1. How long have you been in practice and how many DUI cases have you handled in your career?
2. Focus on DUI Defense
2. What percentage of your practice is devoted to the defense of DUI CASES? (You wouldn't go to a dentist for a heart problem, would you?)
3. Geographical Area of Practice
3. In what part of the state of Mississippi (or surrounding states) do you usually practice?
4. Appellate Experience
4. Have you handled DUI cases in the Appellate Courts (Supreme Court of Mississippi and the Mississipi Court of Appeals) to define or promote DUI defense?
5. Municipal and Justice Court Experience
5. How many Municipal and Justice Court DUI cases have you handled?
6. County and Circuit Court Experience
6. How many DUI cases have you handled in the County and Circuit Courts?
7. Training and Education
7. (a) Have you presented seminars on DUI defense to other attorneys or taught attorneys how to defend DUI cases? (b) How much Continuing Legal Education (CLE) do you successfully acquire each year pertaining to the defense of DUI cases? (c) Do you acquire CLE related to the defense of DUI cases from local and NATIONAL CLE courses?
8. The Intoxilyzer 8000
8. Are you trained or certified in the use of the Intoxilyzer 8000, the breath test machine which is now being used in DUI cases in Mississippi?
9. Field Sobriety Tests
9. Are you trained or certified in the use of field sobriety tests such as the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test, Walk-and-Turn (WAT) test, and the One-Leg-Stand test, among others?
10. Size and Capabilities of the Law Office
10. Do you have a sufficient staff consisting of associate attorneys, investigators, support staff members, and access to expert witnesses, to investigate and pursue my case in all courts throughout the state of Mississippi?
11. The National College for DUI Defense
11. Are you a member of the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD), a prestigious organization accredited and sanctioned by the American Bar Association (ABA)?
12. Web Presence
12. Do you have a reputable and informative website about the DUI laws of Mississippi and DUI defense?
In addition, check the lawyer out in the community, as often times the lawyer's reputation will speak louder than anything else. The lawyer should also handle your case personally, not through an assistant, unless it is a preliminary matter.
Always ask the lawyer for background information. This should be freely given. Initial consultations should be without charge; however, good lawyers are generally expensive in defending criminal matters.
Additional resources provided by the author
"Mississippi DUI Law and Practice," authored by Victor W. Carmody, Kevin T. Stewart, and Lance O. Mixon, and published by Thomson-West.
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