It’s probably one of the worst days of your life when you’re arrested and charged with a DUI. These outcomes if found guilty range from huge fines, driver’s license suspension, and ignition interlock requirements, to even jail time in some cases. The ramifications can also follow you for years through increased insurance rates, employment background checks, and restriction of travel abilities. Furthermore, DUI convictions become part of your permanent criminal record.
With so much on the line, it is critical to obtain experienced and strategic legal representation to mitigate damages and work toward the best possible outcome for your case. Having the right DUI attorney in your corner can make all the difference in navigating this challenging scenario successfully. Carefully picking out an attorney with specific expertise in DUI defense should be your top priority from day one when charged.
Seek an Attorney Experienced in DUI
Not all criminal defense lawyers have in-depth DUI experience. Seek out an attorney who dedicates his practice specifically to DUI and drunk driving defense. They will have the procedural knowledge and experience to aggressively challenge evidence and create reasonable doubt regarding impairment.
Verify Training and Certifications
Look for a DUI attorney who pursues ongoing DUI defense training to stay up to date on methods like challenging breathalyzers and field sobriety tests. Certifications from national organizations like the National College for DUI Defense also demonstrate a higher level of expertise.
Assess Track Record with Similar Cases
Ask candidates about their success record with past cases similar to yours in terms of BAC level, accident involvement, prior offenses, and other factors. Review case results they’ve achieved for dismissal, reduction of charges, and avoidance of ignition interlock requirements and license suspension. Specifically, inquire about their experience and rates of success defending cases with BAC levels and circumstances comparable to your charges. This can help give you realistic expectations for potential case outcomes they may be able to achieve for you.
Understand Legal Costs
Get fee estimates in writing describing charges for consultation, trial preparation, court appearances, expert testimony and other services. Understand options like payment plans and determine the expected total cost. Beware suspiciously low fees that may reflect inexperience.
Review Accessibility and Responsiveness
You need an attorney who will be readily available to answer your calls and questions. Ask how they prefer communicating with clients and what response time you can anticipate. Verify they will personally handle and appear at all aspects of your legal proceedings.
Check Reviews of Past Clients
Search online reviews and client testimonials for the attorneys you’re considering. This feedback provides insight into their legal competency, integrity, communication skills and success fighting cases like yours. Seek consistently positive reviews.
Meet and Interview Attorneys
Schedule consultations to meet with promising candidates in person when possible. Gauge whether their personality and communication style make you feel comfortable and confident. Ask plenty of questions to assess their capabilities and knowledge firsthand.
Moving forward after a DUI charge requires finding the best attorney to defend your rights, freedom and driving privileges. Do your research to make an informed choice aligned with your case needs and expectations. With the right legal representation, you have a fighting chance at the best possible outcome.