Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious offense. State laws may vary for DUI, but if a driver has blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) over 0.08, he/she will be charged with DUI. Facing DUI charges can be complicated, considering other criminal charges can be added too. Having a reliable attorney is critical for defense against these charges. If you are looking for the best DUI attorney near me, here are some tips to consider.
Know your attorney
As a prospective client, you have the right to ask questions when you call or meet a DUI attorney for the first time. Below are a few questions to consider –
- How long have you been dealing with DUI cases?
- Do you specialize in other branches of criminal law?
- What percentage of your practice is dedicated to DUI clients?
- Do you know the local judges and public prosecutors?
- What is your approach to plea agreements?
- How often do your DUI cases end up in trial?
Ask for references
Make sure that you ask the DUI attorney for client references. Alternatively, you can also check online to find what other clients have to say about a law firm, or a DUI attorney. Reviews are really handy for comparing all options.
Know the fee and costs
Just like criminal defense attorneys, DUI attorneys and lawyers also work on a flat fee, or can charge an hourly rate. Some lawyers do charge a tad more if the matter goes to trial, so if you are hiring someone on a flat fee, ask about this aspect. As for the hourly rate, you can ask the attorney about the expected fee, depending on the number of hours they are likely to work.
It often happens that the lawyer a client meets is not the one eventually handling the case. If you are hiring an expensive DUI attorney, make sure they are working on your case personally. There could be other litigation costs, and it makes sense that you ask in advance, so that it’s easy to work on financials.
Watch out for red flags
If a DUI attorney promises that you will win the case, or guarantees something that’s too good to be true, walk the other way. It is important to be realistic about the possible outcomes of the case.
When you meet an attorney for the first time, be honest in sharing your part of the case, even if you are at fault.