Hiring a DUI lawyer can seem like a waste of time if you were caught driving under the influence, but it isn’t. A good DUI lawyer not only may help you escape jail time or hefty fines, but they can also help you get the help you need to avoid making drunk driving mistakes again. If you’re innocent, a DUI lawyer can help you drop the charges, avoiding the stigma and financial repercussions of a conviction, allowing you to save your license as well. If you are in need of a DUI lawyer, the top 3 places to find one online are AVVO, FindLaw.com and LegalMatch.com, but you probably can find local listings on Yelp or in your newspaper. Ask these questions when hiring a DUI lawyer to make sure you hire the right person for the job.
Yes, you should still hire a lawyer. It is a good way to protect yourself and your family too against any future consequences of the DUI after the case is resolved.
Do I want to get away with DUI or am I willing to settle?
In some states, first time offenders can qualify for deferred prosecution. They are placed on probation with certain conditions set, they are required to pay a small fine, and after a set term, the charges are dropped. For many DUI offenders, this option allows them to avoid a risky trial and get away without having that damaging criminal record.
How many clients have they represented?
It is good to know how much experience a lawyer has before you hire them to represent you for your case. Once you know how many clients they've served, find out their success rate as well. You want to hire a lawyer that knows how to win.
Was I caught for DUI before an accident occurred?
If you were merely pulled over for DUI, that is one thing. If you caused a car accident and there is another party involved in your case, things could get extremely complicated. You want to know your lawyer can handle all the intricacies of the case.
Where can I find a DUI lawyer?
You can find one on legal sites such as AVVO.com, but you can also find DUI lawyers from referrals from friends and family or at your local social services office.
How will I be charged?
You will usually be charged per hour, but some lawyers will waive collecting any fees until after your court fee, dependent on the verdict. If your lawyer is court-appointed, you will not necessarily have to pay anything at all.
Where did this lawyer go to school?
You might want to know where your lawyer attended law school, and perhaps what their degree was before they entered law school. Some people become DUI lawyers as an alternative career, but you want a lawyer who has dedicated their lives to their profession out of respect for the job and those they would serve.
What will my lawyer need from me to successful defend me?
Your lawyer will ask for all kinds of documentation, doctor's records, and timelines to best defend you. They will also likely collect personal statements from those close to you to act as character witnesses. These will help the judge decide if you need to go to trial or if you can be let go with a warning.