How to Hire A DUI Attorney in Just 4 Easy Steps
One of the most common felonies faced by people is Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Whether there was serious damage to life/property, or everybody left the incident unscathed, it is important to face the legal consequences. DUI arrest can be quite stressful and one should be informed and prepared about what comes next. Hiring a DUI attorney will be helpful in handling such situations. Through this post, let us see how to hire a DUI attorney in just 4 easy steps.
Having an experienced attorney on your side, who specializes in DUI cases, will help determine whether to plead guilty or take the case to court. If the case has complex developments, it becomes more critical to have a DUI attorney who can help in understanding DUI laws and navigating the legal system effectively. All states have a set limit of blood-alcohol concentration levels and deem ‘per se intoxicated ‘ based on that. An individual may be charged for violating multiple charges as well. An attorney will help you in understanding all the charges against you and advise the best way to take your case ahead.
DUI impacts an individual in different ways –driving privileges may be revoked, it may affect one’s employment, heavy fine or even jail time can be a serious possibility. In such cases it is important to know all your options. It all starts with finding the right DUI attorney. This is how you approach it.
Step 1: Make a list of potential attorneys to represent you
When you are facing serious charges, it is important that you spend time in choosing the best person to help you out. Check all the resources at your disposal and make a list of all potential attorneys. While you may be tempted to hire your neighbor or relative who is also an attorney, make sure they are qualified to handle your case. Start making a list and begin your research. Start with personal recommendations or an attorney you have worked with in the past.
However, you can also opt for a private search if you don’t want to involve your friends and family. Check with The National College of DUI Defense, The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) or State Bar Association in your state to find potential attorneys who can come to your defense. You can also check various law firms and their attorneys. Once you have a potential list in place, visit their websites, amass more details about them, shortlist the ones whom you want to work with and get in touch with them.
Step 2: Determining qualifications of the chosen attorney to handle your case
Once you have decided to work with an attorney of your choice, it is important to check if they are qualified to represent you. Check their educational background, where they went to school, their specializations and, more importantly, if they are licensed or not. Make sure the attorney hasn’t been debarred. If they are not licensed or have been debarred, they are not eligible to represent you in a court. If your chosen attorney is licensed from a different state, he/she can hire co-counsel to represent you locally but this may prove to be expensive in the end.
Try to look for a local attorney, as they will be familiar with the judges, courts and prosecutors, proving advantageous and making them well equipped to fight your case. Do not forget to check their ethical background, if any disciplinary action has been taken against them or whether there were any cases of malpractice against them. It will jeopardize your case if they have an unethical background. It’ll be highly beneficial if the attorney has an extensive experience dealing with DUI cases. Although any criminal defense lawyer can help you, one that focuses specially on DUI cases will have a deeper understanding of DUI laws and dealing with different scenarios of the case.
Step 3: Meeting and consulting with the attorney
Now that you have shortlisted some attorneys, an in-person consultation will help you in sealing the deal. Remember that you should be equally prepared when you meet potential attorneys to maximize results of the meeting. Clearly discuss your case and be open about all the facts and information. Show him/her all DUI related documents so that he/she has clear evidence, eliminating assumptions or incorrect details. Talk about their experience and discuss your strategies of how the case would be handled at different cases and evaluate all potential situations.
Don’t hesitate to ask them who would be handling on your case and represent you in court – if it’s an associate or someone senior from their team. Check your comfort level with the attorney, whether they have good communication and negotiation skills, how confident they are about your case and, if possible, get reviews and feedback whether they are trustworthy or not.
Step 4: Considering the attorney’s fee
At this stage, you might be confidant of who you want to work with but you also have to make sure you can afford them. Different attorneys charge differently. Determine the fees in advance and negotiations if you want. Check what is included in the fees and see if additional legal fees are present. Remember that contingency fees are not allowed in criminal cases, which are applicable for DUI cases as well. Compare the fees of all attorneys you meet and settle for the one that you deem best for your case. Ensure that the fees justify attorney’s experience and attention your case will receive. Discuss a payment plan if required.
You need someone really adept and competent to handle your DUI charges as it has the potential to greatly impact your personal and professional life. At Fresco Lawmen we understand this and offer the best attorneys from our highly experienced team. We give attention to every case and try our best to relieve your of some stress that comes with this stressful situation. You need someone to help you leaving minimal damage – you can trust us to do that.