FBI statistics estimate that just over one million people were arrested for DUI offenses in the United States in 2019. On the basis of this figure, the average driver has close to a 1 in 200 chance of being arrested for drunk or drugged driving in a given year.
There is a diverse range of possible outcomes after a DUI arrest. Hiring a DUI attorney with the right skillset is the best way to maximize your chances of securing a favorable result.
The ten tips below cover everything you need to know to hire the best DUI attorney for your case.
1. Ask Around
If you don’t have an existing relationship with a defense attorney, you’ll need to do your research before hiring someone. The internet is an excellent resource for this. For your own peace of mind, you could also ask a friend or family member who’s had a similar experience.
2. Look for Specialist Experience
Because of the vastness and complexity of the law, the best lawyers are those who focus on a specific area of it. If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving, you need an attorney who spends a lot of time on matters relating to DUI charges.
Our practice works solely on criminal defense, and DUI cases are our main area of focus.
3. Check Their Track Record
You need to be goal-oriented when hiring an attorney. Rather than going for the practitioner with the nicest offices or the biggest advertising budget, look for someone who consistently delivers results for their clients. Check out our client reviews here.
4. Don’t Waste Time Considering Representing Yourself
You have the constitutional right to represent yourself in court in any criminal matter. However, this is a right that should not usually be exercised. While the idea of avoiding legal fees might be tempting to you, your chances of escaping serious consequences after a DUI charge are far greater with a competent lawyer on your side.
DUI convictions can result in huge fines, and even jail time. You shouldn’t take any unnecessary risks when the stakes are so high.
5. You Get What You Pay For
Following on from the point above, hiring the cheapest attorney you can find is also the wrong move. You should only consider price rates once you’ve found at least one lawyer who’s suitable for the job. Remember, the costs of a DUI conviction have the potential to dwarf any legal bills you might incur.
6. Look for Courtroom Experience & Negotiation Skills
Only a small percentage of criminal matters end up being dealt with by jury trial. However, you should still look for a lawyer with a solid background in the courtroom. If it looks like you have a good chance at trial, a prosecutor will be more inclined to give you a good deal during the pretrial process. With this in mind, your DUI attorney should also be an experienced negotiator.
7. Try to Get a Consultation Before You Make a Commitment
It can be difficult to find out everything you need to know about a lawyer from their website. Ideally, you should try to consult with an attorney before you commit to hiring them for your case; once they go over the particular details of your arrest with you, you should have a better idea of whether they’re a good choice.
We offer free, no-obligation consultations to all prospective clients.
8. Ask Questions
There are a number of questions you should put to a DUI attorney before you commit to using their services. For instance;
- How many other clients are you currently working with?
- How much will you charge?
- How many cases like this have you defended in the past?
- How many staff will be available to work on my case?
- What do you think the most likely outcome is in my case?
9. Help Your Attorney to Help You
In order to get an accurate idea of where you stand and how a lawyer can assist you, you should have copies of all the documents that are relevant to your case when you go for consultations. Importantly, you should answer any questions the attorney asks you honestly, and with as much detail as you can manage.
10. Hire the DUI Attorney You’re Most Comfortable With
Once you’ve done your research, you’ll likely have more than one good candidate for the job of defending you. At that point, the decision boils down to personal preference. You may end up spending a lot of time with your lawyer if your case takes time to work out; with this in mind, it’s a good idea to hire someone you can relate to easily on a personal level.
Getting Back on Track After a DUI Arrest
A drunk driving arrest is never a pleasant experience, but you can minimize its impact on your life by hiring a DUI attorney with experience, professionalism, and a track record of securing results for clients.
If you’re based in Minnesota and you want to discuss a DUI case, contact us today.