Finding a Qualified Lawyer for Your DUI
There are many things to consider when hiring a DUI lawyer, but of course, it’s their qualifications that matter in the end. As with most key decisions in life, you have to do your due diligence and research how fit a certain lawyer is to handle your DUI.
Here are steps you can take to find a fully qualified DUI attorney:
> Find a licensed attorney because only one will be able to represent you in court. To know if the lawyer you want to hire is licensed in your state, check your State Bar website.
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> If you want to hire a lawyer who is licensed in another state, he can simply hire a co-counsel who will be able to represent you locally. However, this can lead to more costs.
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> Hiring a local attorney has many benefits, starting with their familiarity with your area’s courts, judges, and prosecutors. Simply put, this can mean a milder sentence for you or even a case dismissal.
> Check your prospective attorney’s ethical record. You have to investigate if the lawyer has been the subject of disciplinary action taken by the state. Do not consider anyone with less than good standing with your State Bar. Attorney disciplinary records are publicly available at their website as well. By all means, avoid an attorney who has a background of malpractice.
> Look for a lawyer who has extensive DUI training and experience. Criminal defense attorneys will be able to handle different types of criminal cases, but as DUI laws are very complex in themselves, only a specialist can actually give you the best possible representation.
> Know which law school the lawyer went to. The best schools are generally those with accreditation by the American Bar Association (ABA). While the attorney’s law school has to be considered, do not make it the only deciding factor. Plenty of attorneys, in fact, attended less notable law schools, and yet perform excellently in their practice, and even become the best in the chosen fields.
> Find out about the track record of the lawyer. After all, what better indicator of their abilities could there be, than actual statistics that reflect how well they worked for their past clients?
> Read the lawyer’s profiles on the Internet, as well as peer reviews. The more you learn about them, especially from their fellow lawyers, the wise your decision will be.
After taking the above-mentioned steps, you will be ready to meet with the lawyers you have pre-selected for a personal consultation. This is often free, but to avoid surprises, call the clinic and ask beforehand. And don’t come unless you are fully prepared with the details of your case – with notes, if necessary.