When it comes to dealing with the letter of the law, the amount of legalese you’ll have to cut through alone can be enough to make your head spin. When you add onto that the stigma and stress that can be involved with something like a DUI charge, the whole process can be enough to make you feel like you have no way out. But while these charges are serious and can turn into quite a real hassle, they can be handled properly if you find the right DUI attorney for the job.
These lawyers can do everything from reduce your charge to even fighting it in court and potentially getting it dropped. It’s important to note that the BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) in all states is now .08 across the board.
So in this post we’re going to go into what makes up the law regarding DUI charges, and outline a number of things that you can do to make sure that you’re taken care of at every step in the process. First of all, you’re going to have to consider the cost of a DUI conviction.
The Cost of a DUI Conviction
While a DUI charge can negatively impact you by affecting things like employment and driving privileges, they can also hurt your wallet. A DUI charge can actually end up costing you $20,000 or more in the long run, so it’s important that you get the right attorney for the job to jump a lot of the legal hurdles for you.
Now that you’ve gotten an idea as to the possible cost involved when it comes to a DUI conviction, you’re going to want to draft up a list of possible DUI attorneys that you can turn to in your quest to rid yourself of that dreaded scarlet letter in the form of a DUI conviction.
Come Up With a List of DUI Attorneys
One of the easiest ways to find the right DUI attorney for you is to turn to someone you trust and see if they know anyone who’s qualified to take on your case. If you’re not able to find anyone through this method, you can always turn to a different attorney you’ve used in the past and see if they can possibly refer you to someone who specializes in DUI cases.
If you’re worried about checking in with friends or colleagues for fear of getting judged for your DUI, there are also a variety of associations out there that are veritable resources when it comes to finding a good DUI attorney, associations like The National College of DUI Defense and the State Bar Association in your particular state.
Whichever method you go with to find your DUI attorney, you’re going to want to figure out if your attorney is actually qualified for your case before you go with them. Let’s look at how you can obtain this information.
Determining Whether Your DUI Attorney is Qualified
One of the first things you should do when you’re looking for a potential DUI attorney is to look into their educational background, as that’s going to give you a nice snapshot into whether or not they’re qualified to work with in the first place.
Once you’ve established that your attorney comes from a good educational background, you’re going to want to make sure that they’re full licensed, and that they’re licensed in the state that you’re in, as an out of state attorney would need to look into getting co-counsel, which can really add up and become pricey. Along with money reasons, there are plenty of practical reasons to go local, like the fact that a local attorney will have a much better understanding of the particular laws, judges, and other factors that will affect your case.
Once you’ve gotten these items squared away, you’re going to want to check the attorney’s ethical history and make sure that they don’t have any pending charges against them or past transgressions that could affect their ability to do their job. Also, an attorney who’s been disbarred can’t legally represent you in court, so be sure to steer clear of any DUI attorney who isn’t on the bar.
While you might think that any highly qualified attorney would be right for the job, it’s best that in this situation you go with someone who has extensive DUI training and experience. Lastly, you should go ahead and look into which law school this attorney went to, as not all law schools are created equal, and their level of schooling can and will directly affect the outcome of your particular case.
Be Sure to Meet Face to Face
While you can learn a lot by digging around and doing some sleuthing work on a potential DUI attorney, you’re not going to know if they’re the right person for you until you actually meet up face to face.
You’re going to want to be totally transparent when it comes to talking about your charges, as the more information that your counsel knows, the better they’ll be able to do their job and make sure that you’re taken care of.
You should also bring all relevant documentation and talk to the lawyer about his or her experience directly, listening for how they present themselves and the way that they see themselves in their position. You should also check with the DUI attorney to see who exactly is going to be handling the case. While you might assume that it’ll be the person you’re meeting with, this is not always the case.
Make sure that you’re looking out for yourself if you want to Beat This Charge
In order to beat a DUI charge, you’re going to have to become your own best advocate, fighting for your own best interests and finding the right attorney for you. While this is an important process, it doesn’t have to be a difficult one, as long as you follow these steps we’ve laid out.