The consequences of a drunk driving charge are serious and could affect you for the rest of your life. Don’t sell yourself short by choosing a lawyer based on cost alone. Here are a few essential factors to consider before taking your DUI case to court.
As with any profession, a lawyer with more experience is more likely to represent you well in court. But, how do you determine a lawyer’s expertise in drunk driving cases? For starters, you could ask for previous client referrals. But the canon of ethics and client reluctance might prevent them from supplying names of former clients. In that case, you can ask for referrals from other lawyers or your trusted friends. Many well-qualified lawyers will rely on their reputations as opposed to expensive advertising campaigns. Many drunk driving attorneys have websites and/or LinkedIn profiles that list their resumes and credentials. Consider that information when conducting your search.
While cost is an important consideration, the most expensive lawyers are not always the best and the less expensive lawyers are not necessarily the worst. Most attorneys base their fees on their level of experience as well as the complexity of the issue. Some lawyers even consider their overhead in their fees. Similarly, the best and most experienced lawyers usually don’t charge the lowest fees. You can ask a lawyer to quote a maximum fee or a “flat fee.” Flat or fixed fees are common for DUI cases. Whatever the fee, consider your budget and what you can realistically afford as well as the type of attorney you desire for your needs.
The most important thing is that you feel comfortable with your attorney. From the time of your first consultation, your attorney should understand the specific issues of your case. They should be willing to listen and be trustworthy. You will often be able to determine the level of the attorney’s expertise and competency from the questions they ask during the initial phone call. The lawyer you hire should keep you informed about your case, answer your questions honestly, advise you as to your options, and give you a recommendation based on the specifics of your case as well as the lawyer’s experience in similar matters.
Finding a good DUI lawyer is certainly not a one size fits all proposition. If you’ve been charged with drunk driving, search for a lawyer who can handle the complexities of your situation. After you’ve done your research, always follow your gut, not just your pocketbook. After all, it is a decision that could affect you for the rest of your life.
In invite you to contact me for a consultation if you or a loved one has been charged with an DUI.