As you can read in Choose the Best DUI Lawyers With Care it is quite possible to select a lawyer who seems to be the best DWI DUI lawyer but proves not to be. Naturally you can’t afford to find this out after the fact – after you have been hit with a DUI conviction.
Here is some straightforward advice to help you find a genuinely competent and effective DWI DUI defense attorney.
1. Be clear about what the “best DUI lawyer” means.
It two things. The lawyer must be the best available lawyer in terms of their ability to handle DWI DUI cases in general. They must also be the best DUI attorney for your particular DUI case.
To be able to advise you on their ability to help with your particular DUI case, a lawyer will need a summary of the circumstances surrounding your DWI DUI arrest and subsequent charges. It is recommended that you write down the details before you begin your search for the best lawyer, while they are still fresh in your mind.
2. Begin your search
There are three ways to begin – ads, searchable lawyer lists and personal recommendations. As you can read in Choose the Best DUI Lawyers with Care, these options can be misleading and should be considered a starting point only in your search for the best DUI lawyers.
The following tips will help you avoid being misled and saddled with an incompetent or unsuitable DWI DUI attorney:
- DUI attorney ads – There are obviously some genuine DUI specialists among all the ads, so there is no need to discount them all. All you need to do is be on your guard and find out more about the firms. Look around their websites to see how much of the focus really is on DUI/DWI defense work.
- DUI lawyer lists – Most lists and databases are made up of paid-for listings. In other words, the inclusion of a lawyer does not mean that they are one of the best DUI lawyers, only that they have paid to be included. It is therefore recommended that you search reputable non-commercial databases, such as the FindLaw database. Used by legal professionals themselves, this free, up-to-date and non-commercial database can be searched in a number of ways – by specialty, name, locality and so on. You can use this as your main tool to find a good DUI attorney or to double check on DUI lawyers you have found through ads or other lists.
- Personal recommendations – Find out more about the circumstances of your friend or colleague’s DWI or DUI case, and see how it compares to your own. (Remember, you are looking to find not just a good DUI attorney but the best attorney for your particular case.)
3. Draw up a shortlist
Make a note of anything that particularly attracted to you each DUI lawyer, together with their address and contact details.
4. Assess each DUI lawyer in person
Make an appointment to meet each DUI lawyer on your shortlist, taking along your summary of your case and list of DUI-related questions.
Remember that the main purpose of your meeting is to evaluate how well the shortlisted DUI attorney can defend your case. That is, whether they really do have the necessary skills, experience and track record of success. You will need to ask the lawyer to convince you that they do by detailing (for example) the number of DUI cases they handle, their success rate, special skills that may help your case, and so on. (see Questions to Ask DUI Attorneys for a ready-made list.)
Don’t worry – a decent lawyer will understand and respect your questions, and the best DUI lawyers will have no difficulty answering them. If a lawyer seems dismissive or offended, take them off your list. (More advice on meeting DUI lawyers, here.)
5. Compare notes
Do not be drawn into hiring a DUI lawyer. Take their card, return home and take the time to compare each lawyer before making your final choice.
As a final word, make the cost of a DUI lawyer your last consideration
You cannot have your cake and eat it too – the best DUI lawyers will not be cheap. Most of all, risking a DUI conviction to save a few hundred dollars is a false economy, to say the least.
When you find a good DUI lawyer who is also the best DUI lawyer for your particular case, pay what you need to pay. It may be costly but it will be good value.