Nearly 30 people die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver every day in the US. That’s about one death every 50 minutes. In fact, the cost of alcohol-related crashes reaches over $44 billion a year.
If you were recently charged with driving under the influence, it’s important to find a qualified lawyer you can trust. They can reduce your charges, potentially helping you avoid a fine or jail time. Their experience and expertise can ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
Not sure which DUI lawyer to hire? Here are eight questions to ask as you search for a DUI attorney.
With these tips, you can find the best lawyer for your DUI case. Then, you can start building your defense and preparing for the trial.
Start searching for the best DUI attorney around. Ask these questions to narrow down your options today.
1. How Long Have You Practiced Locally?
Before searching for a DUI lawyer, it’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for.
Visit your local bar association website or the Martindale-Hubbell law firm directory. Look for a lawyer that specializes in DUI casework.
Don’t choose a lawyer with generalized experience. Instead, choose someone with years of experience handling DUI cases. An experienced lawyer will better understand the laws and procedures that might impact your DUI case.
Ask each lawyer about their professional history.
First, determine how long they’ve practiced law. Look for someone with years of hands-on experience. Ask how long they’ve practiced locally, too.
Some laws and procedures can vary based on where the charges were filed. When defending a DUI charge, it’s important to find someone with relevant experience. Find a lawyer who has handled DUI cases in the area over the years.
Their prior experience will give you peace of mind. You can leverage their experience to strengthen your DUI defense. You can even learn from the cases they’ve handled in the past.
Leveraging their prior experience will help you make informed decisions regarding your own case.
2. How Many DUI Cases Have You Handled?
It’s not enough to find someone with years of experience as a criminal defense lawyer. Remember, the best DUI attorney for your case will have relevant experience. Take the time to learn how many DUI cases the lawyer has handled over the years.
Determine how many of those cases were in the past year, too. If the lawyer took a break for a while, look for someone else. Choose a DUI attorney who is up-to-date with recent laws and procedures, too.
Ask each lawyer what percentage of their overall workload is devoted to DUI defense cases.
Consider the specifics of your DUI case as well. For example, did someone die as a result of the crash? About 10,000 people die from drunk-driving crashes a year.
Look for a lawyer who also has wrongful death experience. These lawyers will have the know-how necessary to build your DUI defense. If their experience doesn’t match the specifics of your case, choose someone else.
Ask each lawyer if they have professional connections that might help when defending a DUI charge as well. For example, they might know the prosecutor who is pursuing your case. Their professional relationship might help them negotiate a plea deal on your behalf.
Their previous experience handling DUI defense cases might improve the outcome of your case.
3. Do You Have Any Special Qualifications?
Remember, you need a DUI lawyer with relevant experience and expertise. Ask each lawyer if they have any special qualifications. For example, are they certified to administer the standardized field sobriety tests?
If they’re certified, they’ll understand the process your arresting officer should have followed. Your lawyer will know if the arresting officer failed to administer the test correctly.
If the officer didn’t follow proper procedure, your lawyer could have the entire case tossed out.
You can also ask if they completed National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Student and/or Instructor Standardized Field Sobriety Test courses. Determine if they’re certified with any specific DUI organizations, too. For example, they might have certification with the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD).
Determine if they’ve ever gone on a DUI ride-along with a police officer, too.
These special qualifications could help them strengthen your DUI defense.
Otherwise, make sure your lawyer is licensed to practice in the area. Check your local bar association website to make sure their license is up-to-date.
4. Do You Have Trial Experience?
Some lawyers are apprehensive about going to court. In fact, they might even accept a plea deal to avoid taking the case to court. These lawyers won’t have your best interests in mind.
Instead, ask each lawyer about their trial experience. Make sure they’re prepared to handle your case in front of a judge and jury. If they seem nervous, take your case to a different DUI attorney.
5. How Many Cases Have You Won?
Ask each DUI attorney about their case history. How many cases have they won or lost over the years? How many of those wins were recent?
Their track record can help you learn more about their abilities to handle your case.
6. Can You Provide References?
Ask each lawyer on your list if they can offer references and reviews. Try to speak with three of their recent clients. Ask each client about the outcome of their DUI case.
Speaking with their recent clients can help you learn more about each lawyer from someone who was once in your position.
7. What Outcome Do You Expect?
Discuss the specifics of your case with two or three lawyers on your list. Ask them what outcome they expect. They shouldn’t give you a guarantee.
Instead, choose a lawyer who is upfront, honest, and transparent.
8. How Much Will This Cost?
Ask each lawyer if they’re available to handle your case. If they have a busy caseload, choose someone else. Then, ask at least three lawyers about their fee structure.
Make sure you can afford their services before making your final decision.
The Best Defense: 8 Questions to Ask Your Future DUI Lawyer
Choosing the best DUI lawyer for your case doesn’t have to feel stressful. Instead, use these tips to narrow down your options. The best DUI attorney will have an easy time building your DUI defense.
You can rely on their experience and expertise moving forward.
Eager to start building your DUI defense with a legal team you can trust? We’re here to fight at your side.
Request a consultation with our legal team today to get started.
Cook & Tolley, LLP
304 E Washington St
Athens, GA 30601