Though DUIs have been declining across the U.S. for the past few decades, research suggests that higher impairment rates during the pandemic might be making matters worse.
If you’re facing a DUI charge, you probably already know that prosecutors won’t go easy on you. Depending on your state and the circumstances of your DUI, you could face penalties ranging from a hefty fine to a license suspension to jail time.
Worse, fighting a DUI charge can be difficult on your own—or with the wrong legal help. That’s why choosing a DUI lawyer is so crucial to the outcome of your case. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some key tips worth knowing.
Check References and Reviews
As you search through the different options for lawyers in your area, be sure to take a look at their online reviews, both on the lawyer’s website and on third-party sites. Testimonials from past satisfied clients are always a good sign.
As you narrow down your options and get in touch with different legal teams, be sure to ask each attorney to put you in touch with past clients who can serve as a reference. This gives you an opportunity to ask about the attorney’s effectiveness and communication as well as any potential drawbacks to choosing them.
Research Their Reputation and Status
While you’re on the lawyer’s website, look for indicators of a positive reputation, such as awards and recognition, as these are often signs of ongoing success, continuing education, and overall experience. You should also check to see whether the legal team belongs to any professional organization.
Regardless of these accolades, you’ll also want to check the lawyer’s bar status, a process that will vary from state to state. If the attorney faces any formal discipline from your state bar, you’ll want to avoid hiring them.
Look for DUI Case Experience
The field of law is broad and varied, so it’s crucial to partner with a team that specializes in DUIs, such as the team at tprentisslaw.com.
You’ll want to ensure that your attorney has experience in the jurisdiction where you were arrested and knowledge of the judge and district attorney you’ll be facing. You’ll also want to ask about their total years of experience as well as how many similar cases they’ve handled successfully.
Cost can be a major factor in your decision, so it’s important to ask about it upfront. Get to know the attorney’s fee structure, and ask about payment plans as well. Comparing lawyer fees is always a good idea, but don’t forget that you sometimes get what you pay for: opting for the lowest cost may not be your best bet.
Use These Tips When Choosing a DUI Lawyer
Choosing a DUI lawyer can take time, which can feel worrying when you’re facing the uncertain repercussions of your case. However, sifting through your options is crucial if you hope for success. Start as soon as possible to partner with a legal team that can help.
Want more of the tips you need to make tough decisions? Be sure to take a look at our other guides.