Considering driving under the influence (DUI's) are the most aggressively and prosecuted misdemeanor offenses it is impertinent that you find an attorney that specializes in that type of case. For arguments sake, if you are a first time offender and have no other traffic violations you could probably be ok using a general attorney.
Find somebody who specializes in DUI Although would you choose to use a family Doctor to treat cancer or search out a specialist in the field? Each professional is trained and experienced in certain aspects of the law. It makes sense to pick someone that is consistently fighting and defending what you are in the need of. They are most likely to be up-to-date on all of the laws, penalties and angles to defend your case.
It is good to research and know the fines and penalties associated with your pending convictions. Feel free to utilize your states specific website for up-to-date laws and regulations. You can also search the licensing division to verify and validate any attorney you are researching.
You want to find an attorney that will take time to talk with you and help ease your tension. Most attorneys will offer a free consultation; feel free to talk with multiple attorneys before you pick one. This is a great time to see if they are someone that you want to have defending you and enable you to find out exactly how the court process will go.
Ask the right questions
The best thing you can do is go ready to ask questions, this shows you have done your research. You want to remember that you are not only interviewing them, but they you. They will be more likely to want to represent someone who has researched and taken the time to understand the basics of what is to come. It also enables you to understand how they think and respond. Most competent attorneys will welcome your questions.
Here are some examples of good questions to ask at your initial consultation:
How much experience do you have representing someone who is charged with a DUI?
How many DUI cases have you taken to trial?
How long have you been practicing as an attorney? What do you specialize in?
Do you have actual experience defending a case like mine?
Do you have any unresolved complaints with the State Bar?
What will the final results of my case be? (Remember a good attorney will only promise to do their best, it is unethical to promise the outcome of a case)
When and where is your next DUI trial scheduled? (Court rooms are open to the public and the best way to see how your prospective attorney performs is to watch in person)
When was the last time you attended a continuing education on current DUI law changes and defenses?
Many DUI attorneys are flexible in setting up payment arrangements; considering the harsh fines and jail time how can you afford not to get an attorney?