An arrest for a DUI charge is a very painful and traumatic experience for any individual. The weeks that follow the arrest are enveloped by feelings of regret, second guessing, worry and anxiety about the future. As with any serious legal matter the decision to hire a lawyer to help defend the case in Court is a no-brainer, but who do you hire? According to a recent Rand Corp. study, the average citizen facing a criminal allegation has no idea about the process involved and less knowledge about the decision-making process involved in retaining a law firm that can truly assist the accused in avoiding a conviction that can often haunt the individual for years later.
So what criteria should be used in deciding which DUI lawyer will best be able to defend the case and minimize the impact the arrest will have on the client? Surprisingly, most people base the decision on hiring a lawyer on cost alone, and this, according to the experts can be a fatal mistake. So what are the top three important factors to consider other than the monetary costs, here they are:
- The experience of the attorney. Just as you would not want a brain surgeon operating on you who just graduated from medical school, you certainly want your legal advocate to have years of experience under his or her belt before they embark on a representation of you in Court. A minimum of 5 years as a DUI attorney is the minimum, say the experts. 10 years is better and some in the legal field say at least a decade in necessary in order to have the requisite history to properly defend a client in a serious criminal case
- Find a Law Firm with a local office in the city your case will be heard. Has anyone ever heard the phrase “Home Court advantage”, it makes a difference when the case gets into Court to have a lawyer who knows the Judge, the District Attorney and the key players in the case.
- Does the attorney focus his or her practice on DUI cases? This is crucial in the defense of the case. Do not hire a lawyer who only “dabbles” in the area. A specialist will give you the best hope of a good result.