You’ve been arrested, tested positive for blood alcohol, and now face trial—but it isn’t over yet. Finding a good DUI defense lawyer to represent you will be well worth the cost.
Never wait to hire a DUI or a personal defense lawyer, and when you do, make sure you pick the right one for the job. Sometimes people who have failed a blood alcohol test, or have made a confession to the police, believe that there is no hope for their case. While there is certainly the chance that you will be found guilty, with a qualified attorney, you will likely get a reduced sentence, which can make all the difference in your life. A legal professional can save your driver’s license, help you avoid jail time, and reduce other consequences that you may be facing. There are several things to look for in a suitable attorney.
Have you ever hired an attorney who expected you to do the work? That’s your first mistake. You are paying for a service, which will include gathering necessary documents, collecting evidence, and contacting any other individuals involved. You provide some information, but it is not up to you to spend your days running errands for a lazy or inexperienced DUI defense lawyer. Once you’ve consulted and accepted a professional service, they should do the footwork for you, contacting you only when necessary to clarify information and to explain the legal process to you. Sometimes a poor attorney will not put the effort required into your case because they may be stretched thin or believe that there is not much they can do. Therefore it isn’t worth their time. Regardless of the details of your case, you deserve their full attention and best work. If you feel neglected, seek better representation.
What sets a great DUI defense lawyer apart from the mediocre is specialized experience in the field. You need someone who is familiar with the specific location because laws can vary greatly across states and even counties. In most drunk driving cases, the blood alcohol level, or BAC test is the most crucial element. How the test was administered can make the difference between sentencing, whether the results were positive or not. So how do you know how much your attorney knows? Ask if they have taken training with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is the organization that oversees BAC testing procedures for police officers. If they haven’t, you may wish to seek a more experienced attorney.
While most attorneys aren’t going to come cheap, there should be some wiggle-room when it comes to pricing. At the very least, you should be made aware of all costs up front and ensure you read and accept the terms of the contract. A DUI defense lawyer may charge by the hour or a flat fee for his services. Phone calls, collecting documents, and other activities may also incur additional charges. These can all quickly add up without your knowledge if you aren’t being cautious. Don’t be afraid to shop around either. You will find that prices can vary, and some attorneys will be more flexible than others, especially if they take a particular interest in your case.