Driving a vehicle under the influence (DUI) can change your entire life and possibly end someone else’s. The crime warrants harsh punishments because one reckless mistake can change the entire course of people’s lives.
If you are coping with a DUI charge, you should not have to go through the legal process alone. Here is a full guide to help find the right DUI lawyer to represent you.
Ask Around for Advice
This is the first and important step if you want to hire a DUI attorney. If you have any family members or close friends who have dealt with a similar situation in the past, ask them from who they got legal expertise.
Look into how their case was resolved, so you can get a better idea of what to expect when dealing with the legal charges. If you do not know someone, ask another lawyer if they know an expert within their networks.
You may have hired a lawyer in the past to draw your will or go through a divorce. Chances are that they would know someone who specializes in DUI charges.
Once you get in touch with a DUI attorney, ask them a lot of questions. Analyze their communication skills, competence level, demeanor, code of ethics, communication skills, and courtroom reputation.
Dive Into Their Experience
A DUI lawyer should have a track record for dealing with these cases. You should not go for a general lawyer because they may not have the knowledge and hands-on experience you need to represent you in court.
When you have narrowed down a list of top lawyers in your area, ask about their experience, specifically when it comes to DUI cases. Check to see how many cases they were involved in and compare them if they are like yours.
Study Their Track Record
According to NHTSA, nearly 10,142 people have lost their lives because of drunk driving. This is someone’s death every 52 minutes. Alcohol is one of the most significant car accident causes.
It reduces functions of the brain, reasoning, muscle coordination, and impairs thinking. These are essential abilities needed to safely drive a vehicle. A DUI is taken very seriously. Even the tiniest amount of alcohol can affect your driving skills.
Due to the seriousness of drunk driving accidents, it is challenging to get rid of any charges, which is why you need to seek out an attorney with a stellar track record to defend you adequately.
Ask them what the outcome of their most recent cases was. Have they been successful enough to be hired? You should also investigate a DUI lawyer’s caseload. See how they deal with settlements.
Do they take most cases to court? Or do they usually settle outside? Your DUI attorney should have a track record that matches your goals.
Impact of Getting a DUI
Thinking about the impact of getting a DUI is necessary to prepare yourself in advance because you may be facing short-term and long-term consequences.
Your driver’s license could be revoked instantly, and you may find it hard to get a new job or keep your current one. You could also be facing jail, be forced to do community service, and pay expensive auto insurance rates.
If your license is revoked, you could struggle to get around and drive yourself for a couple of years. This will make it difficult to go shopping, get to work, visit loved ones, and run errands.
You will constantly need to rely on someone else to drive you around, and life will be challenging with a reputation like that. If you have caused someone’s death, you can look at jail time.
Read Reviews for a Reputable DUI Lawyer
If you are hiring a lawyer through a firm or their own independent website, go through their testimonials. You can also find reviews about them on the Better Business Bureau website.
Reviews can tell you a lot about the way a lawyer handles tough cases. If a lawyer does not have any reviews, ask to speak to some of their past clients. Aside from the positives, focus on some of the complaints too.
When you find a lawyer that everyone recommends, they are the ones you should hire to help you navigate the tough process of tackling a DUI on your record.
Use Their Free Consultation
Most attorneys will offer a free consultation session for new clients. This is an incredible chance to meet your DUI lawyer in person to discuss the case. It is always best to share details and sensitive information face-to-face rather than via emails and texts.
This way, you can prevent miscommunication. Use this opportunity to ask some hard-hitting questions to know whether they are worth hiring to represent you. Ask them how many DUI cases they have defended in the past and how many trials they have had.
Then inquire about the staff they have on board to help you with all the admin work throughout your case. Try to find a firm known for handling DUI cases by asking them what percentage of their practice focuses on these specifically.
You need investigators to support your case who know all the ins and outs of getting a DUI. Sometimes, they may suggest that you take a plea deal to avoid fighting in court and risking a harsher punishment. Ask your lawyer what the plea deal would look like.
Then ask yourself if you can trust their advice to go for such a deal. Trust is a huge factor when it comes to hiring the right attorney. Take your time to interview them during the free consultation to see whether you feel confident having them on your side.
You Deserve the Best Legal Support
Navigating a legal battle after getting a DUI is never easy. You need a lot of support to go through each step. Therefore, it is necessary to take your time to find the best DUI lawyer who can successfully defend your best interests.
If you enjoyed learning these tips, check out some of our other posts for more information.