Millions of people are arrested everywhere for driving irresponsibly under the influence of some narcotics or alcohol. Driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence endangers your life and those around you. If you are one of those caught for DUI, you need a good lawyer. Cases like this are usually stressful, so you need to prepare yourself, and the first step is to find a DUI lawyer that can handle the case successfully. Although the government would provide an attorney you can choose to work with, the best thing is to find one for yourself.
You could harm the situation if you choose to represent yourself rather than get an experienced lawyer. You can easily get confused by the complex legal details. However, there are several benefits that you will get from hiring an experienced attorney, such as expert counseling, deep knowledge of the system, ability to navigate complex situations, knowledge of plea bargains, etc.
Now that you know what’s at stake when you get a DUI attorney, here’s how to find a good DUI attorney.
Do your research
The first thing to do is to carry out extensive research about several DUI attorneys. You are not going to get any good DUI lawyer to walk up to you from out of the blues. No, you will need to have a shortlist of lawyers and carry about deep background checks into their careers to find the best one for you. You want a lawyer that won’t just listen to you but will also understand the case and represent you perfectly.
Thanks to social media and the internet at large, your research is made relatively easy. For example, you can easily get a list of lawyers and run a background check online and on social media.
Additionally, you could ask for recommendations and suggestions from trusted family members and friends on the lawyer to hire. These connections can help you find a good lawyer.
Talk to all lawyers on your shortlist
After creating a shortlist of lawyers, have a written log or an Excel spreadsheet with the details of all the lawyers you want to reach out to. The details should include names, email addresses, addresses, phone numbers, and areas of specialization. Then reach out to all of them through the phone or email. Help them understand the premises of the case and listen to their price quotation. Make sure your document has a column for price.
Rule out attorneys that are not qualified for your case
Not every lawyer or attorney is qualified to handle every case. For example, some lawyers deal with mesothelioma. And others are business lawyers. So you should not be giving your case to just any lawyer. Apart from the fact that there are different areas of specialization, and you need a lawyer that specializes in DUI or has experience in it, there are other factors that you can use to disqualify an attorney from working for you. For instance, you can check the Bar website for your state to ensure that none of the lawyers on your shortlist have had to face disciplinary action or have any history of malpractice. If you find any of them on the list, you should rule them out from working on your case.
Another thing that you need to confirm is that the attorneys on your list are licensed to practice within your state and are also familiar with your state’s or districts’ legal system.
These are some of the criteria that you use to trim or cut down the list of attorneys that you have made. After doing this, you will be left with attorneys that are qualified for the case, licensed to work in your state, and understands the legal system in your area.
Schedule face-to-face meeting
The next step is to plan in-person meetings with the remaining attorneys on your list. Of course, this will take a lot of your time, and it would require some hours on the road as well, but it is the price you have to pay to find a DUI attorney that you can trust.
Meeting these attorneys in person allows you to listen to them and hear their verdict about your case, access their confidence levels, get along well with them, and confirm whether or not they are a good fit for you. Also, it allows you to talk to them about the quoted fees and agree on a price with them.
When you are going for these meetings, make sure that you have all your paperwork complete and available so that the lawyer gets a good grip of the case. You should consider writing down several crucial questions that you are going to ask them beforehand, so you do not forget them during the meeting. Ask them:
- The number of DUI cases that they have handled.
- How long have they been in the profession?
- The number of guilty or acquitted verdicts they have had.
- And the number of years they have spent practicing DUI defense.
If other questions come to your mind during the meeting, do not be scared to ask them. You need all the first-hand information that you can get about them. They need to convince you as much as you need a good DUI lawyer. Don’t be nervous. Think of it as a job interview: you are the one employing, and the lawyers are the ones interviewing for a vacant position. This will put you in a better frame of mind.
Getting caught for DUI is terrible, but it becomes worse if you can’t get a good DUI lawyer to defend you and help you get a favorable judgment. Thankfully, it is easy to find one by following the steps listed in this article.