As if getting a DUI isn’t enough trouble to end up in, there’s a bunch of paperwork to process and, sometimes, a court case to handle. A case may be presented to you if you’re being charged for more than a DUI – like an accident while under the influence or causing harm to another person.
But, you also have the option to present your case if you think you were unfairly charged with a DUI. Either way, you need the best DUI attorney to guide you through your defense.
Do the following steps to help you find the ideal attorney for the job.
1. Research All Your Options
Maybe your neighbor happens to be a lawyer or your parents have worked closely with an attorney for business purposes in the past. This is great and all, but it does you no good to have such resources unless they’re a DUI attorney.
The last thing you want to do is hire a divorce attorney or workers’ compensation lawyer to handle your DUI case. You need someone who specializes in these things, and your best bet is to find them online.
Do a general search for DUI attorney offices in your area. Check how long they’ve been in business and the kind of legal training they’ve had prior to starting their own firm. Many legal websites offer such details and more.
On each attorney’s site, you can see what else they specialize in, look into how soon you can meet with them, and, more importantly, read what past clients have to say.
2. See What Past Clients Have to Say
Here’s the thing: every DUI attorney is going to consider themselves the best one. You have to fact-check them and do a little more digging overall to find which is actually the one to choose.
A great place to start narrowing down your options is on each attorney’s testimonials page. Testimonials tell you about an attorney’s service from the client’s perspective. They mention details like how long a case took to complete or the overall success of a case.
These are important things to consider when you think about what you want a lawyer to do for you. Are you looking to clear your name, get less time in jail, or defend yourself against some sort of lawsuit? These all depend on how you got the DUI in the first place, but they play into the kind of DUI lawyer you need now.
3. Check Your Budget
Just when you think you’ve found the perfect lawyer, make sure you can pay for their services. Going to court isn’t cheap, and you’re going to have to pay for it out of pocket.
Some attorneys will charge you at the end of the case, while others will want some form of payment up front. This is just one of the payment options available to you.
Be sure to discuss such details before moving forward. It would be a shame to win a DUI case only to land yourself under a mountain of legal fees. This kind of outcome takes you from one serious problem to another – it’s better to give yourself a break from the start if you can help it.
4. Prepare Your Questions
Payments and fees are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the questions you should ask a DUI lawyer. Be sure that the person you’re in contact with is, in fact, the representative for your case. Sometimes, lawyers will have assistants or even legal students step in for them during consultations.
Or, you could end up with a team of lawyers where many people have their hands on a case instead of one person working on it alone. It’s better to have the same person on your case from start to finish. This creates a strong sense of trust between the two of you and allows for their work to be as consistent as possible.
5. Get a Few Consultations
No matter whether you ask all the questions you need to or you’re more interested in getting started on your defense, at least make the time to get a few consultations. This provides you with the peace of mind that you’ve definitely made the best choice in the end.
Consultations allow you to get a feel for each lawyer and their services. This means you can start to understand their level of professionalism, how prepared each option is to handle your case, and how much they genuinely care about you.
You don’t want a lawyer who treats you like just another person in their seat. You want someone who has compassion for your situation and is able to give you the best services possible.
Such a lawyer is more willing to put up a good fight in your defense, and face it – you’re going to need that whether or not you were at fault. Actually, you can bring up the defense process during each consultation.
Ask each lawyer what your options are moving forward. Think of this kind of like getting multiple opinions from doctors when you’re sick. Legal cases aren’t black and white, and a little bit of insight on which directions you can take from here will help you choose who you want to work with.
Remember, DUIs are nothing to mess around about, which is why the search process and the ultimate decision for a DUI lawyer matter as much as they do. If you’re having trouble deciding, talk to your friends and loved ones.
Find the Best DUI Attorney for You
Getting a DUI can feel a lot like hitting rock bottom. Thankfully, there are plenty of resources available to help get you to a better place. One of them is the best DUI attorney for you.
Other resources you may want to look into are therapy or rehab, depending on what caused the DUI in the first place. If you think rehab is what you really need, check out these tips on how to find state-funded programs in your area.