Driving under the influence (DUI) charges are very serious charges. The penalties are often include getting a license taken away and possible jail time. No one should go through the process of fighting a DUI charge on their own. An experienced DUI lawyer will help their client to understand the law and the facts of the case. They will walk their client through every step of the process. Keep reading for some great questions to ask a DUI attorney before deciding to hire them.
Experience and Background
Always ask a potential DUI attorney about their schooling and experience. How long have they been practicing law? How long have they been representing DUI clients? Someone with years of experience will give clients peace of mind. These lawyers also are able to ensure a positive outcome.
How many cases do they do each year? How long have they practiced in the particular locality? How often do they take the cases to trial? Are they familiar with the judge and prosecutor for this case? All of these questions help a client determine the possibilities for a better outcome in the case.
Ask the attorney if they have ever been on a DUI ride-along with the police. Some states have programs where attorneys can be certified as DUI specialists. Ask if this attorney has that certification.
Cost and Billing
Knowing how much an attorney will cost and how they bill are practical questions to ask. Inquire about payment options and how they bill their clients. Most attorneys offer a free consultation, but clarify this before meeting. Ask if there are any extra fees that might occur, like paying for expert witnesses or additional blood samples. Always ask what kind of payment an attorney accepts.
Chances and Outcome
While lawyers can’t tell the future, they can predict possibilities based on the facts of the case. Their training and experience with DUI cases should help them have a general idea of the outcome. Ask if a plea agreement is possible. Inquire about pre-trial motions to suppress evidence. A client should ask which factors will work in their favor and which will work against them. Sometimes going to trial is a good idea, and other times it is not. Be sure to ask which it is in this case.
Who Will Do the Work?
Law firms have attorneys, paralegals, law clerks, and secretaries. Potential clients should ask who will do the bulk of the work on their case. If it is not the lawyer himself, will there be a lesser fee for the time of the other professionals? Will the case get the full attention of the DUI attorney, or will it be passed off to a paralegal? Will the senior lawyer in the firm be handling it, or a new, inexperienced attorney? These are all valid and important questions to ask.
Finding an excellent DUI attorney doesn’t need to be as stressful as the DUI charges that someone is facing. Ask these questions to vet local attorneys and find one that is a good fit.