Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious crime in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. An arrest for and conviction of this offense can have long-lasting and devastating consequences on your life including your job, your family and household, and your future prospects of a promotion or raise.
Further, a DUI arrest requires that you remain actively engaged with law enforcement and the courts until your case is heard and any punishment is meted out to you. While you might handle basic legal tasks like posting bail, you may not be equipped to represent yourself before a judge. Rather than risk the outcome of your case or your legal and financial security, you should hire one of the experienced criminal defense lawyers in your area to assist you.
What Do You Get When You Hire a DUI Lawyer?
Exactly what does a lawyer do and what can they do for you as someone who might be expected to go before a judge and jury? An experienced lawyer actually can help you in several key ways after you have been arrested for this crime.
First, your attorney can make sure that your Constitutional rights are fully protected from the time that you are arrested to the day that you finish your sentence. By law, you must be granted several rights that include being able to hire someone to counsel you and act on your behalf. You also have the right to a speedy trial and due process.
Further, your lawyer will ensure that the police had a legal right to arrest you for drunk driving. He or she can review the facts of your case and guarantee that the officer had proper reasoning to pull you over or test you for inebriation. If you were not read your rights or the officer did not have probable cause to arrest you, you could have the charges against you dropped.
Ultimately, however, the answer to how can a lawyer help you revolves around the elimination or reduction of punishment. You want to stay out of jail, pay the smallest fine possible, and walk away with your life and future intact. When you ask yourself “What is DUI attorney retention good for anyway?” you should remember that a good attorney can secure your rights and future better than if you were to show up to court alone.
How to Hire a Good DUI Lawyer
You can help yourself right away by choosing a top lawyer that can benefit your case. What exactly should you look for when hiring a lawyer?
Your research should lead you to a lawyer who is more than competent and ready to take your case today and will see it through from start to finish. Your counsel should also make it a top priority to guarantee that you come out of the legal wrangling with your legal and financial future intact.
As you look for someone in your area, you should consider those who:
- are experienced in drunk driving law
- have experience arguing before a judge and jury
- know how to bargain down or get charges dropped
- is committed to you as a client
- will work to reduce or eliminate any sentencing if you are convicted
When you find an attorney who meets all of these qualifications and more, you should consider hiring this person to represent you in your DUI case.
Questions to Ask Your DUI Lawyer
Before you retain a counsel, you should be prepared to ask some important questions to make sure he or she is ready and able to represent you in court. Some of the primary questions you should ask include:
- What kind of experience do you have in handling drunk driving cases?
- How long have you been a practicing DUI lawyer?
- How much of your practice is devoted to defending drunk driving clients?
- How much are your retainer and legal fees?
- What payment methods do you accept and could I make payments on my bill?
It is understandable that you might be concerned about how much will it cost to defend. In fact, many people arrested for this crime dismiss the idea of hiring a lawyer based on their own misconceptions of what legal fees could be for their cases.
You should also raise the issue with an attorney in a face-to-face meeting. The attorney could charge less than you expect. You also could pay using a credit card or even by making monthly payments to the firm. Some attorneys even allow you to use your next year’s tax return to pay your legal fees.
In terms of your future, however, investing in a good DUI legal defense can pay off if it keeps you out of jail, lets you keep your job, and helps you make amends to your family and to society. You may find it wise to pay a retainer fee for a good DUI attorney if you want to protect your life right now and ensure that you can have a happy and successful future in spite of your DUI arrest.
Finding a DUI Lawyer in Your Area?
How can you find a good, competent attorney who is ready to take your drunk driving case? You can start by asking others for their input and advice.
If you are not sure of what who practice in your city, county, or part of the state, you should put the question to your relatives, family members, coworkers, and neighbors to find out whom they would recommend to represent you in court. Because driving under the influence is a common issue among the public, many people know where to find experienced help. You also can ask your state’s bar association for a recommendation. State bar associations must keep lists of professionals who practice in the various legal specialties.
You can call the bar association or go to its website to browse the list of lawyers in your area who practice drunk driving law. You can even ask the organization for the names of more experienced lawyers rather than those who are new to the specialty.
Of course, many people today use the Internet to find attorneys who practice DUI law. The Internet can be a valuable source of information throughout your drunk driving case, in fact. You can research who is in your state or city and choose those that have the highest reviews from previous clients.
As you read the reviews, you are encouraged to make sure the information comes from valid sources. Internet trolls are known to give false or bad reviews for attorneys purely out of spite or malice.
If possible, you could email the person giving the review and ask for general information about his or her case. You can then use those details to decide whether or not to retain the lawyer for your own legal matter.
An arrest and conviction can damage your life in more ways than you might be unable to imagine. You not only have a blemish on both your driving and criminal record. You also have a legal matter that could compel your employer to fire or demote you or your spouse and children to leave you.
This offense could also make it difficult to regain people’s trust or continue being promoted to higher paying positions at work. Because of the ramifications of a conviction for drunk driving, you need help to you get your life back on track. You can secure this legal counsel knowing how to search for and retain a good drunk driving lawyer in your area today.