Even in the chaotic aftermath of being charged with DUI, finding the best DUI attorney is essential. While it may be tempting to lay down and take the charges, those accused of DUI have more power than they think. Rather than resigning to your charge and simply finding an attorney in the yellow pages, making an effort to find the best DUI attorney available is crucial.
It’s important to build a good relationship with a trustworthy, experienced attorney who will put your well-being - and your positive legal outcome - first. To ensure that you make the right choice in legal representation, set up an initial consultation with a few different DUI attorneys in your area. You’ll need to ask them a series of questions about your case, but more importantly, you’ll need to determine whether you are comfortable and confident in their abilities. Relevant questions you’ll need to ask during these first consultations should include the following:
- How many years of experience does this lawyer have?
- How many years of experience does this lawyer have with DUI cases?
- How many DUI cases has this lawyer conducted in their career?
- What is the percentage of guilty vs. not guilty findings in their trials?
- Are there any solutions that this lawyer offers that would keep the case from going to trial?
- What is this lawyer's strategy in fighting DUI charges?
- How familiar is this lawyer with the court where your case will be tried?
- Does this lawyer have personal relationships with prosecutors in the district where you are being tried? Are those positive relationships?
- What is this lawyer's reputation among their peers in the district?
- Does this lawyer work with forensic experts in DUI cases? What services do the experts provide, and what are the costs?
- What are the fees associated with hiring this lawyer? How does their billing work?
Once you have recorded the answers to these questions, you can chat with friends and loved ones, then narrow your selection of attorneys. Before you make a final decision, however, you must also consider a few more attributes that your lawyer should have.
5 Attributes of the Best DUI Attorney
- Excellent Communication
The most crucial aspect of your relationship with your attorney is your communication. While lawyers are busy with a full roster of clients, there should always be open communication – even if that communication consists of your lawyer responding with an “I’ll get back to you in 12 hours.'' Ideally, your DUI attorney will have a secretary or legal assistant who can provide you with updates and answer questions.
2. Common Goal
Your attorney will be working to protect and assert your rights and best interests in court. You must ensure that you understand what your DUI lawyer’s definition of your “best interests” is! If you consistently disagree with the decisions your lawyer is making, then it is time to re-examine your relationship.
3. Early is On-Time
DUI attorneys must never, ever miss a deadline. Full stop. There are hard and fast deadlines for filing and appearing in and before the court, and these should be the absolute priority for your DUI attorney. If your lawyer is late even once, that is one time too many.
4. Approachable Language
If you knew the law and spoke legalese, you wouldn't need a lawyer. To avoid feeling shut out from the legal decisions that impact your life, make sure your lawyer is skilled in “translating” legal language into an explanation you can understand. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification when you need it. Be wary if your DUI attorney does not offer that clarification without being asked.
5. They are a Member of Their State’s DUI Lawyers Association
Your lawyer should have passed the state bar and board exams where they practice. In addition, membership in legal associations specializing in DUI will confirm that they are the best DUI attorney for you.
Once you have discussed your case, asked some questions, and taken notes (or even voice recorded your meeting, with permission) during your initial consultations, you’ll be able to find the best DUI attorney for you. Go over the answers you get from your first consultation interviews, and ensure that you are comfortable with your DUI attorney’s qualifications, punctuality, and communication style. Only after doing your due diligence can you find the best DUI attorney for your case.
When you have been charged with DUI, contact a DUI attorney who knows the law and cares about your rights. Contact Taxman DUI defense today for the best DUI attorney for you in Northern California.