Steps On How To Find A DUI Lawyer For Your Drunk Driving Legal Case

Experience in Drunk Driving Cases

Years ago, back when the yellow pages were the primary form of advertisement, the phone book listed hundreds of lawyers claiming to be “DUI Specialists.” None of these lawyers were members of the National College for DUI Defense, but these same lawyers also practiced personal injury, probate, medical malpractice, divorce, child custody, etc. One might wonder, with all these areas of practice, how these old DUI Specialists had time to learn the science of breath and blood testing and winning strategies for defending a drunk driving case. The bottom-line was that these specialists specialized in pleading people to impaired driving.

In the last few years, there has been explosion of websites with lawyers claiming to be drunk driving experts. It takes very little effort to claim to be an experienced drunk driving lawyer, and a good website designer can make an inexperienced lawyer look remarkable. Many of these websites are run by nonlawyers who offer to sell spots to lawyers, renting out the page on a monthly basis.

The average person facing a drunk driving offense has never been charged with a criminal offense, so they have had little exposure to the criminal justice system. Lawyers tend to specialize in one or two narrow areas of practice, with far less than half practicing criminal defense. Amongst criminal defense lawyers, even fewer focus on drunk driving defense, which has been acknowledged as a specialized area of law by the American Bar Association. That said, however, nearly every general practitioner has handled a drunk driving case, and many lawyers view these cases as an easy source of revenue.

Your prior experience with lawyers is probably very limited, if you have any experience at all. You probably don’t know what attorneys normally charge or how to distinguish a mediocre lawyer from a great lawyer. A lot of people rely upon word of mouth, which isn’t necessarily a bad place to start, but word of mouth assumes that your friends and family know a good drunk driving lawyer. You can turn to a local attorney, but chances are pretty good you’ll end up with a general practitioner or worse. Be forewarned that divorce attorneys and personal injury lawyers are more than happy to take on a drunk driving case as supplemental income, and there are no prerequisites that prevent a lawyer–regardless of the lawyer’s level of skill, knowledge, or normal area of practice–from advertising as a DUI defense lawyer.

Based upon my own experience, I have found that the typical lawyer charges anywhere from $500 to $10,000 on a drunk driving case, with an average in Wayne and Oakland County around $2,000. It is not unusual for a really good DUI defense lawyer to charge $15,000 or more on a case. With the tremendous difference in price, and little exposure to the lawyers out on the market, it can be difficult to find the right lawyer for your case

Choosing a DUI Defense Attorney

Is the Attorney’s Primary Focus DUI and Criminal Defense?

One of the most complicated and complex areas of criminal law is DUI and Drunk Driving Defense. A skilled DUI Defense Attorney must  have a working knowledge and understanding of all of the chemical testing devices used in the case, principles of toxicology, and well as an understanding of what constitutes as “probable cause” for stopping a motorist by law enforcement.

Is the lawyer a member of the National College for DUI Defense?

The National College for DUI Defense is a college that is held each year on the campus of Harvard law School and is made up of some of the best and most dedicated lawyers in the United States. Anyone who is a member certainly is serious about DUI defense. The College also is the only body authorized by the American Bar Association to issue certification in the recognized legal specialty of  DUI defense

Is the lawyer well known in the field of DUI defense?

As is any profession, some individuals always standout, and are highly regarded and well respected.  Hanna & Ruud, LLC, is recognized as an industry leader in DUI and Criminal Defense. Our Attorneys have been featured in national magazines and publications.

Tips For Choosing The Right DUI Lawyer

Not all that long ago, an arrest – or even a conviction – for driving under the influence was really not that big of a deal in the United States. Most people received nothing more than the proverbial “slap on the wrist” for a first time DUI. Today, however, an arrest for DUI is taken seriously as a result of a concerted effort by advocacy groups and government agencies to bring awareness to the public regarding the dangers of drinking and driving. If you were recently arrested in Omaha, Nebraska for DUI, the most important thing you can do at this point is to retain the services of an experienced Nebraska DUI attorney. If you have never had the need to hire a criminal defense attorney before, the following tips may help you choose the right DUI lawyer for you and your case.

