You’re reading this because you got caught. Let’s not sugar coat it. If you’re looking for a DUI lawyer, chances are you are one of the millions in the U.S. who drove drunk statistically about 80 times before this, your first drunk driving charge. We can only hope that the exorbitant cost of this whole process of building a DUI defense ($10,000 is the national average), will serve as a wake-up call, but in the meantime, you have to learn all there is to know about hiring a DUI attorney:
Tip #1: Understand Your Case Inside and Out.
Before you go about choosing a DUI attorney, it’s important that you understand exactly what you’re being charged with. Is it just a DUI, or is it also reckless driving, possession, etc.? If you don’t have a copy of the police report yet, get one. Once you know exactly the case the state is trying to make against you, choosing a DUI attorney will be more productive as you narrow the list down to lawyers with experience closest to your case.
Tip #2: Get That Free Consultation.
Many law firms offer a free hour or so of their time at the get-go. This gives potential clients time to talk about their case and the lawyers time to decide whether or not the case is winnable and worth their time. If you can, consider only those law firms that offer the free consultation when choosing a DUI attorney.
Tip #3: Ask About Case Load.
There’s no guarantee that the attorney will tell you the truth, but it’s always good policy when choosing a DUI attorney to get a sense of your counsel’s case load. You’re going to want a lawyer who can devote adequate time to your case, especially if you’ve chosen a firm on the more affordable side. The best way to make sure meager resources go far is to focus full attention on the problem.
Tip #4: Vet, Vet, Vet.
We live in the age of the internet, which means that, no matter how smarmy the commercial for a law firm on TV may be, you can check out their reputation on Avo and other popular consumer reporting sites. This is especially important to do if you’re facing criminal charges like a DUI.
Tip #5: Pat Attention to Chemistry.
The bottom line is, if you don’t like your lawyer and your lawyer doesn’t like you, your case probably won’t be as successful. If at your consultation you’re getting a weird vibe, like maybe they’re being judgemental or inattentive, trust your instincts and look elsewhere. After all, you made a big mistake, but it’s your lawyer’s job to represent you and to fix that mistake to the best of their ability, not to judge you.