We are a DUI defense trial law firm. We represent drivers charged with DUI in Gwinnett and DeKalb Counties. DUI defense is one of the most complex areas of law. Most DUI cases involve scientific evidence and questions of constitutional law. It can be a mistake to assume you have no defense to a DUI arrest and plead guilty before speaking with an attorney. Many DUI cases can be dismissed or reduced even before trial with the help of a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney. In other cases, jury trial may be your best and sometimes only option to beat a DUI. In all cases, your attorney should prepare the case for trial to ensure the best possible outcome.
You should meet with several attorneys. It is important you have confidence in the knowledge, skill and experience of the attorney you choose to represent you. Keep in mind that cost, while important, should not be the determinative factor in hiring an attorney. The cheapest attorney is usually not the least expensive attorney in the long run.
During your consultation, you should ask the following questions:
Have you tried DUI jury trials before this court?
Often attorneys take cases in courts they have never practiced before. The defense attorney is at a disadvantage and has to rely upon the prosecutor to indicate what the judge may be willing to do in your case. The defense attorney will not know about specific procedures unique to the judge who is hearing your case. Your defense will be stronger if the prosecutor and the judge already know and respect your attorney.
What can you tell me about the arresting officer?
…the judge? …the prosecutor?
Knowing the “players” in your case will significantly increases the chance of beating the DUI. An attorney who knows everyone involved can better gage what issues will be determinative and more accurately predict the outcome.
Have you ever won a DUI case similar to mine?
Ask about case specifics such as, if you gave a breath sample, ask if the attorney has won a breath test case? If you have a DUI drugs case with blood test results, ask if the attorney has won a DUI drugs case with blood test results. It is important your attorney know what it takes to win a case with your particular issues. Be sure to ask for the court and court case number of any case cited as an example so you can confirm what you have been told.
What practice areas does your law firm handle?
To be fair, an attorney does not have to “just” practice DUI defense to be a strong DUI defense attorney, but if a large percentage of the attorney’s practice is not devoted to DUI defense, it is unlikely the attorney has the DUI specific knowledge, skill and experience necessary to win your case.
Will you be the attorney actually representing me in court?
Bait and switch is never a good thing! Not when buying a product or retaining professional services. You are selecting an attorney based upon your impressions during the consultation. Make sure you are retaining the attorney who impressed you and not someone you’ll meet for the first time when they introduce themselves to you in the courtroom.
What DUI specific training do you have?
Ask the attorney to explain the standardized field sobriety evaluations, the Intoxilyzer 5000, the metabolism of alcohol in the human body, the elements of the offense(s) you are charged with and the case law involved in the defenses available to you. While you’re at it, consider asking why the attorney represents driver’s accused of DUI.
How do you expect to win my case?
Before you retain counsel, you should know how the attorney expects to win or resolve your case. You should have a very clear idea of the issues, risks and likelihood of success. If you were hiring a contractor to repair your home or a mechanic to fix your car, you would expect no less. A DUI conviction is a serious matter. Don’t be less careful hiring your attorney than you would be in choosing a mechanic or contractor.