No matter what state you’re in, driving under the influence or while intoxicated is a terrible idea. In fact, being arrested for DUI or DWI may even cost you your license and privilege to drive, even if it only happened once. Thus, it is important that you seek legal advice from professionals who are experts on the case to avoid getting penalized or, at least, to reduce the punishment for the felony.
To do this, you must choose a skilled DUI attorney who will explain to you what needs to be done, act on your case, and try to get you out of the trouble you’re in. While it may seem like a piece of cake, there are a lot of things you need to do and guidelines to follow when hiring a lawyer.
What To Look For
Aside from being licensed to practice law, DUI attorneys also need to have certain skills and qualifications to be considered a good one. Below are some of the most important things you should look for.
Like any other professional, the experience is required for a DUI lawyer to be considered a suitable choice. However, it is important to note that the experience herein referred to is not simply the length of time he or she practiced law, but the specific kind where the lawyer is able to handle cases like yours.
Like criminal defense or personal injury attorneys, a DUI lawyer should have handled multiple cases of DUI and DWI, as well as other related charges. These include driving while an alcohol container is open in the vehicle, underage driving, and drinking, and refusal of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test. The lawyer should also be able to weigh your options when the case involves death or injury from the DUI.
Dedication, in this context, means being able to handle DUI cases exclusively. This means the lawyer you intend to hire for your DUI or DWI charges should not be handling matters that are not relevant or, at the very least, similar to the case. This includes civil cases like divorce and custody battles, as well as immigration cases.
While criminal defense may be a bit related to DUI, it may not be a good idea to hire a criminal defense lawyer when you are only arrested for drinking and driving while underage. The bottom line is, stick to someone who has experience and focuses on DUI only.
A DUI lawyer’s reputation as a professional should also be considered as it would greatly affect the outcome of the case. Often, a lawyer with a bad reputation gets fewer deals and settlement offers from the prosecution, so be on the lookout for the ones with an untainted image.
- Communication and Compatibility.
Before hiring a DUI attorney, be sure that you have interviewed him or her at least once. This way, you can tell if he can explain the details of your case in a way that you can understand and determine if your personalities are compatible with each other.
Remember: the person you choose will be the one to help you avoid a lengthy jail time and defend you in court, if necessary. Your freedom, driving privileges, and your records are on the line, so be sure that you and the DUI attorney you hire are on the same page and agree on the same goal.
Another thing you should consider is the cost of hiring a DUI lawyer. Unlike personal injury attorneys, who only cash out when they win the case, legal professionals handling DUIs do not guarantee your win. DUI lawyer fees often vary depending on the state you live in and the gravity of your case. His or her experience and qualifications can also weigh on the rate. The best thing to do to ensure that you get the most out of your money is to do a background check on each candidate before deciding.