For those still unfamiliar with the term DUI, it simply means “Driving under influence”. It is against the law to be driving while intoxicated as you pose a serous safety risk to yourself, the passengers in your vehicle and everyone on the road. If you are caught driving under the influence, you will need to hire a lawyer experienced in DUI cases to help you with yours.
Here are some tips or questions that you can ask your lawyer when you are choosing a suitable one:
1. How much experience do you have in handling cases like mine?
You need someone with experience to get you out of this mess. The complexity of this form of law requires an experienced lawyer to get you off the hook. Fresh grads often do not have the experience required to assist you. Also ask the lawyer where you can read up on their most recent successful cases.
2. Who will handle my case?
It is perfectly common for you to come in and talk to a senior lawyer about your case but the actual job will be handled by his team of lower level associates. Your lawyer is your guide so you should want him to do as much of the work too so that he know what he’s talking about instead of getting an inexperienced lawyer to do the work and represent you in court. Clearly, that is not what you paid for.
3. What are your rates?
Basically there are two types of rate, hourly and flat rate. A DUI case would take 10 – 14 hours to resolve if it does not go to trial. The simple idea behind this question is, if you can pay a flat rate it means that the lawyer will want to finish of the case as soon as possible but if you are required to pay by the hour, they are interested in pro-longing the case. Simple calculations like this will save you a lot of money and time. Find out the rates and do the math on your own, if it does not add up to what they will be charging you, ask for an explanation. If they cannot or are not willing explain, move on to the next lawyer.
4. What is included in the fee and what is not?
There are two separate processes going on when you are charged with a DUI, one is the criminal process handled by the county court and the other is the administrative process handled by the DMV. Each process will have hearings which need your lawyer’s presence, so find out if the fee includes the representation in court and at the DMV. Ask also about any additional fees that might be incurred during the trial.
5. Can I have the numbers of your previous clients?
Your lawyer should say and direct you to their clients. You will need convincing that this lawyer can do the job and help you in your case so you will need to actually speak to some one who has used their services before. If your lawyer declines to help, then you need to find out why.
These are merely a few questions that you can ask potential lawyers when deciding who hire. Meet with at least 3 or 5 lawyers before you decide. You need someone you can trust and work with as you will need to cooperate with this person during the entire time of your trial.