We receive a thousands of emails and post comments with a common question “How do I hire the best DUI Attorney near me?”, or “What to take care of, when hiring the best DUI Attorney near me?”
The only way you would be able to find and hire the best DUI attorney is, by remaining calm in a stressful situation which might be occupying your mind way too much.
It’s very important to plan for the daunting legal DUI fight that lies-ahead. This article aims to help you with “8 Things to consider before you hire the best DUI attorney near me.”
YES, you may be worried about the consequences: Losing a lot of money (DUI costs a lot of money, say about $5000 to $8000). Losing your freedom (DUI can result in a jail term up-to 6 months). Losing your convenience of driving (Your Driver’s license may get suspended) and so-on.
In the midst of all this, losing your mind is most-obvious.
More than 2 million US citizens were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in 2019. Many of them are currently fighting their DUI, and some of them are even in jails.
And then, we get such comments too:
“Hey, I was able to beat my DUI, all because I found the best DUI attorney near me.”– Paul Robbins, New York City.
Yes, Beating a DUI is possible!
In this panicky and worrisome situation, It’s very easy to lose your calm and say, “Let me hire the first available DUI attorney near me”. After all they all are law experts and have passed the bar exam.
Unfortunately, hiring the best DUI attorney is not that easy. It’s like- too many to choose from and very few who can actually be good.
A novice DUI attorney can further complicate your case. And, a seasoned DUI attorney can make the situation less stressful by thoroughly analyzing the case. He decides whether to plead guilty or to go for a trial, and can anchor you through the complicated legal procedures.
Blood Alcohol Concentration Level (BAC) parameter of 0.8 are same everywhere. However, all states have different DUI laws and procedures. Some states may also charge you for more than 1 violations/offences. Hence, it’s highly advisable to hire the best local DUI lawyer near me.
Like any other challenging situation, if you are not thinking right, the situation is bound to get worse.
Lets understand step-by-step, how to hire the best DUI lawyer to beat your DUI.
1. Make a list of potentially-best DUI Attorneys.
(How do I begin to find the best DUI lawyer near me?)
We all understand the importance of finding the best DUI attorney. Like other important decisions of your life, you need to explore all available options.
Personal references or the National and state bar associations can come very handy here. Prepare a list of DUI attorneys that you can meet in-person.
- PERSONAL RECOMMENDATIONS: You can start by jotting-down the names of all legal-professionals that you or your connects might have dealt with in the past.
Don’t hesitate to reach your personal connects to see if someone has dealt with a DUI attorney and what was the DUI attorney’s performance and the outcome. This recommended DUI attorney should definitely be there on the top of your list.
However, please remember that all DUI cases and circumstances are not the same. Hence, we don’t need to be too-positive and immediately shortlist a DUI attorney on someone’s recommendation.
- NATIONAL COLLEGE OF DUI DEFENSE: The NCDD organization is dedicated for DUI research and guidance. It has a comprehensive directory of DUI attorneys, you can narrow-down your search by State-City-Locality.
- NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS: This is a comprehensive list of criminal defense lawyers. This is a reliable directory of all criminal lawyers in the United States of America, again you can search as per your locality.
- STATE BAR ASSOCIATION IN YOUR STATE: State bar associations have all the lawyers listed on its directory. You can find all the DUI attorneys in you city and state on this list. You can also check the years of experience, overall as well as on DUI.
In addition to this, you can always search some of the top websites online. These websites have DUI attorneys’ rankings and case histories.
2. Don’t hire the best attorney, Hire the best DUI attorney.
(How to ensure I get the best DUI attorney near me?)
The number of years of experience don’t really matter, what really matter is the experience in handling the DUI cases. You might find an attorney who has 15 years of criminal law experience, but has hardly handled 3-4 DUI cases in his long career. Such a DUI attorney cannot be good for you.
Also, there are DUI attorneys who do a lot of DUI cases, but they are not experts of trials and have hardly appeared in trial courts. Again, this DUI attorney is not good for you at all.
Then, there are DUI attorneys, who expertise in DUI pleas as well as DUI trials. These attorneys will be able to anticipate what to expect in your particular case. They will be able to devise an effective strategy beforehand.
3. Shortlist the most qualified DUI Attorneys.
(How do I shortlist the best DUI attorney near me?)
Technically, all the attorneys are well-qualified as they have passed the bar exam, and they are licensed to practice in your state courts.
However, it’s not that simple.
Just because someone has the basic qualification for the job, doesn’t mean he would get the job done for you. In-fact, choosing the wrong DUI attorneys is one of worst mistake you can make.
An in-experienced DUI attorney can be responsible for harsh, stricter outcomes of the DUI case.
You need to consider the following points to ascertain the best DUI attorney for you.
- FREE DUI CONSULTATION: Almost all DUI attorneys offer a free consultation, if anyone doesn’t, don’t chose him/her.
While the DUI attorney will be trying to influence and impress you, you should utilize this free consultation to understand his experience, and past track-record. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and verify his claims.
