Getting charged with a DUI can be unsettling, and you’ve likely thought it would never happen to you. To navigate the process correctly and ensure all requirements are met, you must come to terms with the circumstances, consequences, and chain of events. You must be honest and hold nothing back, as this will ensure your case gets the most accurate assessment possible.
Whether you have already selected a DUI or criminal defense attorney or are in the process, it’s essential that you provide all the details of your case, provide all accessible paperwork, and be prepared to answer questions. Familiarizing yourself with basic terminology will also help, so you can have effective conversations with the DUI attorney you choose.
In every state, individuals have the right to represent themselves. As tempting as this may be, it’s usually not the best idea. If your case ends up going to trial, the preparation requires a steep learning curve, meaning your lack of legal knowledge and skills can be detrimental to your case’s outcome. Additionally, judges tend to be impatient with defendants who choose to represent themselves as court rules and etiquette are commonly unknown.
Tips for Selection
Hiring an attorney in any scenario means you are hiring an individual to represent your interests. This means it’s incredibly important to find an attorney that fits well with your personality and goals. In the past, hiring an experienced attorney was usually completed by word of mouth, but today there is a variety of online and print resources available to guide you in finding an attorney perfect for your case. To ensure you’re represented correctly in your DUI case, the first step to hiring an experienced DUI attorney begins with understanding each of your candidates’ qualifications.
How Important Is It Hiring an Attorney That Specializes in DUI Cases?
After being charged with a DUI, it’s essential that you hire a DUI or criminal defense attorney who specializes in DUI-related cases. Many general practice attorneys work in multiple law areas, meaning they might not always be up to date on current effective DUI defenses. It’s encouraged to search locally for your DUI attorney as these individuals are familiar with your state’s laws and usually offer affordable payment plans for legal fees. Hiring a top-rated DUI attorney can be costly, especially when you likely didn’t expect the events to happen in the first place.
Why Should I Hire a DUI Attorney, and How Can They Help?
Getting a DUI can be life-changing and usually comes with a lot of long-term consequences, even if it’s your first offense. Many individuals that receive a DUI charge are unaware of the impact it will have on their lives. An experienced DUI attorney will be prepared to find the best defense options for your case right from the start and keep you updated every step of the way, so you know if charges are reduced, or a full dismissal is reached. An experienced DUI attorney will do the following:
- Help you gather all necessary information and evidence
- Provide you with expert representation and support
- Guide you in completing and submitting necessary paperwork
- Stay up to date with current state DUI laws and charges
When Should You Get an Attorney for a DUI Case?
It’s recommended to begin searching for a DUI attorney immediately after a DUI arrest occurs. After getting booked, you should contact or call an experienced DUI attorney local to your area so you can get free professional legal advice. This is vital as it may affect the level of consequences you receive, and DUI charges have stringent timelines, making it crucial that you begin getting guidance right away. Certain motions need to be filed by a specific time and date, and if not, an automatic suspension of your license can occur. Additionally, contacting a DUI attorney sooner rather than later will ensure that the incident’s critical details are recollected in full truth.
Interview Multiple Attorneys
It’s recommended to interview multiple DUI attorneys, so you can be sure you’ve found the best one for your unique case. After hearing from the first candidate, individuals charged with a DUI are usually awestruck at the process and the potential life consequences. Discussing your case with multiple attorneys will help you learn about a DUI’s legalities and allow you to differentiate an experienced DUI attorney from one that isn’t as skilled. The more you survey your pool of candidates, the more likely it is you will find the best DUI attorney to help you win your case.
Consider Each Candidate’s DUI Expertise
Each of the candidates you consider should specialize or have extensive experience in working with DUI charges. You must review your candidate’s experience working with DUI charges and past client experiences. The value of having an experienced and successful DUI attorney is life-changing. Many believe that a DUI charge will never go to trial, but unfortunately, each case is unique in the chain of events, and a skilled DUI attorney will be prepared to take every necessary action possible to reach the best outcome for you.
Explore how many cases your candidates have successfully won, read past clients testimonials, and review their courtroom skills. Learning what past clients thought of their experience will give you an idea of how much a candidate is invested in their clients and if you think they’ll fit well with your personality and case. It’s also beneficial to get an idea of your candidate’s relationship with prosecutors as a good relationship with the court displays professionalism and respect for the adversarial system of law. If an attorney has a lousy standing with local prosecutors and police, you could be prejudiced against and receive poor legal tactics in your defense.
How About the Firm Size?
Understanding each of your candidates’ firm size is vital as this will help give you an idea of how intimate of an experience you’re going to receive. In perspective, a small firm that takes on fewer cases will offer you more direct interaction, while a large firm with more cases may have more time but will likely have legal aides and clerks work on portions of your case. It’s best to base a decision on your judgment, comforts, and level of attention you’re hoping for. You want an attorney that’s invested in helping you reach the best possible outcome.
Be Prepared for Your Consultation
Many attorneys offer potential clients consultations free of charge, and it’s essential to use these to your advantage. This is the perfect opportunity for you to get an idea of an attorney’s intent and what they’re really interested in: you or getting another case under their belt. Upon scheduling consultations, it’s recommended that you come prepared with a variety of essential questions, so you can measure each candidate’s communication skills and level of knowledge. An experienced DUI attorney should be easily understandable and clear. If not, it’s time to start considering your next option.
Know Your Legal Costs Upfront
An experienced and highly recommended DUI attorney should outline your costs throughout the entire process, so you’re not left with any surprise fees after your case. For every candidate, you must ask to have all attorney fees in writing with an explanation of each charge. This will ensure that the attorney you decide to move forward with is affordable and fits your budget. Hiring a DUI attorney is much cheaper than conviction, but staying within your budget will eliminate the potential for financial issues down the road.
Make Your Decision Based on Comfort and Confidence
You’ll likely be considering many different candidates, but participating in consultations and interviews will help you narrow your list quickly. Ultimately, choosing the best DUI or criminal defense attorney for your unique case comes down to their confidence in your case and your overall comfort with them. You want an attorney that is confident in the outcome of your case as well as someone that you feel comfortable with and can put trust in. You and your attorney will work as a team for the duration of your case, so establishing a strong relationship from the get-go is vital.
Once you have your list narrowed down, it’s time to decide on what DUI attorney you’ll choose for your case. It’s vital that you don’t rush the decision-making process, as the consequences of a DUI charge can be life changing, especially if you’re not represented correctly. Tell any attorney that you’re interested in selecting that you need time to think it over and that you’ll be in contact. This will allow you to gauge their overall intent as any attorney that rushes a decision is not giving enough consideration to your needs. A DUI charge doesn’t mean your life is forever changed – hire an experienced DUI attorney today, so you can get the results you deserve.