The need for good legal counsel cannot be overestimated. One of the most common forms of arrest is for drunk driving; more than 1.4 million people per year are arrested for a first time DUI. DUI consequences can be significant. Penalties vary from state to state, but in California, for example, a misdemeanor first conviction in a DUI case can result in a fine of $1,000 and more than $2,600 in penalty assessments. In fact, you can even end up in jail as these types of convictions can result in both imprisonment for up to six months in the county jail and a six-month driving license suspension. In such circumstances, it is important not only to find an attorney but to find one who can address your specific circumstances successfully.
Of course, being in need of a criminal defense attorney need not always be because of something you have actually done. The reality is that wrongful convictions do happen. As many as 10,000 people per year may have been convicted wrongfully of serious crimes in the US, according to a survey that used information from 188 prosecuting attorneys, sheriffs, public defenders and even judges. In most such cases (52.3%), the main cause in was eyewitness misidentification, followed by perjury by a witness which was the case in 11% of wrongful convictions. In such circumstances, having a good criminal defense lawyer to appeal is vital.
Lawyers may specialize in different parts of the law and so it is worthwhile looking to find an attorney who has expertise and experience in the field of law — drunk driving, domestic violence, family law — that your case involves. Choosing a lawyer is not just a matter of considering cost or location, but rather ensuring that you get the best counsel for your situation. If you are involved in a civil matter or are laying a claim against someone, the first step might be to get an initial free legal consultation through a site like Law Help and then decide whether you actually have a case. The local bar association?s referral service can help you with suggestions for possible counsel. Before you choose a lawyer, you need to interview a few so that you get an idea of what they are like, what their experience is, what kind of approach they might take and if they are a good match for your needs. Never settle for the first attorney; do your homework when trying to find an attorney.