All You Need To Know About Hiring A DUI Lawyer

All You Need To Know About Hiring A DUI Lawyer

In 2012 there were over 1.2 million arrests of drivers driving under the influence of alcohol or other narcotics. Getting a driving under the influence DUI arrest is a daunting and stressful event, but it is important that you do not run away from it. It is best to face it head-on and be prepared for your trial.

Getting in touch with a DUI lawyer can help take some of your burdens away. A DUI lawyer will help you resolve the case and determine whether you should plead guilty or take the matter to court. If it is a complicated case, the DUI lawyer can ease things for you by representing you in court and much more.

Every state has DUI laws all drivers should comply with. Driving your vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration above the set limit of 0.08 can lead to an arrest. The state may also charge you for violating more than just the DUI laws.

Getting the help of an attorney is crucial as they can help you better understand the charges against you and advise how you should proceed. This is why you need to find the right attorney and fast. This article will help you find and hire the right DUI attorney.

1.  Make a list of all potential lawyers

All You Need To Know About Hiring A DUI Lawyer

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There are many ways you can search for skilled and experienced DUI attorneys. From seeking personal recommendations to searching the national associations and state bar associations platform, there are many ways to make a list of all potential lawyers.

Like every other major decision you will take in your life, this too is a great decision you should make with comprehensive research and knowledge.

Personal recommendations

You can start off your search by considering attorneys suggested by people you trust and are close to.  A person who has previously taken the services of an attorney can tell you all the pros and cons and share their experience.

It is one of the best ways to select an attorney as they can give you information regarding the entire procedure, the performance of the attorney, and what difficulties and drawbacks were there. You can also get an idea of the total costs. Keep in mind that your experience may differ from your friends based on your case.

The lawyer you know from a previous case

If you have used an attorney for some other case, they can be of great help to you. Lawyers can refer you to another attorney that specializes in DUI cases from their contacts or network.

You might be embarrassed to ask your colleague and friend to recommend you to an attorney because, after all, a DUI isn’t something to be proud of, and it can impact your career and personal life.

If you want to keep your DUI arrest a private matter, you can search for attorneys at the National associations for criminal defense attorneys and DUI defense associations. There are different organizations that can provide you with information on skilled and experienced attorneys, such as The National College of DUI defense, The National Association of criminal defense lawyers, the State bar association, and California Attorneys for Criminal justice.

Once you have made a list of qualified attorneys, you can refer to their website or contact them via the contact number or email provided.

2.  Figure out whether the attorney is qualified for your case or not

All You Need To Know About Hiring A DUI Lawyer

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Once you have made a list of all possible attorneys for your case, you need to determine whether the attorney is qualified or not.

For which you will have to do a background search on the attorney and find out about his education, areas they specialize in, are they verified, previous experience, and success rate.

Here are a few things you should keep in mind.

The attorney should be licensed

Make sure the attorney you hire is verified and licensed, as only then will they be able to represent you in court. To check whether the attorney is licensed or not, you can refer t the state bar website.

Hiring an attorney that is licensed in another state

If the attorney you have selected is licensed in another state but not in your state, he can hire a co-counsel. A co-counsel will represent you in your state. However, this procedure is very costly.

Benefits of hiring a local attorney

It is recommended that you hire a local attorney, as they will be more familiar with your local courts, judges, and prosecutors. They will be more qualified to handle the case as they will be familiar with the local elements. If the judge knows and respects the attorney and is well aware of his reputation, it is of benefit to you. The judge might lessen your sentence or dismiss your case.

3.  Check the attorney’s ethical record

All You Need To Know About Hiring A DUI Lawyer

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It is very important that you check the ethical record of your attorney. You should know if there has been any disciplinary action taken against your attorney by the state.

You should make sure that the lawyer is on good terms with the state bar of your area.

You can view the disciplinary records on the state’s bar website. You should not hire an attorney that has a history of malpractice.

4.  A disbarred attorney cannot represent you in court

Be wary of hiring an attorney that has been barred as they cannot represent you in court.

5.  Hire an experienced attorney

Always hire an attorney that has significant experience and has handled DUI cases in the past. He should have extensive knowledge regarding DUI cases and laws. Criminal defense attorneys handle many different criminal cases, and it is a much better idea to hire an attorney who is focused on DUI cases as he will have greater knowledge of the matter.

6.  Background search

All You Need To Know About Hiring A DUI Lawyer

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You should know from which law school your attorney got his degree. The best law schools are those that are accredited by the ABA (American Bar Association).