Consider your situation. Before you start looking for an attorney, make sure you understand the charges against you, consider your game plan, and set a budget. Each of these will be important when choosing an attorney. Choosing an attorney whose practice is devoted entirely, or at least primarily, to criminal defense is essential because you don’t want an attorney who spends the majority of his/her time reviewing contracts to represent you in a criminal prosecution. Even better, look for an attorney who has a practice that is focused even more narrowly on DUI cases. Also, consider how you wish to resolve your case – plea agreement or trial because some defense attorneys have a reputation for negotiating great plea agreements while others almost always go to trial so it is important to consider which direction you are inclined to go with your case. Finally, there can be a fairly wide range of fees charged by attorneys. Usually, although not always, the disparity in fees reflects the disparity in experience. While this is not the time to shop for bargains, you do need to know how much you can afford to pay an attorney before you set out to hire one.

Ask friends, family members, and co-workers for a referral. Understandably, you may be reluctant to discuss your situation with people you know. Being arrested and charged with a crime is usually not something people are excited about sharing with others. You might be surprised, however, at how many people you know have either been arrested for driving under the influence themselves or had a close loved one who was. The reality is that being arrested for a DUI is just not that shocking, or uncommon, in the United States. A referral offers you first-hand information about an attorney. It isn’t just the positive feedback that can be helpful either. Sometimes, the negative experiences people you know had with the attorney can be just as helpful as the positive feedback.

Search the internet. Choosing an attorney based solely on the attorney’s website is never a good idea; however, you can obtain a wealth of information by searching the internet for a Nebraska criminal defense attorney. You will likely find an attorney’s biography, the areas of the law the attorney practices, and how long the lawyer has been in practice, among other helpful information. Sometimes an attorney’s bio instantly resonates with a client, ultimately resulting in a successful attorney-client relationship.

Schedule consultations. Most Nebraska criminal defense attorneys will offer a free, or low cost, initial consultation. Once you have a short list of potential attorneys, schedule initial consultations with them to discuss your case. Be sure to prepare for the meetings by gathering documents and making copies for the attorney, preparing questions you have for the attorneys, and preparing yourself to answer some tough questions the attorney may have for you. By the time you are done with your consultations you should be ready to choose an attorney for your case.

CHOOSING THE BEST DUI ATTORNEY

HOW TO OBTAIN A SKILLED DRUNK DRIVING DEFENSE LAWYER

Like most individuals arrested and accused of driving under the influence, you probably have little or no experience with the legal system and the proper way to find a criminal defense lawyer for DUI charges. If you had a heart problem, you would want a heart specialist as opposed to an eye doctor, and the same thinking should apply to the lawyer you choose. Retain legal counsel that is experienced and knowledgeable in this area of the law.

Unfortunately, finding the right Marin County DUI attorney can be a confusing process, as there is a lot of misinformation on websites and mailers. Here some of the things to watch out for:

False and misleading claims regarding DUI success rates. One of the most common is the claim that they get the DUI charges against their clients dismissed in a high percentage of their cases. The truth is that defendants are most often charged with two DUI offenses: driving under the influence and driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or above. When a guilty plea is entered for one of the two charges, the other is almost always dismissed.

Claims of being recognized as a Top 10% Trial Lawyer or similar boast. They pay for the plaque and badge to put on their website and there is no substance to it at all.

Numerous online reviews that appear to be written in the same style and with shallow content.

Solicitations mailed to your home. There are two types of lawyers doing it. One is the marketing pro who never goes to court and has inexperienced lawyers handling everything. The other is the lawyer desperate for business.

What to Look For:

A good place to start when choosing the best DUI lawyer for your case is to ask people in and around Marin County who are in a position to know. Visit the local courthouse and ask bailiffs, clerks, public defenders, and other attorneys the same question, “which DUI lawyer would you recommend?”

