3 Steps to Take When Choosing a DUI Attorney
Whether you intended to drive under the influence of a substance or did it without realizing you were over the legal limit, you will need to contact a DUI attorney to help you navigate your situation.
A DUI arrest is very stressful and can have a very negative impact on your life, but hiring a reputable attorney can help ease your concerns. He or she will help determine whether or not you should plead guilty or go before the judge with your evidence.
When the time comes to hire an attorney for a DUI case, there are some steps you should take to ensure you get the best defense available. Let's take a look at what you need to do when considering an attorney.
1. Make a List of Attorneys to Contact
The first thing you need to do is make a list of attorneys to contact. You can do an online search for different DUI attorneys in your area, but the best way to find one that will benefit you most is through personal recommendations.
Ask people that you trust not to judge you or give you a difficult time for your situation. Explain what is going on, giving only enough information you are willing to give, and ask for a recommendation.
You could ask someone who has used the attorney's services personally or knows someone who has. Ask how the attorney performed and how the case turned out.
If you are not able to get a personal recommendation, or if you are simply too embarrassed to ask people that you know, you can always search the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers or the State Bar Association where you live for different attorneys.
The fact is a DUI will have an impact on your life, and you may want to try to keep as much of the issue private. Doing a search within these organizations should yield you several different attorneys to contact.
2. Schedule a Consultation
Once you have narrowed your list down to two to three potential attorneys, you will need to determine if they will be able to adequately represent you in court. The best way to determine this is by visiting them in person.
Many attorneys will provide a free initial consultation to go over the case and see which direction it will go.
This is your opportunity to find out the attorney's background, whether or not they have been successful with cases like yours and how many cases had a negative outcome.
You also should consider any special training and experience they have specifically in DUI cases. If you can find an attorney that solely specializes in DUI, you are headed in the right direction.
When you visit, bring all of your documentation so that the attorney can look over it to see the details of your case. He or she should have an idea of how the case will go, particularly if your case is similar to others he or she has handled.
3. Think About the Money
Hiring a DUI attorney is not going to be free, so you need to think about the attorney's fee. If money is an issue, you need to inquire about how you will be able to pay for your legal services.
Some attorneys are going to cost more than others, largely based on experience, specialty, training, education and years in practice.
You do not want to choose the cheapest attorney unless you have the confidence that he or she will put just as much effort into your case as any other. You also do not want to choose the most expensive, assuming that he or she is going to get your case dismissed because they are the best.
When you go into your consultation, you need to have a ballpark idea of how much you can spend on your case. With that number, listen to what the fees are, and determine whether or not you can move forward.
You do have the option to negotiate lower fees or payment plans, so that is something to consider as well.
Going through a DUI case is not a fun time, but a great lawyer can help make the process somewhat easier. Use these tips to help you choose the best. If you have any questions, you can contact us at Serra & Isopi, P.C.