How to find a reputable DUI Lawyer
Whether it be you or someone you know who has been charged on terms of drunk driving, selecting the best lawyer is a process that can be very time consuming and stressful for many people. You’ll want someone who is extremely experienced and competent at what they do who at the same time lacks any unethical practices.
A great way to find a good lawyer is to ask for referrals. Whether it is your family’s lawyer himself who might know other DUI lawyers, or even a family member who has previously been convicted themselves, there are a number of different people available to you who can recommend a good lawyer. You could also go to your local courthouse and request information from bailiff or count clerk. Police officers can also be a great referral source. Simply ask who they think is the best lawyer they’ve seen or who they might hire if they were facing DUI charges.
One commonly used referral service that is generally not a good place to look is the local Bar Association. The reason for this is that a lawyer who wishes to be placed on the list at the Bar Association only needs to fill out a slimly request form and you will almost always simply be referred to someone random on that long list.
If you still cannot seem to find someone who can refer a good lawyer, your next best shot is to look through the internet. Aside from researching a good DUI lawyer, you can also find helpful information about DUI laws, courtroom procedure, evidence, and penalties involved in the whole process. You will also, unfortunately, find a number of internet ads, websites, and directories that don’t always necessarily mean the attorneys in the ads are the best lawyers for you personally. The ads only declare that the lawyer has paid the most to have his or her advertisements show up on your computer.
The National College for DUI Defense is another great resource. This association has a website containing more than 800 lawyers nationwide who are professionally trained and concentrate solely in drunk driving cases. Though it's important to remember that a membership in this College does not guarantee you any promises of competence or ethics, it does prove the lawyer's seriousness in DUI law. One beneficial aspect of the College is their notable seminars including an annual 3-day seminar held at Harvard Law School. The American Bar Association recognizes this seminar as the ONLY organization who is allowed to Board-certify lawyers as specialists in DUI defense.
For the most part, when making your decision on what lawyer you wish to handle your case, you should take into account the following:
* What reputable law school did the lawyer receive his accreditation from? Did he gain membership to the National College for DUI Defense? Was he Board-certified?
* It's very important to ask the attorney if he or she specializes only in DUI defense. When a lawyer handles DUI cases as well as criminal and civil cases, he is probably not the best choice for you.
* Ask if you can have a written contract that includes all fees as well as initial costs that would cover any outside fees like court costs, blood reanalysis tests, etc.
* Can your attorney have blood samples reevaluated by a lab as well as access to witnesses and breath analysis?
* Making promises on the outcome of a case is not only unethical, but completely unpredictable. If your attorney ever promised you anything in terms of results, you may want to keep looking.
* How does the lawyer rank on Martindale-Hubbell's International Directory of Attorneys (A-V)?
* Has the attorney had any complaints? (Look online at the State Bar Association)