What Questions to Ask a Lawyer About DUI
The criminal justice system can move fast. In fact, it moves a lot faster than most civil lawsuits. That is why it’s so imperative to hire an attorney as quickly as possible if you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). The court system takes DUI charges exceptionally seriously, and the penalties are usually two-fold. They involve both criminal and administrative ramifications, which could include fines, license suspension, and possible jail time.
To have any success fighting these DUI charges, you need an experienced DUI lawyer helping you every step of the way. Not only will a DUI lawyer help you understand the law, but they will also assist you with discovering any possible defenses that may be available to you and your situation. If you are unsure what you need to do to hire a DUI attorney that can best assist you, the following questions are a good starting point to ask your lawyer at your first meeting.
Tell Me About Your Background
One of the first questions you need to ask your potential attorney is about their background and experience. As there are many different types of criminal lawyers out there, finding an attorney that is experienced with DUI’s can be critical to your case and your outcome. Discussing their specific background and experience can help you gauge if they are the lawyer for you.
Here are some potential questions to consider asking them about their history:
- How long have you been representing your DUI clients?
- How many DUI clients do you represent per year?
- What percentage of your cases are only dedicated to DUIs?
- Do you usually practice in this county?
- Do you know the judge and the prosecutor in this case?
- How often do you take DUI cases to trial?
- How many of your DUI cases have you been successful in plea bargaining down?
- Do you have any specialized DUI certifications?
Only an experienced DUI lawyer can provide you with accurate answers to your DUI questions. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence or drunk driving, you can be facing severe consequences and need to make some critical decisions immediately. That is why having an attorney that is skilled and experienced in DUI representations is one of the essential factors in having a successful DUI defense.
What Are Your Fees?
One of the most common questions that many individuals have when talking to any lawyer is: How much will this cost, and can I afford it? That’s why clarifying the billing and the fee schedule early on will help you prepare and understand how much you owe. You will also be able to discover if the attorney will be able to work with you on some payment plan to help you with the costs.
To fully understand the attorney’s fees and what they involve, go over the following questions with your lawyer:
- Do you charge an hourly rate or a flat fee?
- What is included with this fee, and what is not included?
- Does this include expert witness costs?
- How much will the minimum first payment (or the retainer) be?
- Do you have a payment plan?
- How do you require payment?
- Will I be charged for mileage and travel time?
What Are the Possible Outcomes?
The most popular question that every DUI attorney gets is: What is going to happen to me? No attorney can give you a definite answer of what exactly will happen in your case. However, experienced DUI attorneys can provide you with feedback and options that are possible based on the facts of your situation.
That is why it is so vital to discuss the plan of action with your attorney and the following scenarios so you can be better prepared for what to expect.
- How will my case most likely be handled?
- Is a plea agreement possible based on the facts in my case?
- Is there any evidence that can be suppressed?
- What factors work against me? Which ones work in my favor?
- What should I expect to happen during the different legal steps: including the arraignment, filing of motions, during the motions hearing, the disposition, and even at trial?
- Should we go to trial?
Whom Do I Call With Questions?
One thing that all individuals who have been charged with a crime need to remember is the logistics behind the scenes are just as important as what is going on with the case. Knowing who is working on your behalf can provide you with clear communication and the peace of mind that your case is getting the dedication that you want and deserve.
That’s why it’s essential to clarify the following issues with your attorney:
- Who will be handling my case?
- Will you be working with anyone else on the case? If so, can I meet them?
- Who will be representing me in court?
- If I have a question, who should I call?
- How quickly should I expect a response back?
- Will I receive regular status updates? If so, how often?
- What is the preferred way to communicate?
- Can I contact you in the evenings and on the weekends?
Why a DUI Lawyer?
DUI lawyers are dedicated to helping to preserve the rights of the accused. Look for a law firm that has made DUI defense a concentration of its practice. You will want a DUI attorney known not only for the dedication he or she provides to clients, but across the state for their work ethic and their DUI defense knowledge.
For example, you might want an attorney who:
- Is part of a statewide network of other DUI attorneys who share their defense tactics and information.
- Other lawyers often refer DUI cases to.
- Regularly teaches DUI defense strategies to other Florida attorneys.
- Is up to date on the latest DUI defense strategies.
If you are facing a DUI charge, you understand that the penalties involved can ruin your life. That’s why if you are located in the South Florida area, do not hesitate any longer:
Call a DUI lawyer today.