According to MADD, in 2014, more than 1 million drivers were arrested for drunken driving. That’s a lot! And once such a case has been slapped onto you, the fines can be staggering. Penalties range from $5000 to $12,000 depending on which state you reside in, or they can be even higher depending on which state you have been caught in.
In the eventuality that you are caught in such an unfortunate situation, you need to immediately lookout for a qualified DUI or a DWI lawyer like DWI Lawyer, Alli Cannon, and even if their services seem to be on the higher side, engage one immediately. Because should the case go against you, fines are exorbitant, and you will wonder why you hesitated to procure the right legal service in the first instance!
What is DUI/DWI exactly?
DUI stands for ‘Driving Under the Influence’ and DWI means ‘Driving While Impaired’. And when the law says “influence” it does not necessarily mean alcohol. It could even be mild drugs and other instances of substance abuse.
What constitutes drunken driving?
In most of the states in the US, the legal limit is 0.8 gms of alcohol per 210 liters of breath. This is checked during a breath test, and should the percentage veer towards the higher side, you are in trouble.
So assuming the worst, that you did not take the right precautions and now face the dreaded prospect of repeated trips to court, engaging lawyers, etc, how do you decide which lawyer or legal firm to settle on? Below we list 5 tips to keep in mind when engaging the services of a DUI lawyer
You need to do your homework before engaging legal services. Ask your friends, relatives, and those in the legal profession. The Internet is a great source of information on how to find the best service within easy reach. Also check your State Bar website to ascertain whether or not, the person you are planning to engage has a clean record.
Once you have zeroed in on the person whom you feel is best suited to represent your case, check his or her bonafides. Is s/he reliable? Has the attorney had successes in the past? How many guilty or not guilty verdicts s/he had, and how many years of experience. Relationship with prosecutors is important, as it shows the lawyer has a healthy respect for the court and conducts himself or herself, professionally.
3. Size of the firm
Yes, this is another one of those instances where size does indeed matter. The biggest is not always the best. But a bigger firm does mean that they can devote more attention to your case and are willing to take risks. But if the firm is too large and too busy to give you individual attention, then you need to look elsewhere.
4. Legal Fees
Legal services have never come cheap. All through history. If the cost of hiring specialized services is equal to, or even more than the fines you have to pay, does it make sense to engage them? Get an estimate of the overall costs involved right at the very beginning, to avoid later shocks. Remember the laws differ from state to state and so do the professional fees.
5. Schedule a meeting:
Sure, do all the preliminary groundwork, but the day will inevitably come when you need to meet your savior in person. Go to the meeting prepared. Have a list of all the questions that you want to ask him or her, and this time remember you are the client, and since you are the one paying hard cash for their services, it is important that both credibility and reliability be established without a shadow of a doubt. Don’t be shy of asking probing questions.
Engaging a DUI or DWI lawyer is not as simple as it looks. But if you engage the right one, all the preliminary spadework that has been done, and all the expenses will make it well worth the while.