If you’ve been charged with a DUI, it’s time for you to get a lawyer.
You might be unsure about it, wondering if the additional cost will be worth it. Ultimately, this is a serious situation, and you need a professional on your side.
But, how do you go about choosing someone? Now is not the time to choose a random name off the internet.
If you’ve never needed a criminal lawyer before, you probably don’t know what to look for. Luckily, there are questions you can ask during your consultation that will tell you everything you need to know.
More than one million people get arrested for drunk driving every year. If you’re one of them, you need to find the best attorney possible. Read on to learn 10 key questions to ask your DUI lawyer before taking them on.
On top of law school, there is additional training that a lawyer can receive that focuses on DUI law. For example, it’s common for lawyers who represent DUI cases to be certified in how to use breathalyzers.
This kind of training is helpful if you were given a breathalyzer test. If there’s a possibility your test wasn’t administered properly, a trained lawyer will catch that. These details can be very helpful in arguing your case.
For the same reason, ask if they are certified with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to give field sobriety tests.
The DUI lawyer you choose should specialize in DUI cases. Practice makes perfect, and the more frequently they work on these cases the better they’ll be.
If your lawyer represents a variety of different cases, ask what percentage of them are DUI’s. At the very least, most of their cases should DUI related. But, the higher the percentage, the better.
It’s important that you know upfront how your potential lawyer will bill you. DUI’s can be expensive and you want to be able to prepare yourself.
If the attorney charges by the hour, find out exactly what falls under billable hours. A lawyer might instead charge a flat rate. In that case, ask what is included in that price.
Some lawyers might charge you additionally for filing motions, contacting witnesses, etc. You don’t want to be surprised when you get the final bill.
You’re going through the trouble of asking all these questions. Make sure the person answering them is actually the person who will be handling your case.
It’s not uncommon for a more senior member of a law firm to meet with you for the consultation. After that meeting, they might hand your case off to someone else.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The lawyer you end up with might be just as qualified to handle your case. However, it’s your right to meet that person and ask them questions.
Some lawyers have different communication policies than others. If you want a lawyer who will be very available to you, you should ask about their accessibility.
Do they stop answering texts or emails on nights and weekends? Additionally, ask about their appointment policy. If you work a strict 9-to-5, find out if they will be able to accommodate you by meeting during off-hours.
When you have a DUI conviction looming over your head, you want all the help you can get. A lawyer who is very familiar with the local court system can give you a leg up.
Within any jurisdiction, there’s a number of judges who might hear your case. Every judge is different. They have their own personalities, preferences, and policies within their courtroom.
You want your lawyer to be familiar with any judge you might end up with. That way they can tailor your defense to what that judge will respond more favorably to.
Being charged with a DUI is a stressful experience. You might feel like you have little control over what happens next. Having as much information as possible about your lawyer’s plans can give you some peace of mind.
Ask your potential attorney to walk you through what their strategy would be for your case. That way, you can feel like an active participant in your defense.
This is also a helpful question if you’re interviewing more than one lawyer. If their answers are vastly different, you will want to figure out why.
Have them both explain how they came to this conclusion. They should be able to describe a case they defended under similar circumstances.
A lawyer should be able to explain to you what the best and worst outcomes of your case could be. They should also be upfront about what’s the most likely.
How can you tell that they’re not just telling you what you want to hear? They should be able to back up their prediction with examples of similar cases they’ve defended.
The best possible scenario for your case is having the charges dismissed altogether. That would be considered a win. Another best case scenario is that you’re able to plead down to reckless driving.
Ask your potential lawyer what their success rate is. A high success rate won’t guarantee you the same results. But, you’ll have a better idea of how skilled they are at defending DUI’s.
In addition to a possible criminal trial, there is sometimes a separate procedure at the DMV to get your license back. You don’t have to have a lawyer present for it, but it might be in your best interest.
Ask your lawyer if they plan to represent you at the DMV. If the lawyer is charging a flat fee, find out whether this would be included.
If you’ve been charged with a DUI, put in the effort to find an attorney who is qualified and trustworthy. These 10 questions to ask your DUI lawyer will help you find out who will be the right representation for you.
Are you looking for a DUI lawyer in the Orlando area? Then contact us today for a consultation.