Key questions you need to consider when selecting a DUI lawyer to defend you or your family member.
If I hire this firm who will really represent me? Am I going to get the lawyer I think I am choosing?
Many times law firms will send associates and less experienced newer lawyers to court while the lawyer you thought you were hiring is elsewhere. Don't find yourself in this situation. Make sure this is not going to happen to you by discussing what the attorney's practice is regarding this specific issue. If you hire a specific lawyer to defend your case make sure you will not be stuck with some brand new associate or underling when it is time for court. This should be a key consideration for you and your case.
What are the significant benefits if I hire a former DUI Prosecutor?
Is the lawyer you are considering not a former DUI Prosecutor? If your lawyer never prosecuted DUI cases he is missing very valuable, even vital experience. Does he have the background to understand the approach the prosecutor will take in your case and how to effectively fight against it? To maximize your chance to achieve a favorable outcome in your case, your lawyer needs to be a former DUI prosecuting attorney with prosecution experience in the exact type of case you are facing. There are certainly fine lawyers that never served as prosecutors. However, it is clear you will want every possible advantage in your case. You should seek out an experienced former prosecutor if at all possible.
Does your lawyer have a history of outstanding results?
You want your lawyer to have an extensive and Successful History. Does your lawyer have a history of successfully defending cases like yours? You want a skilled and experienced lawyer whose methods allow him include the option of getting charges reduced and dismissed. Some lawyers simply want to argue every motion in every case and/or take every case to trial. It does not benefit you to have a lawyer lose focus on your best outcome because he is so concerned with trying to prove he is right. You want a lawyer who can evaluate your case and negotiate a reduction or dismissal of your charges if at all possible. You will also want a lawyer that can fully accept your goals and needs in the case and that will place your goals and needs ahead of his desires.
Can your lawyer win at trial? Do you have a real trial lawyer?
Does your lawyer have a proven track record as a trial attorney? You must have a lawyer that is a proven winner with DUI jury trials. When you discuss it, does he seem uncomfortable talking about his trial record? While no lawyer wins every case you must insist on hiring a winning lawyer with a history of outstanding results. Your lawyer needs a proven track record as a skilled, winning trial attorney or he will not be taken seriously by the prosecutor or the court. Lots of lawyers talk about being "trial lawyers" but you need to be sure you are hiring an attorney that actually is a trial attorney....a lawyer that wins jury trials. An attorney that has a large volume of current experience trying and winning cases is a must have.
Do I really need to have a good feeling about working with my lawyer?
If you are in the postition that requires you to hire a DUI attorney you absolutely need a good working relationship with the lawyer. Without the necessary comfort level you cannot develop the trust you really need to create your best chance of a good outcome. Can the lawyer realy to you what is likely to happen as your case proceeds? Are you having difficulty understanding what the attorney is trying to convey? An outstanding DUI lawyer will be well versed in the skills necessary to explain how the case will proceed. If you do not have a good feeling about the lawyer you are meeting with then please speak to another lawyer before making any decision.
Is it important to hire a local DUI Attorney?
Generally speaking...yes. You want to be sure that your attorney knows the important players in your case. Does he know the judges, prosecutors and law enforcement personnel in your case and is he familar with how things work in the court that has your case? Typically, you will want your attorney to be very familiar with the court your case is pending before and to have represented people in that court. There are exceptions but generally, if your lawyer is familiar with how your case will proceed in the particular jurisdiction you will be well ahead of the game. At a minimum your lawyer needs to have colleagues in the jurisdiction that he can call upon to help him get an understanding of the lay of the land.