How To Find The Best DUI Lawyer By Yourself
Sometimes we make irresponsible choices and have to live with the consequences. According to MADD, over 1.1 million drivers were arrested in 2014 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. Out of these numbers, three times as many males were arrested for drunk driving than females. Guys….society begs you to be more careful and considerate of others!
Deciding to drive under the influence is not only dangerous to you, it endangers the lives of those around you. If you have been caught driving under the influence, you are going to need a lawyer. Of course, you could go with a government-appointed lawyer, but it is a much wiser decision to hire an attorney on your own.
Hiring a DUI attorney with experience affords you multiple benefits such as a behind-the-scenes knowledge of the court system, expert counseling on what to/to not say, knowledge of plea bargain details, and the ability to navigate difficult situations. If you decide to represent yourself, you may be confused by the complex legal information and could actually harm rather than help yourself. Similarly, if you choose a public defender, you are in the hands of someone who may have no real interest in how you fare. Before choosing a DUI lawyer, there are a few things you should know.
Do your research
A good DUI lawyer who will listen to you, understand your case, and help you in court isn’t just going to jump right out at you. It is essential to research various DUI attorneys in order to choose the one that is best for your specific case. Thankfully, the internet and social media has made research easy. In addition, it is always a good idea to ask trustworthy friends and family for their suggestions and recommendations on who to, or who to not, hire!
Make a list of potential lawyers
Create an Excel spreadsheet or written log and keep a list of the lawyers you are interested in reaching out to. Your list should include their name, area of speciality, phone number, email address, and address. If you have already spoken to them and know their price, you should include a column for “cost” in your document as well.
Steps to Find the Right DUI Lawyer
Come Up With a List of Potential Attorneys
There are a number of resources out there to help you in your search for the best DUI attorney. By seeking out personal recommendations and researching National Associations and State Bar Associations you can start filling up your list with some great attorneys to meet with. Like most major decisions in life, you will want to do your due diligence and research your options before choosing the right DUI attorney.
A good place to start your search is by soliciting personal recommendations from people you trust. A recommendation from someone who previously used the attorney’s services is probably the best way to go. Your trusted friend or colleague can give you some good information about the overall process, how the attorney performed, and what the outcome was. You can also get an idea of what the total costs were in the end. Keep in mind that not every DUI case is the same and the information you receive from your friend is subject to change based on the facts of your case
The attorney you used in another matter
If you have ever used an attorney for any other type of case he or she can also be a good resource. Attorneys can refer you to someone who specializes in criminal defense from their network of lawyers that they may know from law school or from their professional practice.
The National College of DUI Defense
This organization provides a searchable directory of attorneys that specialize in DUI defense.2
The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
This organization also has a national directory of attorneys that practice in criminal defense. You can narrow your search by city, state, and radius.3
HOW TO FIND THE BEST DUI LAWYER FOR YOUR CASE
If you are facing DUI or DWAI charges in Colorado, you should know how important it is to have an experienced attorney assisting with your case
Under Colorado law, the offenses of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWAI) can have serious consequences. Even if you are a first-time offender, you could risk having your driver’s license suspended, and you could also have a criminal record.
While most DUI/DWAI offenses are misdemeanors that do not necessarily result in jail time for first-time offenders, the costs of having a misdemeanor on your criminal record can have long-lasting effects.
You will likely need to disclose your criminal record on job applications as well as applications for housing and credit. In some cases, your criminal record could prevent you from obtaining certain types of employment.
The best thing to do when you are facing DUI/DWAI charges is to work with a DUI lawyer who can help you to build the strongest possible defense in your case.
What to Look for in a DUI Lawyer
Are you facing DUI charges? If so, then you are going to need the best DUI lawyer available. After all, a DUI conviction can be life-altering, and you would want to be spared the consequences that come with it. A competent DUI attorney representing you is your best chance of avoiding a conviction, and you have to find one as soon as charges are filed against you.
Finding a good DUI lawyer, however, could take some work on your part, and you can’t just depend on the yellow pages to help you find one. There are certain qualities that your DUI attorney must have to improve your chances of getting acquitted, or at least getting lighter sentences should you get convicted. Here are some of the qualities that you need to look for in a DUI lawyer.
Extensive DUI experience and training
Technically, you can hire anyone with a license to practice law to defend you, but you would do well to hire a lawyer who specializes in DUI cases, and who’s had years of experience handling them. With his or her deeper knowledge of DUI laws, you stand a better chance of avoiding a DUI conviction than you would with a regular criminal lawyer.
A good track record in court
Having an experienced DUI lawyer by your side would be a relief, but you will still need to know how he or she has been faring in court over the years. Good for you if your prospective DUI lawyer has a reputation for winning, but if you find out that the lawyer you’re thinking about hiring rarely wins DUI cases, you might want to look elsewhere.
A spotless ethical record
Your DUI attorney may be the best one in town or even the state, but if he or she has a history of malpractice or has been sanctioned by the State Bar, your DUI case could hang in the balance. Judges tend to look not too kindly upon lawyers with spotty ethical records.
Questions to Ask When Interviewing a DUI Attorney
The secret to finding a good attorney is in the questions you ask before you hire one. If the police have recently arrested you for driving under the influence, or DUI, of alcohol or drugs, you need to find a good DUI attorney. This article can help.
The criminal justice system moves a lot faster than a civil lawsuit would. You need to find a DUI attorney quickly. Asking the right questions will help you do that.
Many attorneys are willing to meet you briefly to introduce themselves and discuss your case. This is where you can conduct an interview to see if you have found the right lawyer for you.
This article will suggest a number of questions. Do not feel obligated to ask them all, but pick and choose among them. You may even add some of your own as you see fit.
After you get the name of a DUI attorney or two, call to set up an appointment for that first meeting.