Getting a DUI can have major ramifications. Most think that you will just have your driver’s license revoked; however, there are some other long lasting consequences. For example, you could have jail time, court time, and maybe community service. All of these things can affect your employment. A DUI conviction will also show up on your background check and this will be available for future employers. There are many more reasons that a DUI lawyer can help you with a DUI. Here are six of the most important things you need to know before hiring a DUI lawyer.
Number 1: Know that you should consider more than one attorney before signing an agreement.
Different attorneys have different strategies and different personalities that you should know and understand before making a commitment.
While keeping in mind the immediate deadline to fight a driver’s license suspension, and the need to have an attorney before your next court date, take the time to find the right attorney. Schedule multiple consultations or phone calls to help with this process.
Your DUI case may remain open for more than a year, and because you are facing serious consequences such as the potential of jail time, the loss of driving privileges, and the loss of thousands of dollars in fines and fees, it is very important that you are comfortable and at ease with the attorney fighting for your rights during this time.
Number 2: Know as much as possible about your attorney before signing an agreement.
What you hear on radio commercials or television ads should NOT be the only thing you know about an attorney you want to hire.
Schedule a consultation. Meet with the attorney. Ask them about their track record in DUI cases. Ask them how they have handled cases with similar facts. Ask them about their experience with the judge and prosecutor.
You should also do your own research to find out what other people say about your attorney. Reviews from past clients or other attorneys can help you know what to expect moving forward.
Number 3: Know if your attorney has the relevant expertise to fight your DUI charge.
Find out if your attorney has a specific background in DUI defense.
Are they up to date with the latest scientific research? What do they know about field sobriety tests? Do they know about the exposed flaws in police techniques? Are they aware of the impact of marijuana and other drugs on driving safe or impaired? Do they know how to avoid license suspensions and how to protect your driving privileges?
You should also find out if your attorney is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the DUI Defense Lawyers Association, or other groups that keep their members on top of all the latest breakthroughs regarding DUI criminal defense.
Number 4: Know if your attorney has experience with the Judge and Prosecutor on your case.
A major key to an attorney’s overall expertise is his/her knowledge of your local jurisdiction.
An attorney with experience in a certain courtroom knows who to call to get on (or off) a judge’s calendar, how to obtain dash and body cameras before your trial date, what alternative resolutions can lead to a DUI dismissal, and what to expect when trying to negotiate the best possible resolution to your case.
Many people are surprised to find out that different counties and different judges manage court in an entirely different manner. Finding an attorney with experience in your specific courtroom means less time wasted trying to figure things out, and more time committed to fighting for the outcome you deserve.
Number 5: Know how much you will be paying your attorney, and for what.
Your legal fees should be clear and certain after meeting with your attorney.
You should know if you are paying a flat fee or an hourly rate, and whether those payments are due up front or in monthly installments. You should know if you are paying for your attorney to negotiate a plea deal or prepare for a jury trial, and whether you are paying for that attorney’s reputation or for their time fighting your case in court.
Another factor many people fail to consider when looking for a DUI attorney is the outside expenses associated with DUI charges. A good attorney should help you prepare for the potential costs of drug/alcohol screenings and evaluations, DUI driving classes, license suspension fees, and any other potential outside expenses.
One of the most frustrating consequences of a DUI charge is the thousands of dollars you are facing in fines and fees. To make this process more manageable and less stressful, your attorney should be straight forward and reasonable.
Number 6: Know how you will be communicating with your attorney.
An initial consultation should set the stage of what to expect moving forward with your DUI attorney. You should know if they will welcome phone calls, text messages, or emails, and if you will be speaking with your attorney, that attorney’s assistant, or other staff in their office. You should also know how that attorney, or their staff, will contact you regarding upcoming court dates or deadlines.
Communication is key. You should be comfortable knowing that your attorney is going to be available whenever you need to speak with them.
The penalties for Driving Under the Influence in the State of Georgia are serious, and you need to be serious about finding the right attorney. Contact the Awad Legal Team today for a free consultation and strategy session to fight your DUI charges.