Every year, millions of people are arrested for driving under the influence or DUI. It usually starts with a casual night out at the bar. The moment you decide to drive yourself home even after having just one drink can have a tremendous effect on your life. A DUI charge is not very easy to deal with, although it is generally regarded as a misdemeanor. It can prove very difficult and stressful for those facing it for the first time and can be worse for those on their second or third DUI arrest.
If you are found guilty by the court, even if it may be your first time, you might end up in prison, have your license suspended, and pay a fine. The only way to avoid all of that is if the case is dismissed at court, which can only happen with the help of a DUI lawyer. Never assume you know the facts of a DUI case, because it affects you, hence you can defend yourself. You should see that you get yourself a DUI lawyer. Hiring a DUI lawyer is something you have to pay serious attention to as there is a lot at stake here.
In today’s post, we would be looking at tips for hiring a DUI lawyer
Hire A DUI Lawyer
The first tip you have to keep in mind is that you are going for a DUI lawyer. A DUI might be a misdemeanor but not all lawyers that handle misdemeanors are fit to handle DUI cases. This is due to the complexity of DUI charges. You need a lawyer that is specialized in that field of law and has made it their area of practice. Narrowing your search down to DUI lawyers gives you fewer options to pick from and makes the whole thing more straightforward to you.
Ask For Recommendations
If you need help coming up with a list of DUI lawyers to choose from, you can try asking for recommendations from people who have faced similar charges in the past. People would only recommend lawyers who gave them valuable assistance. This helps you come up with a list of potential lawyers to choose from.
Look For Experience
One thing you should look out for in a DUI lawyer is experience. Hiring a DUI lawyer that has a lot of experience would benefit you in the long run. You cannot afford to hire someone who just completed law school or someone who has only handled 2 or 3 cases. While every DUI case is different, a lawyer with more experience would most likely have dealt with a case very similar to yours and would know the kind of assistance to provide. Experience comes with the years, but it is not the only thing. You also have to consider how many cases they have been successful with over the years as well. Always go for a lawyer with more experience.
Knowledge Of State Laws
Every state has different laws regarding DUI charges. So, when looking for a lawyer that would defend you, you have to make sure that the lawyer has good knowledge of the DUI laws in your state as then you can be sure that the lawyer would know the right things to do. Going for a local DUI lawyer is always a good option.
Relationship With Prosecutors And The Court
Another thing to observe is the relationship between your DUI lawyer and prosecutors. How familiar they are with other lawyers, and even judges, is very important. A good DUI lawyer would have a cordial relationship with prosecutors, judges, and would have a very good understanding of the court and court processes. This makes it easy to negotiate pleas or reach deals that would benefit you.
Individual or Law Firm
You also have to consider who would be handling your case. If you work with a lone lawyer or small law firm, then you can be sure that they would be the one to handle your case. But they may be overwhelmed with other cases that they may find it difficult to give yours the proper attention it needs. If you go for a large law firm, you may have your case forgotten. That is why you should know who is handling your case and the level of attention they can pay to your case.
A good DUI lawyer should be able to come up with a strategy to handle your case after hearing the facts of the case from you. While this strategy may not be used as other facts of the case arise, it would show you how willing the lawyer is about your case as well as the fact that they would be able to come up with better strategies as the case proceeds. A lawyer without a strategy is one you should avoid.
Going for a lawyer with good communication skills makes things easier for both of you. It would be easy for you to relate facts with them and they would also know how to present things to you as well. Also, the way a lawyer communicates with you gives you an idea of how they would communicate with the prosecutor and the judge during your trial.
One other thing you would have to consider is the fees you are going to pay for legal services rendered. At this point, you should keep in mind what being found guilty of DUI spells for you. It can put a mark on your record that would be very difficult to expunge. Good legal services do not come cheap but it is best to decide on it beforehand. Find out what is included in the fees and how you can pay. Issues surrounding legal fees are best sorted out quickly so that things can proceed as hitch-free as possible.
Go With Your Guts
After interviewing the list of lawyers you have, the only way you can make the right decision is by following your mind. You should always go for a lawyer you feel very comfortable with. This makes it easy for you to open up to them and also defines the lawyer-client relationship. But make sure whoever you go for is experienced and qualified and displays a high level of confidence.