Statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation show that over a million drivers got arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) offenses in 2019. Based on this statistical estimate, an average driver who often drinks before driving has a 1 in 200 chance of getting arraigned in court for DUI charges. Driving under the influence is a criminal offense in all states within the United States.
Have you recently gotten arrested on DUI charges? Or is your DUI case about to get presented before a court of law? Fret not! It would help if you had a qualified, experienced, and licensed criminal defense attorney who’ll help you in court. Most people who get arrested for drunk driving get scared and confused, and some may not know what to do to find an ideal lawyer that can defend them in court.
Once a person gets charged with a criminal offense, there is a need to get a solid criminal defense lawyer to get a favorable outcome from the courts. If you’re in such a situation, then here are six insightful tips that you could use to get a perfect lawyer to represent you in court.
1. Search the Internet, Yellow Pages, Talk to Family and Friends or Ask Around
If you’re a first-time offender who has never gotten charged for any criminal offense, you may not be aware of a place where you can find an ideal law firm or lawyer. But it would help if you started by making a simple search engine search. The internet has websites from different law firms and SEO content with links that may lead you to contact pages where you can find ideal attorneys. You could also ask friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers who have had similar DUI experiences. Getting to know where you can find a lawyer is one thing, but determining the perfect choice among the options you’ll get is also another challenge and more serious one. Read to learn how to weed out your prospective options to get the best.
2. Choose a Criminal Defense Attorney with a Specialty in Your Area of Interest
Law is complex and vast. Even criminal law is still extensive, and more often than not, the lawyers who focus on one area of law are best suited to represent people in their area of specialty. If you’re going to court because of DUI charges, then it’s advisable to find a lawyer that spends much of their time representing people in court on DUI cases. Such lawyers often have more skills and experience in handling such cases.
3. Choose a Lawyer with Good Negotiation Skills and Long-term Courtroom Experience
It’s always advisable to choose a lawyer that has dealt with many actual DUI cases. But remember, years of experience earned by working on DUI-related laws isn’t the same as the experience gained in courtrooms defending people charged with DUI charges. You should thus find a lawyer that has real, long-term courtroom experience. If you have a high likelihood of getting a good chance during the trial, the DUI case prosecutor may be more inclined to grant your case a favorable deal at the pre-trial level. If this happens, your attorney also needs to be an excellent negotiator to get you the best deal.
You shouldn’t choose a lawyer straight from a website ad and offer them the chance to represent you in court. It would help if you first get some consultation time before committing yourself. It’s challenging to find out everything about a specific criminal law defense attorney, but going over your case with them and listening to them in person will give you a good idea of whether they can be suitable for your case.
4. Check Past Client Reviews and a Lawyer’s Track Record
Instead of going for a famous attorney because of their huge advertising budget or one with the most prominent law firm or friendly office, look for one who has delivered favorable court outcomes whenever the judgment gets passed. You can check clients’ reviews online or even ask for past client contacts and talk with them. You could also ask your prospective DUI lawyer some essential questions to help you make a wise choice before committing. Some of the questions you can ask include:
- What’s the likely outcome of the DUI charge?
- How many people does the lawyer have who’ll assist in preparing the case’s representation?
- How many people has the lawyer represented in similar cases?
- How many DUI charges or other cases is the lawyer currently about to handle in court?
5. Find Out the Legal Representation Fee of Your Prospective Lawyer
A new criminal defense attorney out of law school may ask for a relatively affordable fee than an experienced lawyer who has lots of courtroom experience handling DUI cases. If you have the money, it’s advisable to go for an experienced lawyer. But if you’re cash-strapped and there is no way to cover the high charges, then go for the fresh lawyer. You may get lucky! After all, all lawyers always have to start as freshers! You should thus compare the fee charged by different prospective lawyers.
6. Find a Lawyer Close to Your Local Area or Jurisdictional Area
Is your prospective lawyer licensed to practice in your country, state, or locale? All cases often get handled within the region where you received your DUI charges. It’s good to look for a local lawyer who can get reached with ease and one who knows the local courts and even the prosecutors and other professionals that will handle your case. A criminal law defense attorney with good interpersonal relations with the prosecutors, judges, and other court officials who may get involved in your DUI case may get you a favorable court case outcome.
Getting arraigned in court for DUI charges isn’t comparable to trying to handle traffic ticket problems! You may get tempted to represent yourself because you’d either like to save some money or because you think that the legal representation fee is way too high. Please don’t do it without expert help because your chances of escaping severe consequences are great when you lack legal representation from a qualified and experienced lawyer. If you’re in LA, you can find the best criminal defense lawyers at the Takakjian & Sitkoff LLP firm. Contact the firm by checking out their website’s contact page to get contact info.