Your friends, acquaintances, colleagues, online searches, and the state directories are great sources of information on the best DUI lawyers in your state and for your case. However, getting the list, including the name or names received from lawyers you previously worked with, isn’t enough. That is just the tip of the iceberg and you’ve got a lot more to do to get the representation you deserve to protect your personal and professional life.
Once you have the potential attorney list, consider the following factors for eligibility:
This is a make or a break factor when hiring a DUI attorney. Experience is important for DUI lawyers because it means that one knows how to go about evidence, talk in court, or how to expedite test results.
The first tell-tale sign of an experienced lawyer is their licensing. The bar only admits lawyers they trust with cases. As you interview that lawyer, ask them for their previous experiences. Cases handled too long ago, too widely spaced out or too few cases should raise a flag. Don’t hire a lawyer just because they have “Esq.” in their letterhead.
What happens when you come across the best attorney whose only limitation is the state they are registered and licensed to work at? Rather than dumping this lawyer, ask them if they can hire a co-counsel from your state. The downside with this option is the cost. You may pay more than you would a local lawyer.
Hiring a local lawyer is highly recommended. Besides affordability, these lawyers are familiar with the local courts, the prosecutors, and judges. Since the judge knows the lawyer, he or she will accord them the respect they deserve. This also means that you’ll receive a lighter punishment if you are found guilty.
Disbarment and ethical records
You cannot hire a lawyer that has been disbarred. They aren’t allowed in the court of law. At the same time, you should only hire a lawyer who is in good standing with the State Bar. Where do you find this information? The State Bar’s website. This has a DUI lawyer list of all the lawyers and their ethical records. Shun lawyers with listed disciplinary action taken against them. Lawyers with past history of malpractice should be avoided as well.
Social media profiles
How is that lawyer’s LinkedIn profile? Their LinkedIn profile should give you more information about their work or employment history. Colleagues and employers leave recommendations on LinkedIn; use that as a starting point.
Yelp is the other option. This review site often has information on products and services offered by firms. That potential lawyer’s profile and reviews may be listed there for your use.
Education history, training, and DUI experience
Where did that lawyer go to school? Is the school accredited? Have they had extensive training on DUI cases? Don’t go for an experienced criminal defense attorney who has only represented a few DUI defendants.
The information gathered from your analysis above should leave you with a shorter list of DUI attorneys you can interview. By using the above filters, you will be in a better position to hire only the best person to represent you.
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