- LOCAL EXPERIENCE: Many a times, we come across situations where you chose a big lawyer, but he is not experienced of practicing in your state. He then associates with the local lawyer in your state and gets the case tried.
We all understand that DUI laws vastly differ state to state. A DUI lawyer, who is experienced of practicing in your own state, will only be able to do the best possible job for your DUI case.
- WORKING DIRECTLY WITH THE DUI Attorney: In your first meeting with the DUI attorney, you need to ask him a few things. Whether he will be working with you directly. updating you personally of all the developments. If you are not satisfied with his answer, it’s better to drop this DUI attorney. However, qualified he might sound to you otherwise.
4. Consider the cost of DUI Attorneys.
(Will the best DUI attorney near me cost too much?)
It’s a myth that if you pay more, you will get a better DUI attorney and win the case.
DUIs can be very expensive, and not everyone is in a position to pay a very big amount of money for a DUI attorney.
DUI attorney’s average charges are about $2000, and other costs involved are about $3000. So a 1st DUI should cost you about $5000 to $7000 in most cases. DUI attorney’s charges also vary, depending on the fact whether you accept the plea or opt to go for a trial.
If you accept the plea the DUI attorney’s charges range between $700 to $1000. DUI attorney’s charges are $1000 to $3000 for the trials.
And remember, it’s not just the DUI attorney’s fees that you have to plan about. You will have to bear the inflated insurance premiums, loss of employment due to jail time and DUI School’s fees etc.
Hence, it’s very important to ask the following questions to your DUI attorney:
- Do you bill by hour, or a flat fee (a flat fee is always better).
- Are there any other charges, or this fee is all inclusive (always go for an all-inclusive fee).
- Are there some other legal expenses (It’s better to take an estimate of what may be the court charges).
- What will be my payment options? What if I ever be late? (Set a right expectation about your financial state).
5. Public Defenders and Representing yourself.
(Why shall I pay? I can hire Public defenders and Free DUI attorney near me)
Well, you have every right to represent yourself in your DUI case, and we are not judging your intellect as well. However, something as important as a DUI definitely deserves an expert representation.
An experienced and expert DUI lawyer can analyze your case well and find the procedural loopholes to get you out of your DUI.
Realistically speaking, it’s nearly impossible to successfully representing yourself in a DUI case.
At the same time, everyone has a basic right to be defended in a criminal case, and if you can’t afford a DUI Attorney, a Public Defender (PD) will be provided to you by the court.
Nothing against Public Defenders, they are the expert of DUI cases and are champions of law. However, since they are available for free, they are always overburdened and may not pay the attention to your DUI that you deserve.
6. Don’t waste time.
(My court date is way off, when shall I begin looking for a DUI attorney near me?)
It’s very common for people to go-slow in approaching a DUI attorney if the first court date is a little far away.
This delay can prove to be very costly to you. If you approach a DUI attorney in time, he can probably suggest you to go for an alcoholic treatment, or apply at the state motor department to challenge the license suspension in time.
At times, finding and shortlisting the best DUI attorney near you can also take a lot of time, so you should not waste any time, and start the process of hiring the best DUI attorney as early as possible.
7. Easy to work with. Comforting Nature.
(I have a very good DUI attorney near me, but he is a little rude, shall I go for him?)
DUI can be very distressing. The last thing that you want is, dealing with a DUI attorney who judges you, pities you, or bashes you.
In your first consultation itself. You should see if his personality matches with yours, do you feel comfortable dealing with him.
The human touch is very important in such cases. if you have to tell your story to someone who constantly nags you, asks you inappropriate questions, or rubs you the wrong way. This will turn out to be a very big problem later on, best that in the beginning itself, you chose someone who is easy to work with and comforting.
8. Don’t Hire a DUI Attorney, before meeting at-least 3.
(I am lucky to find a good DUI attorney near me in the first meeting itself. Why should I not hire him immediately?)
All lawyers are witty and impressive. In their first and free consultation to you, their only goal is to impress you and make you hire them.
Your instinct may tell you, that you have found your perfect DUI attorney in the first meeting itself. Still, it is better to meet at-least 2 more DUI attorneys to do a comparative analysis.
The chances to find the best DUI attorney brighten-up, if you give yourself some options.
As described in detail in this article, a DUI is a very stressful situation to deal with, but it’s important to not lose your head while finding the best DUI attorney.
A wrong DUI attorney can further complicate your DUI. A good DUI attorney, at about 70% of times, can find so many ways to beat your DUI.
Remember, you always have a chance to beat a DUI case, irrespective whether you were over the legal limit or whatever the test results were.
A skilled and experience DUI lawyer can help you by finding flaws in police reports, breath analyzer tests, omission & mistakes in facts etc.
Any Mistakes by police in following the proper procedures can give you a benefit of doubt, and help you come out of DUI charges.
In a matter as serious as a DUI, you definitely need a more than competent representation.
Do read the DUI FAQs, It’s always better to know what you are really into.
All the best with you DUI, Hope you come out of it soon.
Do leave your questions or comments below. We promise, you will definitely hear back from us.