When you’re facing a criminal charge like a DUI, having the right attorney on your side is important. Even though a DUI charge is common, your defense needs to be unique to your case. Your DUI lawyer is your partner and your advocate throughout the process. However, it can be hard to know what to look for in a DUI lawyer.
In a DUI attorney, you should look for experience in criminal law. The attorney should have experience appearing in front of the court and judge that is going to hear your case. In addition, the attorney should have a history of taking cases to trial and fighting aggressively for their clients.
Table of Contents
What to Watch For
Here are some things to look for in a DUI attorney:
Expertise in Criminal Law
There are a lot of different kinds of lawyers. Just like doctors have specialties where they focus their time and skill, lawyers have specialties, too. As they spend more time practicing in one area of law, they are able to gain expertise in that field.
You need a DUI lawyer who has significant experience in criminal law. It’s okay if the lawyer practices in other fields, too. However, they must have significant experience in criminal law. If you previously had a lawyer who drafted your will, or if you had an attorney for a slip-and-fall personal injury accident, they may or may not also have the experience they need in order to handle your DUI criminal law case with skill.
Knowledge of the Law
Just like you need a lawyer who has expertise in criminal law, you need a lawyer who can easily speak to the DUI law that applies to your case. Any DUI lawyer that is qualified to handle a case should be able to talk about the specifics of DUI law. They should be able to explain the basics of the law to you without needing to look it up. As you meet for your initial consultation, the lawyer should be able to identify some of the issues that may prove critical to your defense. The attorney’s comfort with the law and the depth of their knowledge is important to helping you present the best defense possible.
Experience with Criminal Procedure
Criminal procedure is the process of how a case moves through the court. Criminal procedure is a term that just means the rules for how the court processes the case and how the parties must act during the proceedings. An attorney needs to know these rules in order to advocate effectively on your behalf. For example, there are rules about when to file preliminary motions that can be critical to the suppression of evidence. When you look for a DUI attorney, it’s important to find an attorney that is familiar with criminal procedure and criminal defense to use it effectively in resolving the case.
Enthusiasm About Their Work
Being a great DUI lawyer takes energy. Preparing an aggressive DUI defense takes a lot of work for the client that goes far beyond a few court appearances. When you’re looking for a DUI lawyer, be sure to look for someone who is passionate about the law and what they do. Each DUI case needs and deserves a unique defense.
It may be appropriate to challenge the traffic stop in your case. You may want to take issue with how the state conducted a breath or blood test. There may be witnesses who should be questioned aggressively on the stand. It may make sense to accept a plea bargain. However, some cases are meant to go to trial. When you look for a DUI attorney, look for an attorney who is willing to pursue any kind of path to represent you in the best way possible.
Choosing a DUI Lawyer
When you’re choosing a DUI lawyer, remember that skill, experience, and passion are all critical to finding the best lawyer for you. The attorney should have experience in the local courts. In addition, they should be enthusiastic about their work and ready to create a custom defense that represents your best interests.