Things You Need To Know Before Hiring A Dui Lawyer
Getting a DUI can have major ramifications. Most think that you will just have your driver’s license revoked; however, there are some other long lasting consequences. For example, you could have jail time, court time, and maybe community service. All of these things can affect your employment. A DUI conviction will also show up on your background check and this will be available for future employers. There are many more reasons that a DUI lawyer can help you with a DUI. Here are six of the most important things you need to know before hiring a DUI lawyer.
Number 1: Know that you should consider more than one attorney before signing an agreement.
Different attorneys have different strategies and different personalities that you should know and understand before making a commitment.
While keeping in mind the immediate deadline to fight a driver’s license suspension, and the need to have an attorney before your next court date, take the time to find the right attorney. Schedule multiple consultations or phone calls to help with this process.
Your DUI case may remain open for more than a year, and because you are facing serious consequences such as the potential of jail time, the loss of driving privileges, and the loss of thousands of dollars in fines and fees, it is very important that you are comfortable and at ease with the attorney fighting for your rights during this time.
Number 2: Know as much as possible about your attorney before signing an agreement.
What you hear on radio commercials or television ads should NOT be the only thing you know about an attorney you want to hire.
Schedule a consultation. Meet with the attorney. Ask them about their track record in DUI cases. Ask them how they have handled cases with similar facts. Ask them about their experience with the judge and prosecutor.
You should also do your own research to find out what other people say about your attorney. Reviews from past clients or other attorneys can help you know what to expect moving forward.
Number 3: Know if your attorney has the relevant expertise to fight your DUI charge.
Find out if your attorney has a specific background in DUI defense.
Are they up to date with the latest scientific research? What do they know about field sobriety tests? Do they know about the exposed flaws in police techniques? Are they aware of the impact of marijuana and other drugs on driving safe or impaired? Do they know how to avoid license suspensions and how to protect your driving privileges?
You should also find out if your attorney is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the DUI Defense Lawyers Association, or other groups that keep their members on top of all the latest breakthroughs regarding DUI criminal defense.
Number 4: Know if your attorney has experience with the Judge and Prosecutor on your case.
A major key to an attorney’s overall expertise is his/her knowledge of your local jurisdiction.
An attorney with experience in a certain courtroom knows who to call to get on (or off) a judge’s calendar, how to obtain dash and body cameras before your trial date, what alternative resolutions can lead to a DUI dismissal, and what to expect when trying to negotiate the best possible resolution to your case.
Many people are surprised to find out that different counties and different judges manage court in an entirely different manner. Finding an attorney with experience in your specific courtroom means less time wasted trying to figure things out, and more time committed to fighting for the outcome you deserve.
Number 5: Know how much you will be paying your attorney, and for what.
Your legal fees should be clear and certain after meeting with your attorney.
You should know if you are paying a flat fee or an hourly rate, and whether those payments are due up front or in monthly installments. You should know if you are paying for your attorney to negotiate a plea deal or prepare for a jury trial, and whether you are paying for that attorney’s reputation or for their time fighting your case in court.
Another factor many people fail to consider when looking for a DUI attorney is the outside expenses associated with DUI charges. A good attorney should help you prepare for the potential costs of drug/alcohol screenings and evaluations, DUI driving classes, license suspension fees, and any other potential outside expenses.
One of the most frustrating consequences of a DUI charge is the thousands of dollars you are facing in fines and fees. To make this process more manageable and less stressful, your attorney should be straight forward and reasonable.
Number 6: Know how you will be communicating with your attorney.
An initial consultation should set the stage of what to expect moving forward with your DUI attorney. You should know if they will welcome phone calls, text messages, or emails, and if you will be speaking with your attorney, that attorney’s assistant, or other staff in their office. You should also know how that attorney, or their staff, will contact you regarding upcoming court dates or deadlines.
Communication is key. You should be comfortable knowing that your attorney is going to be available whenever you need to speak with them.
The penalties for Driving Under the Influence in the State of Georgia are serious, and you need to be serious about finding the right attorney. Contact the Awad Legal Team today for a free consultation and strategy session to fight your DUI charges.
Essentials for Avoiding a Bad DUI Lawyer
There is no feeling worse than discovering that the lawyer you trusted just wasn’t up to the task. And of course, you’ll never find that out until after the damage is done. So how do you avoid an unpleasant surprise? Here are some common-sense recommendations:
1. Spend at least as much effort to find your lawyer as you would to find a barber.
If you moved to a new city, you would probably ask around before you chose a barber (or a hairdresser). At the very least, you might talk to somebody who had gotten good results. And your hair will grow back in a few weeks. Hiring a lawyer is a whole different story. If your problem is a criminal charge, then the result is something that you’ll be living with for years to come. Do your homework. Google is only a starting point. Check out reviews on Avvo.com or Martindale-Hubbell. Talk to someone who has actually had to hire a DUI lawyer. Or go to a lawyer who practices some other specialty, and ask him (or her) who is the best DUI lawyer in town.
