Important Questions to Ask Your DUI Lawyer
If you’ve never needed a criminal lawyer before, you probably don’t know what to look for. Luckily, there are questions you can ask during your consultation that will tell you everything you need to know.
More than one million people get arrested for drunk driving every year. If you’re one of them, you need to find the best attorney possible. Read on to learn 10 key questions to ask your DUI lawyer before taking them on.
What is Your Training Background?
On top of law school, there is additional training that a lawyer can receive that focuses on DUI law. For example, it’s common for lawyers who represent DUI cases to be certified in how to use breathalyzers. This kind of training is helpful if you were given a breathalyzer test. If there’s a possibility your test wasn’t administered properly, a trained lawyer will catch that. These details can be very helpful in arguing your case. For the same reason, ask if they are certified with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to give field sobriety tests.
Are DUI Cases Your Speciality?
The DUI lawyer you choose should specialize in DUI cases. Practice makes perfect, and the more frequently they work on these cases the better they’ll be. If your lawyer represents a variety of different cases, ask what percentage of them are DUI’s. At the very least, most of their cases should DUI related. But, the higher the percentage, the better.
How familiar are you with the local court system?
You’ll be dealing with a lot of law officials in your county’s court system. Seeing if your lawyer is familiar with your area’s courts and prosecutors can give your case a good advantage. Your lawyer could have better insight into common plea deals. It may be even more helpful if you’ve received the DUI in a county you don’t live in or are unfamiliar with.
What is the scope of representation?
In addition to possibly having to go to court, you may also need representation at the DMV. The DMV proceeding will entirely be administrative, and will deal with your suspended license, making it outside of criminal court proceedings.
How Much Will My Case Cost?
You’ll want to know upfront how an attorney will bill you for their time and how their pay structure works. If you need to ask about payment options, now’s the time to do it. You should also ask about the possibility of additional fees during your case. You’re probably going to have to pay court fees as well, so you want to avoid any unexpected charges by your attorney. You should also ask about forms of payment. Do they take credit cards? If so, which ones?
Will You Be the One Handling My Case?
A DUI law firm may have many attorneys working for them. During your consultation, you need to ask whether the lawyer you’re talking to will handle your case or if it’ll get assigned to someone else.
If another lawyer is to handle your case, you need to ask to consult with them directly. They need to have all the credentials to represent you effectively.
What’s Your Track Record For Winning Cases?
Don’t be scared to ask this question, experienced attorneys with excellent track records are more than happy to share their successes with potential clients. Conversely, if an attorney is hesitant about answering this question, it’s probably a sign they don’t win many of their cases. Pro Tip: Check online reviews.
How Strong is My Case?
This question allows you to gauge how well an attorney understands what is going on with your case. Whether they believe you have a strong case or not doesn’t matter as much as whether they can explain it to you in a way that you can understand. A lawyer that can communicate well with you will be more helpful as your case progresses.
What and how much formal training in blood testing have you received?
Your lawyer should be able to rattle off numerous seminars and training courses devoted specifically to impeaching the blood test administered to you. Such training and certificates will almost always be hanging on his or her wall if she has received specialized and extensive training in this very important area. Mr. Cessna has been honored with the elite designation as one of the few NCDD “Forensic DUI Attorneys.” This is an earned invitation and title which is offered only to those few dedicated NCDD attorneys nationwide who have successfully completed the intensive, four-day Blood & Urine Seminar and successfully passed the final science exam. Mr. Cessna has been honored to accept this invitation to the elite NCDD Forensic DUI Attorneys group.
Have you ever been asked to teach or instruct other lawyers, police officers, or law students in the area of DUI law or defense techniques?
Being invited to teach other professionals is a sign of being accomplished in your area of specialization. Ask your lawyer how often they are invited to teach other professionals in the areas associated with DUI defense. Mr. Cessna is frequently asked to teach, lecture and testify as an expert in the very specific areas of DUI defense. If the lawyer you are interviewing cannot list off numerous lectures, articles written, or teaching invitations, then he or she is most probably inexperienced or simply not seasoned enough to be in much demand.