10 questions to ask a DUI attorney
Although many DUI offenders may believe it’s simply easier to plead guilty to their DUI charges, given the severe penalties and high fines, this is generally not a good idea. Most DUI offenders should at least meet and consult with a DUI lawyer and determine the strength of the prosecution’s case against them.
Unfortunately, given the complexity, the scientific evidence, and the experience needed to successfully argue a DUI defense, it’s important to find the right DUI lawyer, one who has the right training and knowledge to refute the evidence the state has against you. With this in mind, let’s look at the top 10 questions you should ask your DUI lawyer before hiring them.
Top 10 Questions
1. Do they have experience defending DUI offenders?
Before hiring a DUI lawyer you need to ensure they have handled cases like your DUI case. In fact, the best DUI lawyer is one who spends close to 100% of their time defending only DUI cases.
2. How many DUI cases have they won?
Before hiring a DUI lawyer make sure they have a successful track record of winning DUI cases. This includes the willingness to take a DUI case to trial and argue it before a jury. If you do not want to plead guilty or negotiate a plea bargain, you need a lawyer willing to fight for you.
3. Have they been properly trained in police procedures and technology?
Whether it’s the Standardized Field Sobriety Testing processes, blood analysis, or the latest chemical testing equipment, you want a lawyer who is properly trained and certified to challenge these tests. With proper training and expertise, a DUI lawyer will be better able to properly cross- examine the police officer who administered the roadside tests or chemical test and prove if the test is reliable and valid.
4. How do they think they can help you?
Good DUI lawyers should be honest about their ability to properly defend your case. There are no guarantees, and any lawyer who says they can get 100% of their clients off is a lawyer to avoid.
5. Will you be able to get a hold of them if you have questions about your case?
Unfortunately, one of the biggest complaints from DUI defendants is that they cannot get answers or speak directly to their lawyer. While all lawyers need a dedicate support staff to help with the details and paperwork of a DUI case, your lawyer should be readily available to answer your questions.
6. How much will their legal services cost and is a payment plan available?
Unlike personal injury lawyers who work on a contingency fee basis, DUI lawyers will want payment upfront or through a payment plan. Make sure you understand the fees and total costs of your defense before hiring a lawyer.
7. How many of their cases do they plead guilty?
Do some DUI cases need to be pleaded out? Of course, but too many DUI lawyers allow their clients to plead guilty without any real investigation of the DUI evidence. Make sure you hire a lawyer who believes pleading guilty is the last option, not the first.
8. When is their next DUI trial date?
If your DUI lawyer is serious about fighting DUI cases they probably have a DUI case scheduled to go on trial. If they do this is your perfect chance to go to court and find out how well your potential lawyer performs.
9. Do you have any other experience in law?
Another question to ask your DUI lawyer is whether they have any experience with DUI cases in another capacity other than as a DUI lawyer. Many DUI lawyers have been teachers, deputy district attorneys, public defenders, or police officers. This experience is often invaluable for their current DUI work.
10. Are they willing to handle your administrative hearing?
Many DUI lawyers want to avoid any legal work for an administrative license suspension. In many cases, however, you will want to find a lawyer who is not only willing to handle the legal work but is also willing to subpoena the arresting officer and attend the hearing in person.