Five Tips for Hiring a DUI Attorney

This article will provide some guidelines to help you hire an attorney to represent you in a DUI case. The most important thing you can do when talking with a DUI defense attorney is ask questions. Don’t let your embarrassment or lawyer’s attitude stop you from doing this. Asking questions is important for two reasons. One, you cannot make an informed decision about who will represent you without fully understanding the situation you are facing and how that person may approach your case. Second, a lawyer’s willingness to patiently answer all of your questions can tell you a lot about the person. If he (or she) doesn’t answer your questions before you hire him, chances are he won’t answer when he already has your money and you’re in court. The risk of jail time, license suspension, and potential criminal record is too high to make a decision without knowing why you are doing it.

You should be wary of any attorney who promises you to hire him. For example, if he tells you that he will win the case if you hire him, or that a specific plea deal is guaranteed. The criminal justice system is made up of people such as the police, prosecutors and judges. As such, it can be, and often is, very unpredictable and results cannot be guaranteed in advance. An experienced DUI defense attorney can tell you what the most likely outcomes are if you make certain choices, such as entering into a plea deal or going to trial.

You should be concerned if the lawyer just tells you what you have to do with your case. For example, he tells you that you must plead guilty or take a specific class. A DUI attorney should use his experience and training to give you the best advice based on the circumstances of your case (which may include not only the facts of your case but other factors such as which judge you have been assigned to). However, he should also tell you that all your options are not just the ones he suggests. At the end of the day, the lawyer goes home no matter what. You are the one whose liberty is at stake, and therefore, you should be the one who makes the final decision based on all your choices. Just to clarify, I’m not suggesting that you don’t listen carefully to an experienced DUI attorney, but rather that you understand all of your options before deciding which route to take.

You should carefully inquire about the experience of any attorney. Does he defend DUI cases full-time? If not, what was the percentage of DUIs in his case? How much has he dealt with? Equally important, in what geographic areas does he have experience? For example, each county in Pennsylvania has its own bylaws. Also, each judge has his own way of doing things. If the attorney is not very familiar with the judges and rules in the area where you are being charged, you will be the one to suffer the consequences due to your inexperience.

A DUI attorney should be willing to tell you up front what his fees will be in any case. For example, if you plead guilty, what are the fees? What if you need to file motions and/or go to trial? He should also be willing to give you a written fee agreement when you hire him. This will protect you as the case progresses through the system. Nothing can ruin a lawyer-client relationship faster than feeling like your lawyer is stealing from you. I should point out that while most DUI defense attorneys charge by the case (meaning they can tell you in advance what the defense or trial will cost), they bill by the hour. If you choose to hire an attorney who does this, make sure he will update you on the fees on a regular basis. That way, when the case is over, you won’t be intimidated by huge legal bills.

Finally, beware of high-pressure sales tactics (yes, like when buying a car). If a DUI attorney tells you that you must pay immediately or lose your chance to hire him, you should be concerned. Who will represent your legal rights is a very important decision. You should have the opportunity to speak with several attorneys, if necessary, until you are satisfied with your options. You should have complete trust in the people you hire to fight for your rights.

In summary, the five things you should keep in mind when hiring a DUI attorney are: 1) Beware of bonds; 2) The attorney should dissuade you from ordering you; People should be willing to give you a written fee agreement; 5) Don’t give in to high pressure sales tactics. Hope this information helps you hire the right DUI attorney.

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