You should definitely consider which law school your attorney went to but not make it the core factor you base your decision upon. There are many attorneys who have passed out from less notable law schools but are at the top of the game. 

Once you have done all the above-mentioned steps, you are ready to meet the attorney in person to discuss your case. You should prepare yourself before you go for your consultation session with the attorney.

7.  Meet the attorney

When you meet the attorney in person, it will help you decide which attorney you are most comfortable with and wish to work with. Here are a few steps you should follow to make the most out of the consultation.

Speak the truth

Do not hide or be shy during the consultation session with your attorney. Tell the attorney all the facts and information you have about the case so that he can understand your case and give his best advice on how you should proceed.

Do not keep any information from the attorney, as that can ruin your case in the future.

Present all the related documents

The attorney has to know which law violations you are charged with. Do not think that the attorney will know all the information regarding your case, as each case has its own characteristics and features.

You should provide the attorney with all related documents such as the police report, DMV letters, and your arrest warrant.

Ask the attorney about his previous experience with such cases

When you meet with the attorney, it is important that you discuss the success rate of his career, how many cases did he win, how many got dismissed, how many did he bring to trial, and how many DUI cases he handled in the past.

Do not go with an attorney who promises you a certain outcome, as no attorney can be hundred percent sure of what the outcome will be. 

Ask about who will be handling your case

All You Need To Know About Hiring A DUI Lawyer

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The attorney you meet during the consultation session might not be the attorney that will handle your case in the future. Usually, the attorney that interacts with you initially is a senior attorney, and a younger associate ends up handling your case.

So it is important to know who will be handling your case from the start. You should request to meet the attorney who will be handling your case so that you know who will represent you in court and if you are comfortable with them or not.

Be aware of the attorney’s strategy

It is important that you are well aware of the attorney’s strategy and how they aim to proceed with the case.

Take a paper and pen

This seems like a very obvious thing every client would do, but it is often forgotten. The attorney will present you with a lot of information that you should pen down.

It is impossible to remember everything the attorney says, which is why you should write it down, so that important information is not missed.

After meeting the attorney, you will have a better idea of which attorney you wish to work with and are comfortable with. To make the right decision, here are a few factors you should consider:

Comfort level

The duration of your case will belong, and you will have to interact with the attorney throughout the duration of the case. This is why it is important that you select the attorney you are most comfortable with.

He should have good communication skills

All You Need To Know About Hiring A DUI Lawyer

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Inside the court, the presentation of the attorney and how he chooses to communicate the facts is the key to success. You should select an attorney that has good communication skills and is able to present his point in a manner that is easy to comprehend.

Confidence level

The confidence of the attorney matters a lot. An attorney that is not confident in front of you and is unable to answer your questions properly will not present confidently in court either. His lack of confidence in responding to your questions shows his lack of experience in court.

Can you trust him?

It is difficult to judge whether you can trust the attorney in one meeting. In order to ease your burden, you can go through the client testimonials. However, you should keep in mind the possibility of fake reviews.

Now that you know which attorney you wish to hire, you should look into the second most important factor, which is the cost.

8.  Ask about the attorney’s fee

Cost is one of the most important factors you need to consider when making the final decision. You need to stay within budget. So how much does a DUI lawyer cost?

The cost of a Virginia DUI Lawyer is between $6000 and $13000. There are many different factors that determine the fee of the attorney, such as the experience, position, ability, and reputation of the attorney.

You should finalize the fee at the start

It is the client’s right to have the fees decided in advance and written in a contract. The attorney will give you a good estimate of what you can expect the fees to be. The attorney may charge an hourly rate or flat rate. You should check your state’s guidelines about fees before signing the contract.

Negotiate the fees

All You Need To Know About Hiring A DUI Lawyer

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You can negotiate the fees; however, attorneys with a good reputation in the field are less likely to lower their fees for you.

What does the fee include?

The written contract that you sign must state clearly what the attorney’s fee includes.

Compare the fee

The fee of an attorney will vary from city to city. After speaking with multiple attorneys, you will have a good idea of what a fair fee would be for the type of level of representation you demand.

Discuss the payment plan

Ask the attorney whether he offers a payment plan or not, as that can make it easier for you to manage the attorney’s fees.

The bottom line

As you can see, there are many factors you need to consider when hiring a DUI lawyer. You should do your homework and research. You should have good knowledge about the attorney before you make the final decision.

Drinking under the influence arrest is a serious matter, and you need to ensure you have the proper representation. A DUI can impact your personal and professional life in many ways, which is why it is important that you win the case. So choose an attorney that best suits your budget and needs.

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