.
Look for a lawyer in the state you need to be represented in. Laws can be very different from state to state.
Look for testimonials and information about previous cases. This can tell you more than a statistic on wins and losses. Knowing how people felt about the relationship and the process of working with an attorney will give you an idea of whom will fit well with you.
Relationship with Prosecutors
Outside of experience, this question seeks to understand how prosecutors view the DUI lawyer you may want to work with. A good relationship with the court shows a professionalism and the virtue of the adversarial system of law.
A lawyer that has a bad standing with the local prosecutors and police may find their clients unduly prejudiced against. It may also represent a lack of professionalism or a penchant for poor legal tactics.
Size of Firm
Finally, understanding the size of the rim, and the amount of cases they work on is important. This shows how much time and attention can be spent on your case.
This isn’t a one size fits all specialty, though. A small firm with fewer cases can offer a more direct interaction with you. A larger firm may have more time but they may also hand off parts of the process to legal aides and clerks.
Chose the firm that fits your comforts and that gives you the right amount of attention.
These questions focus on what to do when you have a conversation with a DUI lawyer. These questions aim to find out how well the lawyer will fit with you and how much personal attention you will receive.
These questions also help to make the choice about your comfort and not just the numbers of wins and losses.
The most important question keeps more to the numbers than the personal interests. The best fit for you, unfortunately, starts with the fit that you can afford. While hiring a DUI lawyer will be cheaper than the expense of a conviction, you will still want to work within a budget to prevent further problems for you and your family.
Assessment of Case
Lay out the details of your case. Work honestly and bring all the paperwork you have access to. The lawyer can’t make a good recommendation on your chances if you are not honest.
This also gives you a good idea of how the lawyer views you and the case. A lawyer that seems disinterested in the details may be a bad fit for you.
Comfort and Confidence
This question brings in that human touch the strongest. A DUI lawyer may be less confident in their ability to win the case but match your personality. They may be enthusiastic about your chances but rub you the wrong way.
How you appear in court can make a difference in the end result, so you want to hit a solid note on both of these. The result effects you the most, so make sure you feel right before committing to a lawyer.
Make the Decision at Home
Which brings us to the final tip. Don’t make a final decision about which lawyer to go within the moment. Take a moment to think it over at home and come to a final decision.
This avoids feeling like you are being sold by a lawyer. This also shows a level of professionalism from the DUI lawyer. Anybody that needs an immediate response may be too much in a rush, and not thinking enough about your needs.
Interested in Law?
Read more about other legal information and insights at our blog. If you find this information helpful and want to know more about legal options in your area we offer topic lists for easy searching.
Hiring a lawyer usually becomes necessary at low points in life. It can feel like the world is against you and making choices becomes difficult. Like in most things in life, the more you know, the better off you will be.