Nobody thinks about how to find a good DUI attorney until they really need one. If you have found yourself being arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI), it is likely a stressful and very unfortunate result of a decision that you regret. Despite the mistakes that led to this event, it is important to move forward and be responsible about resolving it. Finding a good lawyer to help you and advocate for you is one of the first steps in the right direction. Here are some tips for how to find a good DUI attorney.
First, make a list of attorneys in your area and ensure you have accurate contact information for each one. As with any other service, it is a good idea to first ask friends or family members if they have used a DUI lawyer in the past, and if they would recommend the attorney they chose. Ask questions such as what the outcome of their case was, if they feel the attorney advocated well for them, and what the final costs were. Additionally, if you have used an attorney for a different service in the past (such as a child custody or divorce lawyer) and were satisfied with them, you may be able to contact that lawyer for advice on how to find a good DUI attorney. While the attorney you used in the past will likely not be able to help you with your DUI case because it is outside of their current practice, they may be able to make recommendations of lawyers in other practices who will be to help you.
If you do not feel comfortable seeking advice and would rather do the research yourself, or you did not find recommendations from friends, family, or previously used attorneys to be helpful, there are a number of websites with attorney directories and ratings. Some may be nationwide, and some may be state-specific. As with any other service you seek online, carefully read all of the ratings and reviews to help you make an informed decision. Read reviews from both previous clients and peer reviews from other attorneys.
As you are compiling your list, make sure that whoever who choose is a licensed attorney, otherwise they will not be able to represent you in court. If possible, the best option is a local attorney who specializes in DUI cases. Judges will be familiar with local attorneys and therefore may be more lenient in their judgments. Additionally, attorneys who specialize in DUI cases will be more knowledgeable of the nuances of DUI laws and better equipped to defend you.
Now that you have compiled your list of qualified attorneys, it is time to start contacting them. As you share with them the information about your case, it is important to be honest about all of the details. Give them all of your court documents and share all relevant information about the case. As difficult as it may be to talk about, an attorney needs all of that to defend you well. Ask questions about the attorney’s experience, what they think would be the best strategy for your case, if they will be the attorney who ends up going in the court room with you, and any other questions that come to your mind. Make sure that you feel comfortable interacting with the attorney and they project confidence in their ability to handle your case.
And lastly, consider the expenses. Lawyer’s fees may vary greatly, depending on the state and their experience. Whatever the fees that you and the attorney decide on, make sure it is communicated clearly, decided in advance, and in writing. Ask if they offer payment plans, which may make the fees more affordable for you.
Dealing with a DUI is something nobody wants to go through. But if it does happen to you, having a good attorney on your side can help make an unpleasant situation more bearable and clear away the confusion with the court system. Hopefully this has been helpful advice in how to find a good DUI attorney for you.