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Paul D. Cramm

How Much Time Should I Take To Choose An Attorney?


The time to take may vary from person to person. However, a person must take enough time to meet with the lawyers face-to-face, in person, and at the office.

During this process, a person must understand that many DUI cases face a deadline that requires him to file a request for a driver’s license hearing. In Kansas, this deadline is 14 days after the DUI. Therefore, he must make sure he’s met with and hired the lawyer after the first week so that the lawyer can prepare and file the request for the driver’s license hearing.

If a person meets with the lawyer three weeks after the DUI, then it’s probably too late to save the license.

Is It A Red Flag If The Client Feels Rushed Or Pressured to Hire? Is it a Red Flag if An Attorney Asks For Credit Card Information?

A person should be somewhat apprehensive about a lawyer who seems too eager to seal the deal or to secure payment. Therefore, yes: it’s a red flag.

The client should also be apprehensive about hiring a lawyer over the phone with a credit card, because this decision should be made at the lawyer’s office or after going to the lawyer’s office.

The client shouldn’t respond to high-pressure sales tactics from the lawyer hoping to receive a commitment or a retainer over the phone.

People meet with me in my office, and I encourage them to take the time to meet other lawyers if they haven’t. I am always available to answer questions and ready to get started whenever they feel comfortable.

Should The Client Choose The Lowest Price, Or Should He Look At Other Factors To Help Make The Decision?

If someone has met with three very good lawyers, all with comparable prices and comparable command of the area of law, the statues, the cases, and the intricacies of the defense, then my advice to him is to choose the lawyer that seems most friendly, the person who the client likes the best.

This varies from person to person, of course. However, so much of the attorney-client relationship is based in communication. Therefore, the client should choose the lawyer with whom he could best communicate, and the lawyer should choose the client with whom he could best communicate.

What Could Someone Ask A Family Friend Who Was A Lawyer About A DUI Case?

The person could ask the family attorney how much of his practice is devoted to DUI defense, how many DUI defense cases he’s handled during the past year, when his last DUI defense case was, and whether that last case was a misdemeanor or a felony.

The person should ask the family attorney to show any motions or pleading he’d filed with the court in a prior DUI case, just to get a feel for his comfort level in this area of law.

I limit my practice to criminal defense work. However, I have several friends who have come to me to ask about child support and divorce, even though I’ve never handled a matter like that in my life. I would, of course, be a very ineffective lawyer for these people with many assets and minor children. I can’t represent them, even if they like me and communicate with me well.

If I had represented someone in a prior DUI and did an outstanding job, I would still not be the right lawyer for his divorce case. Thusly, someone who wanted to use his family lawyer for a DUI must ask that lawyer about his experience in that area of law.

What Will A Good Attorney Ask During An Initial Consultation?

Initially, the lawyer asks the person to bring all the relevant paperwork the officer issued during the course of the traffic stop. The lawyer needs to see this. During this time, the client must make sure the lawyer is familiar with the terminology, particularly in the jurisdiction of Kansas.

For example: does he know to ask for DC 27 forms, or is the lawyer asking for the pink sheet of paper the cop gave after the client posted his bond? The person must note if the lawyer is familiar with the DC 70 advisory and if he asks the client if the officer reviewed the DC 70 with him before submitting to the intoxilyzer test. Thusly, the client must make sure the lawyer is familiar with everything concerning the case.

First and foremost, a good DUI lawyer certainly asks if the person has ever been charged with the same or similar type of offense anywhere at any time. This is a very important background question. After all, if a prior alcohol-related driving offense occurred, the prosecutor would be able to discover it.

The lawyer should ask about the circumstances leading up to the traffic stop to find out if it was a valid traffic stop, as well. He will also want to know what happened during administration of standardized field sobriety tests. This way, he can note if the officer proceeded in a manner that was consistent with the national highway traffic safety administration protocol.

Hearing these questions suggests that the lawyer knows what to look for to create a proper defense.

Is It A Good Idea To Look At The Testimonials On An Attorney’s Website?

Testimonials are important. However, in today’s highly competitive, highly technical day and age, testimonials are fabricated all the time. There’s no way to know the fabrication frequency.

However, the client should know what others have said about the lawyer. He should read the testimonials very carefully, taking note of any “same” manner of speaking found in the testimonials, triggering the fact of their fabrication. For example, were the chosen words the same? Was the sentence construction similar?

A person should never hire a lawyer based exclusively on testimonials. However, he could absolutely rely on testimonials prior to contacting or scheduling an appointment with a lawyer.

Is It Good To Hire An Especially Aggressive Attorney?

Aggressive is a word that people use for many purposes. A person doesn’t want an attorney who is rude, disrespectful, or pushy. Nobody wants this type of person representing him in court.

If an aggressive lawyer means a lawyer who works hard, who chases down, requests, obtains, and reviews every scrap of paper and every piece of video footage in the case; who isn’t afraid to file the contested evidentiary motions if he notes the officer violated procedure; who isn’t scared of taking a case to trial, cross-examining the witnesses ,and arguing the defendant’s case to the court, then surely a person would want an aggressive lawyer.

Would It Be Better To Hire An Attorney Who Only Focuses On DUI?

The ability to take DUI cases exclusively is driven by geography. Because Kansas has so many lawyers, I don’t think there’s enough work to maintain a practice exclusively in DUI without handling any other higher-level, criminal matters.

Most of the very good DUI defense lawyers in Kansas City also happen to be very good criminal lawyers. In larger metropolitan areas, places like Dallas, Los Angeles, DC, and Chicago, it’s more reasonable to say that the lawyer took only DUI cases and had enough work to support his practice.

Of course, if someone practiced exclusively in DUI and handled no other matters, then I would recommend the person meet the lawyer, ask him questions, and hear the answers he can provide.

For more information on Choosing A Lawyer, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (913) 322-3265 today.

Paul D. Cramm

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(913) 322-3265

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