The holidays should be a time of family gatherings and reunions with friends. For people who are looking for representation in types of criminal charges find themselves dreading the days at the end of the year. In fact, the weight of needing to find legal representation for various types of criminal charges can erase all of the joy that the holidays would typically bring. If you are looking for a legal representative, what are your resources? Do you have a friend or family member to call, or are you searching the internet for options?
One reason that many people find themselves looking for legal representation is to defend themselves or a loved one in a driving under the influence (DUI) charge. For good reason. In fact, a DUI conviction can cost as much as $20,000 or more in some parts of the country. Without qualified legal representation, many individuals may find themselves facing higher fines. longer license suspensions, and more lengthy jail times.
Tips for Hiring a DUI Attorney
With more than 1.3 million lawyers in America, it can be difficult to determine what lawyer would be the right one for you. For many people, finding a lawyer is a simple result of asking friends or family members for recommendations. What if, however, you would rather your friends and family members not know about your arrest? Or, what if your friends and family recommend a lawyer who did not appear to do his or her job? If, for example, your cousin ended up paying a large fine and having a long license suspension, do you really want to use the same lawyer? You may, instead want to consider some of these other tips for finding a DUI attorney:
- You need to find someone who will take the time to meet with you. You have your own story to tell, and while the busiest DUI attorneys may say they are able to take your case without meeting you before the hearing, you likely want something more. The chance to tell you story and to explain your circumstances.
- Make sure your attorney is qualified. It is important to run a search with your State Bar Association website and check to see that your lawyer is actually licensed in the state. All attorneys who practice in a given location are required to file their papers with their local governing agency. If the representative you are considering is not on the list, this should be an immediate red flag.
- Compare and contrast information you acquire. You would never purchase a car or a home without creating some kind of spread sheet to make comparisons. The same approach can work when you are saelecting a DUI attorney. Creating a format to compare and organize the attorney’s name, area of speciality, phone number, email address, and address, first impressions, and costs can help you keep your information organized.
- First impressions count. Did you get a good first impression when you met the attorney? If not, you may want to reconsider or at least read online client reviews. If an attorney cannot connect with you, you might wonder what his or her court presence will be like.
You Need to be an Advocate to Find an Advocate
There are many types of criminal charges that people find themselves facing. Unfurtunately, when someone is facing one of various types of criminal charges they often are also full of self doubt and fear. When you are looking for an attorney, however, you need to muster all of the confidence that you can and go into any meeting prepared to be an advocate for yourself and your situation. Even though you have been charged with a crime, you are still in a position to be someone’s paying client. With that in mind, prepare to stand up for yourself and ask all of the questions that you have up front. For instance, will you be able to meet with the attorney face to face? Can you expect the attorney to meet you in advance of the hearing?
Do you know what to do when you are charged with DUI? In most cases, the first step should be to find a qualified attorney as soon as possible.