If you are facing a DUI charge, choosing the right attorney to handle your case is a very important decision. Who you choose to hire as your legal representation could actually make or break your case when it comes to the final result. To help you choose a DUI lawyer that will be competent and confidently assist you with your case, we’ve put together a few tips you should keep in mind.
Create a list of potential attorneys.
First, you’ll need to do some research to find DUI attorneys who could potentially take on your case. A great place to start is by reaching out to friends and family in search of personal recommendations. If someone you know can vouch for an attorney, that’s a good sign that you may want to work with him or her, too. If you aren’t able to get any personal recommendations, you can consult with online services such as the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers or Avvo.
It’s a good idea to speak with a few different attorneys before finally settling on the one that’s right for you and your case. By speaking with multiple attorneys, you can feel confident in making your decision and knowing you’ve chosen an attorney who will do the best job possible. The great thing about this is that it’s usually (should be) free to meet for an in-person consultation. Attorneys should be able to find the time to meet with you promptly when you call. If you cannot get in to see a lawyer within 24-48 hours you might want to keep looking.
Interview potential attorneys.
Schedule consultations with the attorneys you are considering hiring to take on your case. When you go in for your consultation, you should not be afraid to ask questions. Just as you are trying to decide which attorney is right for you, the attorney is also deciding if your case is right for the firm. Get to know the attorney and exactly how he or she can help you with your case. You’ll want to ask questions about the attorney’s background and experience in handling similar cases, plus strategies for your case. Some questions you’ll want to ask include:
- How long have you been practicing? Find out how long he or she has been a practicing attorney. You want someone who has years of experience and will be confident in the courtroom.
- Do you have much experience with DUI cases? Because you are specifically dealing with a DUI, you want to know these cases are something the attorney has experience dealing with. You wouldn’t want an attorney who is experimenting with adding DUI cases to his or her repertoire. You want someone who has a proven track record.
- What outcomes have you obtained in similar DUI cases? While each case is unique, it’s good to know the outcomes the attorney has gotten for other clients in your situation.
- Who will be handling the case? If you’re visiting an attorney who works as part of a larger firm, there are likely other attorneys in the office. You should ask exactly who will be taking on your case so you know who you’ll be working with.
- How will you handle my case? While an attorney cannot promise a specific outcome, he or she can outline a strategy for your particular case. Ask each attorney you interview what the plan of attack is so you know what to expect moving forward.
- How will you stay in touch throughout the duration of the case? Because it can often take some time to receive a resolution in a DUI case, you’ll want to make sure you can stay in regular contact with your attorney to receive any updates. Ask the attorney how you will stay in touch during your time together. Will you be notified immediately of updates? Will the attorney call you or send an email?
- Are you in good standing with the State Bar? Even attorneys can land themselves in trouble! It’s important to choose an attorney who is in good standing with the Rhode Island State Bar. You don’t want to work with someone who has been disbarred or has been involved in trouble previously.
- What are the costs associated with your service and how much will it be? It’s no secret that hiring an attorney to take on your case can get expensive. Find out how much their services will cost and exactly what is included in that price. Choose an attorney that quotes you a fair price and ask if there is a payment plan available if you need it.
Ultimately, you want to choose an attorney who you feel is fully capable of helping you throughout the stressful time of facing a DUI charge. You want someone whose legal representation you feel confident about and that you feel comfortable talking to. The decision of choosing the right attorney for your DUI case is a very important one and you should take it seriously.