How Does An Attorney Prepare For A DUI Case?
First of all, time is only one element of what a person receives when he hires a lawyer. The time the lawyer devotes to the case is certainly important, of course. That time might be spent requesting, receiving, and reviewing documents or police reports, alcohol influence reports, and narrative reports.
Time could further be devoted to reviewing the booking video and video of the actual administration of the intoxilyzer tests at the station. Lawyers might further spend time researching the most-recent case law on issues of sufficiency or admissibility of the type of evidence the prosecutor needs.
However, note that this is not all that the lawyer will be doing. These aren’t the only elements represented by the lawyer’s fee.
Lawyer’s fees may represent the lawyer’s very special skills, his enhanced experience, his reputation in the community, the results he has achieved for others, or the results he might be able to achieve in this case.
Obviously much enters the equation when trying to figure out who should represent the person in a DUI charge.
How Much Is The Cost Of A Good Attorney Versus The Total Cost Of My Charge?
A person is absolutely saving money in the long run with an attorney, particularly if he has employment that wouldn’t survive a criminal conviction.
For example, consider someone with a job that earning $90,000 a year to perform computer services on the military base or at a federal agency that requires security clearance would have his security clearance revoked for a criminal conviction, even if it was just an alcohol-related offense.
Each month that passes during which the person doesn’t have that job in reality is difference between what he’s making without the security clearance job and what he would be making with the security clearance job. He could multiply this number by the number of months he’s working at a comprised rate of employment.
For example, if someone made $90,000 a year with the security clearance and only made $50,000 per year without the security clearance, he’s losing over $3,000.00 per month. This is $40,000 in the course of the year.
If it took the person 2 years to get back to where he was prior to the conviction, then he’d lose a grand total of $80,000 from losing his security clearance as a result of this DUI.
The court might further require the person to take numerous urine analysis tests, extensive alcohol classes, and one-on-one counseling as part of the probation program. This costs money, as well.
A skilled lawyer might be able to find an obscure but successful defense somewhere in the case to allow the person to avoid the cost of probation programs, urine analysis, classes, and counseling.
As such, a person can examine this from many financial standpoints. Ultimately, he can state what position he would be in with a conviction versus his position without a conviction, which is much more readily achieved with an attorney present.
What Should Someone Ask An Attorney? What Should The Attorney Be Upfront About?
A person should ask an attorney questions regarding the length of his practice. Law school is three years long, and the practice of law is a lifetime. Much of criminal-defense work boils down to pure flight time.
No one can learn everything in the first 2 years out of law school. Therefore, a client needs to look for someone who has been practicing for several years. The client needs to ask the person if he limits his practice to criminal defense and DUI or if he practices in other areas, as well.
The more practice areas one lawyer tries to maintain, the less likely he is to devote significant or sufficient time to any particular area.
The client should also ask the lawyer how many cases he handles at a time. The more cases the lawyer has open at any given time, the less time the lawyer has to devote to any given case.
The client should ask the lawyer if he will appear personally with him at court or if the court will be handled by an associate. Some very popular lawyers are hired by name recognition. When the court date comes, a very young or inexperienced associate aids the client, who ultimately paid an upscale sum for the name recognition lawyer.
The client should certainly ask the lawyer what percent of his cases go to trial and if he regularly tries cases or if he usually takes a plea bargain. The client should also ask a lawyer the date of his most recent DUI case. It’s best if the lawyer handles DUI regularly and has 6 or more open DUI files at this time, half of which are felonies in the district court. This is much better than the lawyer stating he’s handled a DUI last year, sometime.
How Long Should An Attorney Talk To The Client During A Consultation?
The lawyer must make time to sit down, listen to what the prospective client has to say, review the paperwork issued by the arresting officer, and answer the client’s questions. A lawyer who seems too busy and too distracted to talk to the client gives some idea as to how much time and how much patience he would demonstrate once the client hires him.
Will An Attorney Who Charges A High Amount Give A Better Result Or Spend More Time On The Case?
This is certainly possible. However, the client should confirm this indication with the face-to-face meeting prior to hiring him.
I don’t know any cheap lawyer with true command of the complexity of the DUI case. I also do not know many lawyers who charge very significant fees without doing the work to justify their fees.
The practice of law, by and large, is one of those areas in which you do get what you pay for. Lawyers who charge very significant fees without justifying the fees with work, knowledge, experience, or results are probably going to be out of business quickly. Therefore, an expensive lawyer who has been around for a long time is bound to be good.
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