2. If you want to find a shark, look in the water.
If you need a trial lawyer, go to the courthouse. Ask the people who work there: deputies, bailiffs, court reporters. They see lots of lawyers, and they know who is good and who is not. They may give you a few names. Often, court employees will tell you that they aren’t supposed to make recommendations, but be persistent. If you strike up a conversation and make a friend, you are likely to at least find out who to avoid.
3. Experience Counts.
It may be hard to believe, but most lawyers never try a case in their entire careers. When you talk to lawyers, ask them how many trials they have had. Get details. Civil or criminal? Jury trials or judge trials? Wins or losses? How many in the last year? In the last month? You wouldn’t want to have your appendix taken out by a doctor who had never operated before. Many general practice criminal lawyers won’t try DUI cases, but instead try to negotiate a guilty plea on every case.
4. Don’t hire a general practitioner to do a specialist’s job.
Some types of cases don’t demand specialized knowledge. Certain types, such as DUI cases, do. More than any type of criminal case, except perhaps homicides, DUI cases involve detailed scientific evidence. A complete defense requires command of principles of chemistry, biology and physics, and familiarity with hundreds of scientific studies. Ask your prospective lawyer if he has training in breath testing or the field sobriety tests. Don’t be penny-wise and pound foolish. If it’s worth hiring a lawyer at all, then it’s worth hiring the best lawyer you can afford.
Facing Confusion After A DUI Arrest Charge
When a person is charged with a DUI or DWI offense for the first time, it is not surprising that most people will have two basic questions: “Am I going to lose my driver’s license” and “How much is it going to cost”? The real issue in fighting a driving under the influence case is not whether a person had consumed any alcohol or other substance, but whether the prosecution attorney can actually prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the arrest was truly valid. Many times, there is often an innocent and reasonable explanation for irregular driving such as being ill, tired, or being distracted. In other circumstances, evidence of erratic driving might be in contradiction by a review of the police station video which shows no obvious signs of a driver being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. There are many, and sometimes very technical ways for how to defend and beat a DUI charge case. Besides the all too common officer error or Breathalyzer test device malfunction, which can revealed through a careful review of the breath test machine maintenance records, these breath test cases can often successfully be won based on police report issues regarding the actual arrest details, or violations of a driver’s constitutional rights regarding how the tests were conducted. Any DUI arrest experience is a scary situation, especially when someone has never been in trouble with the law before and doesn’t know what to expect. One minute a person feels fine, they weren’t driving under the influence but still somehow blew over the legal limit of .08 BAC at a traffic stop or even at a DUI checkpoint. It is important to know that failing a DUI breath or blood test does not mean a person guilty. Until the arrest details and other evidence is reviewed online through us by a local DUI specialist, only then can a person know what the best defense options are that may be able to challenge and beat the case. Finding these options for what to do and ways how to fight the charges successfully, will always be based upon a driver’s own specific arrest circumstances of what happened. Regarding how much will a DUI cost, this again is something that can only be established once a person’s own arrest details can be examined by us online by a skilled and local lawyer, who will understand the complexities of a person’s individual situation. For any questions or concerns about possible ways how to fight & beat a DUI charge that you may be dealing with, please let us analyze your situation for potential options to dismiss the charges via the short contact form on the right of this page.
Confronting Consequences Of A DUI Offense Guilty Conviction
A local DUI attorney who examines a person’s arrest information online, will have a record of winning a substantial percentage of the cases fighting to beat DUI and DWI charges, including test refusal cases they have taken on. They stand behind a proven record of success based on tireless advocacy for people and a formidable approach to getting out of a driving under the influence offense. Any charges for DUI that include either alcohol, drugs, prescription medicine, Marijuana, or even refusing to take the DUI tests, can all have significant and unexpected consequences beyond criminal fines and potential jail time. Penalties of a first offense conviction can also lead to:
- A permanent criminal record found on background checks
- Having to get an Ignition Interlock device installed to drive
- Limits many employment opportunities in a job search
- Drivers license suspension for at least 1 year
- Required alcohol/drug treatment and DUI school classes
- Increased car insurance rates for at least 5 years
- Restricts the ability to travel to other countries abroad
The Two Main Types Of DUI Arrest Offenses
There are 2 main criminal offenses related to DUI & DWI charges:
- Driving Over the Legal Limit of .08 BAC (Blood Alcohol Content): Operating (or being in care and control of) a vehicle while a driver’s blood alcohol content is over the national .08 legal alcohol limit.
- Refusal of a Breathalyzer or Blood Test: Refusing to take breath or blood test after a police officer has requested one of a driver who is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or certain types of medication.