If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, you need the best criminal defense attorney you can find. These charges can have a significant impact on your life. It can make a difference on the loans you can get, the jobs you will be offered and other opportunities may be limited by a criminal record. If you do not know a lot of lawyers, you may ask yourself, “How do I find a good attorney?”
How Do I Find a Good Attorney?
- Talk to everyone you know. The number of people who are arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is on the rise so while they may not run around town talking about it, the chances are that you know someone who has been in your situation. If you know someone who knows someone who has been arrested for this or any criminal offense, ask them how they found their lawyer and what their experience has been. Getting a personal referral is always the best way to get a good service.
- Do some online research. Look for different law firms in your town and look them up online. Many localities have Facebook groups, go there and ask the people who they talked to. Most criminal defense firms have their own web sites, check them to see if any of their past or current clients have left recommendations or reviews. You can even check Yelp and other online sources for reviews.
- Check professional groups. Check with the American Bar Association. You can ask them, “how do I find a good attorney?” You also want to check the lawyer’s you are considering to make sure they are in good standing with any state and national associations. You need an attorney with a good professional reputation and references.
- Find a criminal lawyer with experience in this area. Just like doctors, lawyers specialize in different kinds of law. You would not go to a cardiologist when you need a dermatologist for your health. You need a criminal attorney but you do not want one who has only tried murder cases. Criminal defense is a large area of the law. You want someone who handles a lot of cases that are about driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Ask a lot of questions. Spend some time researching these cases and write up a list of questions for all of the law firms you interview. They will give you a free consultation. This is a normal part of their business, if they try to charge you for it, go to a different law practice. Make sure they answer all of your questions. Take advantage of the free meeting to get as many of your questions answered as you can. This is how you feel out your prospective lawyer. Ask them specifically about their track record and how many cases they settle out of court. A good track record negotiating will show they have a good reputation with the courts.
- Ask about their fee structure. You want to get a not guilty verdict but you need to be able to afford the lawyer’s fees. You need to know how much they charge by the hour and what other fees you will be responsible for. The lawyers’ time is valuable but that is not the only thing they will charge you for. They will spend time doing research and examining all the evidence in your case. Ask about their financing and payment options. This is a big part of the question, “how do I find a good attorney?”
If you have been pulled over for a suspected charge of driving under the influence, your lawyer has significant opportunities to question and dispute their evidence against you. A good lawyer can challenge even the strongest evidence the police may have against you like any video they took or blood alcohol tests they ran. Do not assume you are going to be convicted because you blew a high blood alcohol level. This is why you need to find the best lawyer you can to represent you in court and in negotiations with the prosecutor. If you do your research you will find the best lawyer for you.