How to Hire a DUI Lawyer
Being arrested for a DUI is something everyone would dread, given the stress alone. However, the real stress comes into play the moments following the arrest. With more and more people finding themselves in this situation, it is essential to know how to protect yourself if you are ever in this circumstance. An excellent way to start is by hiring a DUI lawyer that is right for you. Here are some tips for finding the best lawyer for a DUI situation.
How Does Your State Handle a DUI Charge?
This is a good question to ask yourself when deciding how you will handle a DUI arrest aftermath. A lawyer will be able to help you with this, but it is important to take a moment and see what you are being charged with. The standard protocol of being over 0.08 is federal enforcement. Still, there can also be additional state laws brought against you, which makes it even more evident that having a good lawyer for your case is imperative moving forward.
Don’t Be a Hero
A DUI arrest has the potential to be a life-altering thing. It is important always to remember this when really considering if you want to take this on alone in a courtroom. Representing yourself is seldom a wise choice. It would help if you had someone with the expertise and knowledge to represent you during a trial. Having an experienced lawyer in your corner will almost always put you in a better position in front of a judge than going at this alone. This principle can also apply if you are considering having a lawyer appointed to you.
There are positives and negatives to having a public defender represent you in a DUI case. Public Defenders are very knowledgeable on the laws that go into this case to have some good insights on trial. Unfortunately, public defenders are very busy people with cases constantly coming in. There is a good chance that for such an important and vital time in your life, you may not appreciate the time and attention you receive from them compared to a Lawyer that you have selected for yourself, and that leads into my next tip.
Check the Marketplace
The choice of which lawyer you go with is one of the most important details in the entire process. This is a stage in the process where you should really be taking your time to really dig into who can represent you best. It is important to remember there are resources around you that can help assist with this, whether it be a family member or friend that has dealt with a similar situation that knows a good Lawyer to help you or just going on the internet to do your homework at who does the best job in your area.
Have you ever needed a Lawyer in another situation in your life? Talk to them! Even if a Lawyer you know does not specialize in DUI’s, odds are they know someone who does that they trust. This is another aspect of the process where you need to know you do not have to be alone in the important step of finding legal representation.
Meet with a Lawyer for a Consultation
The next step you can consider in this process is meeting with several Lawyers to discuss your case in a free consultation. A good amount of DUI Lawyers will offer free consultations to meet with you and discuss what happened. Some of these consultations will be in person, while others may be over the phone. Being prepared is always a vital thing when consulting with a Lawyer. You need to make sure you have every document and detail regarding your case when meeting with a lawyer to discuss what happened. Always be transparent when talking about what happened. You being fully transparent gives the lawyer a better chance at building a defense for you in court. Any detail intentionally left out because you’re scared to come forward will hinder your chances of getting a favorable outcome.
For these consultations, you need to bring a pen and paper as there will be a lot of things you need to consider asking the lawyer to get a better knowledge of their history and experience, such as the following:
- How many DUI cases have you handled in your career?
- Does your practice or firm handle mostly DUI cases?
- How common is it you recommend a client take a plea before going to trial in a case like this?
- Would you be the lawyer that actually handles my case?
One of the most important aspects of finding any Lawyer is the fees that come with their expertise. Are they able to adjust the price? Can you set a payment plan with them? What exactly comes with these fees? These are all questions you need to be asking in your consultations to make sure this is financially possible for you. If you find a few different Lawyers you are confident may be a good choice, you should compare their prices.
The goal is that when you leave these consultations, you have full confidence that the lawyer you talked with understands the case fully and has shown you a plan on exactly how they plan to handle the case. Remember, every DUI case is different, and some more complex than others. The more complex the case, the more you want to make sure the lawyer knows how to move forward, presenting your case in front of a judge. You may have that moment in a consultation where the lawyer is checking off all the boxes on your checklist when defending you in a case. Still, you should never decide on the spot, and any good Lawyer will understand you need to think it over before making your decision on if you want to go with them or not.