Around 1.5 million people are arrested each year for driving under the influence. If you end up part of that statistic, hiring a qualified DUI attorney should be step one in your strategy to fight the charges.
A DUI conviction can impact your driving privileges and employment and even result in jail time. Given the seriousness of the consequences, the legal battle is worth the time and effort. A DUI lawyer ensures your fight has the best chance of winning.
But how do you go about choosing and hiring a lawyer? Let’s take a look at the basic steps.
Develop a List
You should start with a list of potential attorneys to take on your case. These can come from referrals from friends and family or from an attorney you used for other legal work. Having several on the list makes it more likely you can find the best one for you and your case.
If you’re uncomfortable asking for recommendations, you could check an online lawyer directory or with your state bar association to find criminal lawyers who deal with drinking and driving cases.
DUI cases can be quite complex so refine your list to those attorneys with extensive DUI experience like Prentiss Law Office. You can also check with the state bar to see if they have any ethical complaints and whether clients have been satisfied with their services.
Schedule a Consultation
Most DUI attorneys provide a free consultation to get the basic facts of your case and let you both decide if it’s a good fit for the job. Make sure you bring your police report and your list of questions to be efficient with your time.
Your job during the consultation is to make sure you’re comfortable with the attorney and their communication style. You also want to double-check and confirm information you found in your research like how many DUI cases have they handled and what their typical defense strategy is.
Understand the Fees
A DUI offense can end up costing you as much as $10,000 between fines and legal fees. Part of your consultation should be to discuss strategy for keeping the fines and jail time as minimal as possible. But you should also ensure you have a clear discussion about the attorney’s fees and how they calculate them.
The cost will vary not only based on your attorney’s experience, but also on whether you decide to take a case to trial and specific of your case. Interviewing several attorneys can give you a good idea of the range, but also help you understand what you get for what you pay.
Choose Your DUI Attorney Wisely
A DUI arrest is a serious matter with far-reaching consequences for your life, so you want to make sure you have competent representation to dispute DUI charges. Do your homework by getting recommendations then researching and meeting with those lawyers to confirm they have the expertise to handle your case. Your ultimate DUI attorney choice should come down to a balance of experience and your comfort level with the person.
If you found this resource helpful, check out more articles on this site on getting the best legal representation and what to expect on your day in court.