If you've been charged with a DUI, you are going to want to make sure that you have adequate legal counsel to represent you. Choosing the right lawyer that can help you obtain the best possible outcome is not as easy as it sounds. Before you actually hire an attorney, make sure that you ask him or her these three questions:
1. Who Is Your Typical Client?
Every lawyer has an "average" client that they represent. While the cost of the lawyer's services is obviously important, it is just as important to understand the type of client the attorney typically represents. For example, your attorney may normally represent individuals with a high net-worth or do business with large corporations. If this is the case, then this attorney is not right for you (unless you fall under one of those categories). Find an attorney that is used to dealing with similar clients. More often than not, they'll disclose this information easily.
2. Are You Well-Versed in DUI Cases?
Some criminal defense attorneys specialize in DUIs, while others specialize in domestic violence or drug charges. Therefore, it is important that you ask your attorney about his or her experience with DUI cases. Find out how many he has had and how many of those he or she has won. Ask if your lawyer is a member of the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD). Chances are if he or she is, then they'll be equipped to handle your case. Remember, DUI cases can be particularly complex, so it is important that your attorney has had experience in the legal processes of similar situations. If the lawyer has had very limited experience in DUI cases, it may be time to look elsewhere.
3. How Exactly Do You See My DUI Case Going?
Leave this one for towards the end of your consultation. Your attorney first needs to hear your side of the story and see the facts of the case that you have gathered up to this point. The lawyer will be able to give you a general run down of events and what you can expect. In order to get the best answer to this question, though, you must be 100 percent open and honest about your case. Don't lie and don't give a half-truth. Keep in mind that your attorney can't give you specifics or a guaranteed outcome, as he'll need to first be hired so that he can gain access to evidence - dash cam videos, police reports and witness testimony – to review. However, a general overview can be expected.
Remember, your freedom is essentially on the line here, so you need to make sure that you choose an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable about criminal defense and the laws surrounding drinking and driving.
To learn more, contact a criminal attorney like Kirsten Swanson Atty.