Hiring a lawyer for your DUI or criminal case is perhaps the most important first step. You should ask many relevant questions about who this person is.
Where is the lawyer from? Does the lawyer practice in this county regularly, or does the attorney take cases all over the state, or even in multiple states? Does this attorney take “any case that walks in the door,” or are they focused on DUI and criminal defense in a specialized way? You should consider the law firm where the attorney works, their role there, how long the firm has been established, and if it is simply a “satellite office” for another main location where the lawyer truly practices. Many attorneys advertise as “servicing” a certain county, but in reality, they have limited experience or connection in that county and are spread thin between many regions.
The internet gives us the ability to look up reviews and feedback on anyone offering a professional service. What have prior clients said about the lawyer and the firm? What professional recognitions and credentials has the attorney received? What is their track record for success? Have they served in leadership roles within their bar associations or professional organizations in a way that demonstrates their reputation for leadership and results? Is this a good person who cares about you and the situation you are in? You should look for more than just a lawyer, but for an attorney who cares and has a track record for it.
Case Outcomes and Results
Every case is unique, but what results has this lawyer obtained? Have they obtained dismissals and acquittals? Do they file motions, briefs, and arguments to litigate for the best possible outcome when the case calls for it? Are they afraid of getting their hands dirty in court, cross-examining police offers, and arguing against aggressive prosecutors? Not every case requires a “bulldog,” but some cases require aggressive representation when the situation calls for it. At the same time, is the attorney wanting to unnecessarily argue or take your case in a direction you are not wanting to go? The lawyer you hire should find the balance for what you want, and they should have a history of results to make you confident in the approach you choose.
Is this lawyer recognized by their peers? Have they received any distinction for their work as a criminal defense and DUI lawyer? Have they served in leadership positions within their bar association or other professional organizations? Have they ever been subject to disciplinary action, client complaints, or business disputes? You can learn a lot about who you are hiring by looking at their professional standing and asking these questions.
Access and Communication
In addition to ability and experience, a lawyer must be able to communicate your situation in a way that is easy to understand, and they have to keep you informed. What is their “bedside manner?” Will they take your calls when you call? Do they email or text with you when needed? Do you only seem to be able to reach their secretary? Even if they are working in your best interest, a lack of communication is unsettling. Will they be there when you need them?
I take my job as a criminal defense and DUI lawyer very seriously and want every client to feel confident and comfortable in their decision to trust me with their case. I welcome any of the above questions from clients or prospective clients. Learn more about me here.
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If you need legal assistance for your situation, I can help you. Schedule a free consultation.