So you or someone you know was arrested for driving under the influence. What now? First, acknowledge your mistakes. You shouldn’t have been driving while intoxicated in the first place. But since the inevitable happened, it becomes a lesson for you to learn. This means doing what you can, to the best of your ability, to improve the situation.
You can do this with the help of a DUI lawyer. As you learn from this mistake and move forward, a DUI lawyer can be with you every step of the way. There are consequences you’ll have to face, such as fines and penalties, for instance. But it doesn’t mean you should let yourself suffer even more.
Having a lawyer by your side can help smoothen out the process. That said, ensure that you’re in good hands. Here are some tips you can follow:
1. Form A List Of Candidates
When you’re on the search for a DUI lawyer or any other vehicle lawyer like a semi truck accident lawyer, it’s very important to be picky about your choice. This means that you shouldn’t just settle for the very first one you come across or meet. Start forming a list of potential candidates, so you can safely narrow down your options according to quality, reputation, and even your preferences.
Online reviews and feedback are a good place to start forming your list of potential candidates. But, take some time to dig deeper. This means asking around, including your friends and family members who have recently hired a DUI lawyer. They can give you honest and first-hand information on their experiences working with a particular lawyer.
2. Go Through The Lawyer’s Qualifications
After making a list of potential lawyers, it’s time to go through the lawyer’s qualifications. Don’t settle for anything less, so you can get this over within the fastest and best way possible. This begins with going through the attorney’s educational background, and of course, checking their license to practice law in your state. You can always check them online since most law firms now have websites to boost their online presence.
As a minimum qualification, you’ll have to make sure that you’re hiring a licensed lawyer to represent you in court. Experience counts, too, but this would typically be a matter of preference.
For instance, some clients don’t mind having a younger lawyer, as this means that they're more adept with the updates on new statutes and jurisprudence. However, their experience is still limited. Some prefer an older lawyer with more years of service. It’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons, based on the metrics that matter to you the most.
Along with their experience, check their ethical records. You wouldn’t want to be with a lawyer who has a past disciplinary action or worse, someone who has very poor ethical records.
3. Take Advantage Of Free Consultations
Before you decide on a lawyer to hire, it also helps to take advantage of the free consultations they offer. This is an excellent way for you to gauge whether or not such a lawyer will be easy to deal with.
First off, observe their personality. Do they give time to listen to your case, or are they rushing things? Is their staff professional and amicable? Are they easy to contact? If there’s a red flag, follow your instincts. Move on and look for another lawyer to hire instead.
Here are other things you’ll have to do when undergoing this free personal consultation:
* Talk openly and honestly about the facts surrounding your case. When you’re honest about all of the facts, you’re also helping the lawyer formulate the best advice or the best route for your situation. Even if you’re at fault and death or injuries have occurred, be upfront.
* Walk out with a clear strategy in mind. It's important that when you leave the lawyer’s office, you already have a clear vision and strategy as to how the case will go. If you don’t, then that’s another telltale sign to move forward with your next option.
* Ask who will be handling your case. This is a very important step you must go through if you’re hiring a lawyer from a firm. If you want a particular lawyer to handle your case, request the firm to assign that lawyer to your case. Otherwise, your case might be given to another partner in the firm.
A DUI charge is costly. There's no denying that. But, in many instances, it’s more than just about the charge and the penalty itself. There are situations when it gets complicated, particularly when there’s severe damage to property and injuries to people. Worse, if there’s death, then you’ll be in a more difficult place. Whatever your situation is, a lawyer can truly assist you every step of the way. Just ensure that you’re making the most out of this available resource by employing a good and reputable lawyer.