Choosing an exceptional drunk driving attorney can be intimidating, but if you take your time and take the necessary steps, it can ultimately have an enormous impact on the outcome of your case. The stakes are high – you’re practically entrusting your future to an attorney. Even one mistake in a legal case of drunk driving can cost you in the long run, leading to thousands of dollars in fines or jail time. So here are some actions to take and things to consider as you look for the best representation.
First, it is important to have resources that can give you some guidance. Doing your research in advance to the basics of the type of offense and the relevant laws in your area will undoubtedly provide you an edge and make sure you can ask relevant questions to any potential attorneys. Moreover, you should read legal blogs, articles, and reviews to get a sense of who would be the best for your particular situation. Once you have done your homework and feel that you have a better understanding about drunk driving law, you can start asking people you know for referrals and follow your instinct to select a reliable lawyer.
Second, you should interview and consult at least two to three attorneys. During the consultation, it is a good idea to ask questions related to their experience with drunk driving cases, as this will help sketch out their strengths and weaknesses. A good attorney should be able to outline their past successes, explain complicated legal procedures, and accept serious criticism with respect. Keep an eye out for those attorneys who have the strongest track record of favorable outcomes, offer a free consultation, are prompt in their response time, have a good reputation in the local court system, and who rely on fresh ideas and thinking to solve your case.
Third, understand the differences in qualifications and experience. Some firms dedicate their practice to DUI law and drunk driving defense. A DUI specialist is more informed than other lawyers and presents a more qualified application of the law to a court. In addition, you should check the licensing and qualifications of the attorney, as well as whether the attorney is a member of any legal organizations or associations dedicated to DUI defense.
Fourth, make sure to take cost into account. Experience in and understanding of the DUI process are absolutely paramount, but you also should make sure that you look into the price range of different attorneys. Sometimes factors such as location, repute, and trial tactics can drive up the cost of an attorney’s fees. Making sure to have a financial game plan for dealing with attorney fees is very important. Additionally, you must understand the difference between a flat fee rate and an hourly rate, as it may be more beneficial to go for a flat fee.
Finally, trust your instincts. When it comes to your legal rights and the future of your case, it is important to not only trust in the expertise of an attorney, but to also feel comfortable enough to communicate with them. While the legal terminology may be difficult to understand, make sure you are connecting with your attorney and that your attorney is connecting with the facts of the case. A successful attorney-client relationship is key.
The above five steps will help you choose an exceptional drunk driving attorney for the best outcome, however, there are few more topics to explore. To begin with, it is important to discuss the different types of defense strategies the lawyer has in mind. A lawyer may try anything from raising reasonable doubt, challenging the validity of a traffic stop or a breathalyzer test, or just mitigating the circumstances to lessen the subsequent penalty. An experienced lawyer should be able to offer advice on this veritable landscape, but it is important to ensure there is an alignment between your expectations and the lawyer’s strategy.
Second, establish a very clear and precise timeline of when certain actions have to be taken on both sides. Whether it’s paperwork or court hearings, a clear timeline will prevent any miscommunication and ensure that all ends are tied up in a timely fashion. It is also a good idea to make sure any agreements reached between the lawyer and the client are laid out in writing.
Third, ask the attorney about any additional costs surrounding the procedure. Many times, even the most qualified attorneys carry court fees or similar fines that are not initially listed in the fee. During the initial consultation, it is very important to get a general idea of any extraneous costs that might appear.
Fourth, find out what resources the attorney may have. It is always important to understand what resources the lawyer carries with them. This could include expert witnesses who will testify to provide additional evidence or anything else that might help your case.
Fifth, don’t be shy to ask your attorney what level of assistance they expect from you as a client. It is important to stay engaged in the case and provide any documents or information to the lawyer that are pertinent to the case. Many lawyers will expect some level of guidance and assistance that the client provides throughout the duration of the case.
Finally, make sure to review the fine print of any contract you are signing with the attorney. It is important to have a good understanding of what you are agreeing to so that if there are any discrepancies in the contract, you can ask the attorney for any changes before you sign it. Understanding the scope of work they will provide and the terms by which you will receive payment is important to recognize.
All in all, the most important thing to consider when choosing an exceptional drunk driving attorney is to be informed and prepared. Researching and being aware of all the details, understanding the timeline of the proceedings, and connecting with a comfortable lawyer who brings in confidence and expertise will give you the best chances of achieving the best outcome.