When considering the potential outcomes of a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge can be detrimental long-term – such as large fines, losing your license or facing jail time – it is crucial to ensure you hire the right DUI lawyer for your situation. There are a number of different factors to take into account to boost your chances of the best outcome for your case.
Where is the Lawyer Located?
In order for your lawyer to be able to attend courtroom appearances and meetings easily, it is best to choose one from your jurisdiction. They will also be able to give you the time you need if they are situated close by. On top of this, DUI laws vary from state to state, so finding one who knows the laws in your state is critical. A DUI lawyer NJ will most probably know the laws in NJ better than a DUI lawyer LA, and vice versa. Also, watch out for public defenders or lawyers who appear to take on any case, as their workload will be significantly larger and, therefore, they may not have as much time as you require to get a successful case resolution.
Practice Area, Settlements, Verdicts, Standing and Experience
The attorney you hire must have experience in handling DUIs, and preferably focused legal experience with charges similar to the ones you are facing, for example if an injury case is involved. You should also search court records and ask the attorney directly about their success rate. It is important to establish how long the lawyer has been practicing in this field as well – knowledge without experience is not always the best option.
It is also worthwhile to check online ratings for the lawyers you are considering to ensure they are ethical. A practicing lawyer should be in a good standing with both the national and state bar associations, and they should be active in at least one legal association. Check with regional and local legal associations to see if your lawyer has a membership with them. You can also look into client reviews – a good lawyer will have many, and will not need to self-direct praise continually.
What are the Legal Fees Required for the Full Case?
A good lawyer generally will not come cheap. In order to prevent yourself being surprised by the total cost, always ask your potential attorney to confirm all fees for the full process, not just the initial retainer. Confirm hourly rates, flat fees and consultation fees for the entire length of your case (or at least gain a close estimate), and ask them to inform you of all other fees that will be included in your case, such as a DMV settlement, potential fines or costs for classes, and all court fees.
Has the Lawyer Done Any Legal Presentations?
Ask if your potential lawyer has ever given any talks or presentations on the topic of DUIs. This is a great indication that they have a positive reputation in their field, and also highlights their authority, ability, and experience in this area.