Getting a DUI charge can be devastating. Not only can it trigger a deep sense of shame, but its effects ripple out into your everyday life, making it harder to navigate your work and home life.
As anyone who’s received a DUI can tell you, the legal side of it can be overwhelming. Many questions are flitting about in one’s head throughout the process: what are my rights? Do I need a DUI attorney? How expensive is this whole process going to be?
Fortunately, DUI attorneys are here to help you make the best of your situation. Before choosing one, consider this list of questions instead, like how long they’ve been practicing DUI law, how long they’ve been representing DUI clients, and how many cases they handle in a year.
The additional information you should ask for is whether they’re a former DUI prosecutor, how often their cases go to trial if they’re familiar with the prosecutor on your case, and what percentage of their caseload is devoted to DUI cases.
These are just some of the questions you can ask a DUI attorney to get an idea if they’re a good fit for you. But even so, there are some other qualities to look for in a good DUI attorney.
Some attorneys can be excellent in the courtroom but downright unprofessional with their clients. Today, we’re going to talk a little about what separates a competent DUI attorney from a mediocre one.
#1 Ask Around
Hopefully, you don’t have too many people in your friend circle who have been charged with a DUI. But if you do, the silver lining is they probably know a decent DUI attorney (or at the very least, which ones to avoid).
It may also help to do your homework on local DUI attorneys to see how they compare to one another. Look for positive client testimonials that vouch for both their skill in the courtroom and their ability to act like a decent human being.
Just one word of advice: be careful who you divulge the details of your case to. Friends or family may be called in to testify on your case, and as all cops will tell you, anything you say can and will be used against you. So speak judiciously-pun intended.
#2 It’s All in the Details
Sloppiness is a bad look on any professional, but it’s nearly immoral for a lawyer. A lawyer’s job is to dig into the details of a case and build a solid argument for their client.
A few minor details could be the difference between a guilty and not guilty charge for your client. Furthermore, a lawyer who is careless with the details does not convey a strong sense of professionalism, which should also give you pause.
Other red flags to look for are forgetfulness, typos in emails and written agreements, and a lack of punctuality. With that being said, choose a meticulous attorney for your case.
If you get a chance to meet with an attorney in person before hiring them, take note of their workspace. Is it clean or dirty? Are his files neatly organized, or are their papers strewn all about? Does it smell of anything strange?
The way a lawyer carries themselves and keeps their office in order is often an insight into the kind of lawyer they are. It’s a safe bet that the tidier an attorney and their office is, the better lawyer they’ll be.
However, there are exceptions to this, so stay alert to any other red flags.
#3 Don’t Pay Through the Nose
If an attorney’s rates sound too good to be true, they probably are. Of course, a good attorney is worth paying for, but you’ll have to compare an attorney’s rates with their credentials. How long have they been practicing DUI law?
How many cases do they successfully get dismissed or downgraded to “wet reckless” (reckless driving while under the influence of alcohol) charges?
If their pricier rates come along with years of experience, a string of successful cases, and positive customer testimonials, they might be worth shelling out for.
In truth, you could find good attorneys in any law field by asking these questions and keeping these details in mind. But seeing as DUI cases require more sensitivity and discretion than others, you’ll want to make doubly sure that you’re choosing an honest, competent lawyer who is likely to help you win your case.
Those in the Atlanta area will be delighted to know that Yeargan & Kert, LLC has over 50 years of combined experience in DUI law.
Yeargan & Kert’s team also has extensive experience as DUI prosecutors, so you can rest easy knowing their knowledge and expertise come from being on both sides.