7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a DUI Lawyer
It is important to hire a reliable and professional DUI lawyer to handle your case. Ask your potential lawyer these 7 important questions.
On average, around 28 people in the US die each day due to drunk driving charges. This means sentencing has become very harsh and strict, depending on the state you are in. But do you know how to get the best DUI lawyer when you are accused?
If you are looking for defense, then we can help. Read on as we discuss seven questions to ask a potential DUI lawyer.
1. Do They Offer Free Consultations?
When you are faced with a DUI, it is important to get the best DUI lawyer as quickly as possible. However, that does not mean you have to choose the first. In fact, if you don't think the lawyer is the one for you then you are under no obligation to hire them.
This is why it is important to get a free consultation. Take all your information and paperwork with you, including the court summons and dates. You can then discuss this with the lawyer and see what advice they give. You will then have time to ask questions. Make sure you make them count.
2. What Will It Cost?
This is one of the most frequent questions asked, and the most important. In many instances, a DUI case is charged using a flat fee. This will be higher depending upon the experience and reputation of the lawyer.
However, some may charge by the hour. If this is the method, you may need to see how transparent their billing process is. Ask to see a typical statement and what it may include time billed for.
Another pricing structure you may encounter is a flat fee. Ask the DUI lawyer if they expect it to go this far so that you can budget accordingly. Prentiss Law uses the flat fee structure because they have discovered it best suits their clients.
3. What Is Your Level of Experience?
One of the best questions to ask is the level of experience the attorney has. Of course, you could get a hotshot lawyer straight out of college who is fantastic. However, experience matters a lot when it comes to law.
You also need to know not just how long they have been practicing, but also how much experience they have with DUI cases. They are often not always black and white, thus why experience is important.
Experience in how similar trials have turned out can also help you guess what your outcome may be. Is it a good idea to launch a plea? Could the judge dismiss the trial?
4. How Often Do Your Cases Go to Trial?
Many DUI cases can be solved by using a plea bargain instead of going to trial. This is where the defendant will give an admission of guilt, to get a more lenient sentence or punishment. In the case of a DUI trial, it will mean admitting you were driving under the influence to get a reduced fine or lesser sentencing on other crimes.
The best DUI lawyer should have experience in both. Some of them may even be able to represent you in court, so you do not even have to make an appearance. They should also be able to give you sound advice on when a plea bargain is worth it and when you should take it to trial.
5. What Is Your Preferred Communication?
Communication is essential when you are building a case, and it needs to be regular. However, you may have different expectations of your lawyer that could cause problems if you don't work them out beforehand.
Ask how they like communication to go. Will they want to talk over email, and have regular meetings? Or will it all be done over the phone?
Also, talk about the frequency of communication. Some lawyers may want to update you once or twice a week. Others may give you a direct number and let you call them whenever you like.
6. Who Else Will Work On the Case?
Many lawyers will have a team around them that they work with. These will include assistants, paralegals, clerks, and other lawyers. Just because the lawyer has the experience, does not mean their team does.
Ask to meet the other members of the legal team. A good lawyer should have introduced you to them regardless, though possibly only the major players in your case.
The most important is to meet the person you will be communicating with. If the lawyer has many cases, you may not always speak with them directly. However, it is important that you have a point of call so you know your case is being worked on and not just passed along.
7. What Is the Most Likely Case Outcome?
The most probable case outcome comes down to your individual circumstances. However, when these are gathered, the DUI lawyer should be able to give you a rough outcome of what they think will happen.
The worst-case scenario is that you go to trial and are found guilty. This is what the lawyer will be trying to avoid. To stop this from happening, he may recommend a plea agreement with the prosecutor.
One of the best-case scenarios is that the charges are dropped. This happens with very little evidence, and the lawyer may push for this if there is very little to back up the prosecution's claim.
Finding a DUI Lawyer
Now you know all about getting a DUI lawyer, you should be well placed to find the best one. Speak to friends and colleagues for recommendations. Don't forget to interview two to three.
Your first stop when looking for defense should be Prentiss Law. We will present an aggressive, serious defense to get the verdict you need. Click here to read more about how your DUI case could go and contact us to arrange representation.