A DUI arrest can rattle anyone. Everyone makes mistakes, but having this mistake end up on your criminal record could affect you and your opportunities for years to come. Regardless of how you plan to plea, hiring a skilled DUI defense lawyer is one of the best things you can do to ensure your rights are protected.
California DUI laws aren’t the easiest to understand; trying to figure out what’s best for you, without consulting with a legal professional, is simply not in your best interest. Finding a great lawyer to help you identify your best options and fight on your behalf would likely have a drastic impact on your ability to defend yourself.
But what makes a good DUI attorney? How do you know who to choose when there are countless attorneys out there all vying for your business?
When searching for a good DUI lawyer, make sure they have a good amount of local experience, specifically at the court your case is scheduled to be at. Why? A local attorney will likely have dealt with a situation similar to your own in the exact court your case will be heard. If your attorney has a history of successfully representing DUI defendants, it will be useful if the members of your court are aware of their prestige.
Knowledge of local laws – Your attorney needs to be well versed in your state’s DUI laws. You do not want someone with limited knowledge of case law specific to your case.
Knowledge of the judges – Do you want an attorney who has faced your judge before? If they’ve been successful, of course you do. Your attorney may have a respectful relationship with your judge, paving the way for a great outcome.
Knowledge of the prosecutors – You want your attorney to know everyone in the process. If the prosecutor knows that your attorney is one of the best available, they may not be willing to go 12 rounds in court.
One of the best ways to find a good DUI lawyer is to just ask someone you know that drinks. You would be surprised how often this happens to people. Lots of people fail to realize that their blood alcohol level is above the legal limit and end up going through the DUI process.
Ask friends and family who drink whether they’ve ever been arrested, and ask about their lawyer. If they were satisfied with the work their lawyer did, then this lawyer may be right for you. You can contact them to set up a consultation to be sure.
Here are some questions you could ask the friend or family member to make sure the lawyer was a good one:
– Do you feel your penalty was justified, or over the top?
– Did your attorney keep consistent contact with you?
– Is your attorney local?
– Did you feel he or she represented you well?
Admittedly, there aren’t a lot of great lawyer rating websites available. Reasons why vary, but in most cases it is because there are simply too many factors that make a great DUI attorney great. That said, there are some attorney review sites you can turn to in an effort to evaluate a prospect.
Keep in mind that some people are never satisfied with the way their penalty was handed down. Do not focus on the sentence they received, but rather how the lawyer acted. Consider the same questions as above, and weigh them equally. A lawyer with a good reputation in the community is a good lawyer to trust with your case.
Need assistance with your Southern California DUI arrest? The attorneys at the Law Offices of Randy Collins have assisted thousands of DUI defendants. Attorney Randy Collins was previously the District Attorney prosecutor and has a 9.9 attorney rating on AVVO. The Law Offices of Randy Collins has been rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau.