If you have been charged with a DUI-related offense, it is critical that you seek a DUI lawyer immediately for legal representation. In this blog, we discuss what to look for in an attorney who can effectively fight your DUI charge. Keep reading to learn more about the types of questions to ask a potential lawyer for your DUI case.
What to Ask a DUI Lawyer
What Is Your Legal Background?
One of the most important sets of questions to ask a potential attorney is their background and experience. For example, is this the attorney’s first case or are they a DUI veteran? The more experienced the attorney, the higher the possibility for a favorable outcome.
Some specific questions to ask about your potential lawyer’s background could be:
- How long have you been representing DUI clients?
- How many DUI cases do you handle in a year?
- Are you a former DUI prosecutor?
- How often to you take cases to trial?
- Are you familiar with the prosecutor in my case?
- Do you normally practice in my county?
Do You Specialize in DUI Law?
While many general practice lawyers also practice DUI, it is most advisable to work with a lawyer who specializes in DUI law. This is because an attorney who practices specifically in DUI law will have more specific training or an advanced certification in DUI law that provides them more unique and specific knowledge on technical elements of a DUI charge. For instance, a DUI lawyer might be more familiar with associated DUI charges at a lesser degree, such as a wet reckless.
Some good things to ask a lawyer to see whether they specialize in DUI law are:
- What percentage of your caseload is devoted to DUIs?
- How many cases have you been able to successfully plea bargain down to a “wet reckless” or outright dismissal?
- Is a plea agreement a possibility? How about any motions such as a pre-trial motion to suppress evidence?
- Are you certified by any DUI organizations such as The National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) or similar state bar organization?
- Do you have a working relationship with Breathalyzer and blood test toxicologists, and an understanding yourself of alcohol toxicology?
- Have you completed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) Student and/or Instructor Standardized Field Sobriety Test courses?
What Are Some Past Cases You’ve Handled?
This is a question that addresses a combination of the above two. Inquiring about a lawyer’s past cases could give you significant insight into the years of experience the lawyer has, as well as how much of that experience is specifically in DUI law. By interviewing your potential lawyer about past cases they’ve handled, you can evaluate whether the attorney has experience with related cases and how they might approach yours. While a DUI lawyer can’t guarantee case outcomes, they can predict possible paths based on the facts of your case and their own experience with similar scenarios.
In this vein, consider asking the attorney:
- In past DUI cases, have you been able to get similar DUI charges dropped or reduced to a lesser offense?
- Which factors work in my favor and which work against me?
- Should we go to trial?
Who Will I Be Working With?
Another key thing to ask a lawyer is who you will be personally working with throughout the course of your case. Larger law firms may delegate junior associates or even paralegals to help you in your case, and these might be the only individuals you will be communicating with. It is most desirable to be working with a more seasoned professional, such as a senior associate or lead attorney of a smaller firm. These people have the concrete experience and client-focused approach that will be very useful to your case, especially in their desire and ability to communicate directly with them throughout your case.
Some questions to ask are:
- Who will I be working with in the firm on my case?
- Who will answer my calls?
- How do I communicate (email, call, text)?
What Are Your Fees?
Most attorneys offer either flat fees or hourly fees, as well as the option to pay via payment plans. It will be useful to know how you will be billed on working on your case. Most DUI lawyers offer a free initial consultation, but it may be best to clarify payment terms before or during your first meeting. You may want to ask the following:
- In addition to your standard rate, are there any extra fees I will be required to pay, such as expert witness fees, blood sample re-testing, etc.?
- What forms of payment do you accept?
Let a DUI Lawyer Help You! Contact The Wagner Law Firm.
If you are facing a DUI-related charge, contact The Wagner Law Firm for legal representation. The firm practices specifically in DUI law, which will ensure that you will be represented by someone who has a deep knowledge of the DUI system and who can efficiently develop a defense against your charge, whether to mitigate or dismiss the case entirely. Let an experienced DUI lawyer provide you the legal support you need in whatever DUI-related incident you are facing.
Contact The Wagner Law Firm to schedule a free case evaluation today!