Getting arrested and charged with a DUI can be a frightening experience. Especially if it’s the only time it’s happened.
You’re going to need a DUI lawyer.
Do you know the right questions to ask when working with a lawyer for the first time? Read on to find out.
Get The Right DUI Lawyer
We’ve got five essential questions you’ll want to ask when searching for the best DUI lawyer for your situation.
1. Are You Available to Represent Me?
DUI attorneys use the term case management to describe how they handle your case. So it’s important that you know what’s happening behind the scenes so there are no misunderstandings.
Be sure you know the following:
- If you have a question, whom should you call and how quickly can you expect a response?
- Does the attorney have a preferable way to be contacted?
- Will you receive regular status updates? And if so, how often?
2. How Many DUI Jury Trials Have You Done?
Every DUI attorney knows that about 5-10 percent of their clients will not receive acceptable plea bargains. That means they’ll have to go to trial.
When faced with a possible trial, many lawyers will advise their clients plead guilty and take the prosecutor’s first offer to a reduced charge.
While some DUI cases do end with reduced charges, you want to know that the lawyer you’re hiring knows when to call the prosecutor’s bluff and when to actually take it to trial.
3. How Much Will It Cost?
Most DUI attorneys will work for a flat fee, or an hourly rate that’s based on your case and their experience.
If your income doesn’t qualify you for a public defender, but feel that a private attorney may cost too much, say something. DUI attorneys are often willing to work out a payment plan.
You want to be clear and upfront about what’s included in the fees. Ask the following:
- What is and what isn’t included in your rate?
- Are there related legal expenses I’ll have to pay and if so, can I get an estimate for them?
- What payment options do I have and what forms of payment do you accept?
- If I’m paying a flat fee, can I extend my payments past the duration of my case? And is it refundable?
4. How Strong Is My Case?
The main part of a DUI consultation is discussing your case and the attorney’s evaluation of the prosecution’s case against you. Even if you plowed into a row of parked cars while intoxicated, you still need honest legal opinion.
There’s no such thing as too much information here. Even if you choose to not hire the attorney, he or she can’t break the confidentiality of the consultation without violating ethical rules.
5. Will I Ever See You Again?
Watch out for the DUI attorney with a “team approach.” They may give you a free consultation, take your money and then somebody entirely different will meet you in court.
During the consultation, you need to know the following:
- Will anybody else be working on your case? If so, you will want to meet them.
- Is the lawyer you’re speaking with the one who will represent you in court? If not, who will it be?
We All Make Mistakes
No matter what your DUI situation, you deserve a DUI lawyer who will fairly represent you.
Let’s talk about your case. Contact us anytime. We’re here to help you.