Here are some other important questions to ask when you are looking for the right DUI attorney to represent you:

Is the lawyer Board-Certified by the National College for DUI Defense, as approved by the American Bar Association?

Does the lawyer hold an A-V rating by Martindale-Hubbell™? (This is the highest ranking an attorney can obtain from other lawyers).

Has the lawyer received special training in chemical testing and field sobriety tests?

Will the lawyer personally handle your case, or are they just a slick marketer who will farm your case out to an inexperienced associate?

Does the lawyer ever take DUI cases to trial?

Is the lawyer based in San Rafael, or are they just paying for a mail drop address at 4040 Civic Center Dr.?

How long has the lawyer been in practice?

HOW DO I FIND THE BEST DUI DEFENSE LAWYERS?

SPEAKING FROM EXPERIENCE

Frederick Slone has successfully defended DUI cases in the state of Alaska for over 30 years. At Kasmar & Slone, you’re assured of being represented by a lawyer who understands drunk driving laws, what it takes to build a solid successful defense, and one who will guide you through this ordeal.

ATTORNEY REFERRALS

The best way to find an experienced drunk driving defense lawyer is by reputation. Ask other lawyers in the area for recommendations as to the best DUI attorneys. Ask them who THEY would hire if arrested for a drunk driving offense.

NATIONAL COLLEGE FOR DUI DEFENSE

Another excellent source for finding an experienced and competent drunk driving defense attorney is the National College For DUI Defense, a non-profit legal organization committed to the education and training of DUI defense lawyers. The College admits DUI attorneys selectively.

ATTORNEYS COMMITTED TO DUI DEFENSE -VS- DABBLERS

As drunk driving cases can be very complex, you should look for an attorney who devotes the majority of his or her practice to the defense of DUI cases

TRUST IS PARAMOUNT

Above all, you must have a sense of comfort and confidence about your case after meeting with an attorney. If you don’t trust the attorney, you should look further.

How To Hire The Best Criminal Defense Attorney

5 Reasons to Become a Defense Attorney

While there are multiple types of law you can practice after graduating from law school and passing the bar, you may want to look at some of the top reasons to become a defense attorney.

The criminal justice system in America relies heavily on both defense attorneys and prosecuting attorneys. Prosecutors are the ones who bring forth evidence to charge a suspected criminal, while a defense attorney attempts to defend that person and show why the individual is not guilty. Working as a defense attorney is a good option for those who want to help others.

Follow the Constitution

The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution gives all American citizens the right to legal counsel and legal representation. Working as a defense attorney gives you the chance to learn more about constitutional law and to follow the standards put forth in that document. While you may work with poor clients, you can also work with wealthier clients too.

Protect the Rights of Others

One of the top reasons to become a defense attorney is because you have the chance to protect the rights of others. Laws require that prosecutors gather enough evidence to present to a judge and jury that proves without a reasonable doubt that a suspected criminal is guilty. As a defense attorney, you need to show that your client is innocent or that there is not enough evidence to prosecute. You essentially protect the rights of clients from criminal prosecution.

Make More Money

Defense attorneys can make quite a bit of money. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the median salary for lawyers is nearly $116,000 a year. Those making the highest salaries are those working for private firms and in private practice. The clients who come to you have the money necessary to pay your costs as well as the cost of hiring any experts to work on that case. You can also work for a local agency that provides free or reduced cost legal services for clients who make less money.

Have More Flexibility

During your time in law school, you’ll hear horror stories about what it’s like working in a law firm as a recent graduate. You’ll hear about attorneys working 60 hours or more a week and how new lawyers seldom have time for themselves. One of the reasons to become a defense attorney though is that defense attorneys often have more flexible schedules than other lawyers do. Once you gain more experience, you can decide which cases you want to take on and how you want to divide up the work. You can use associates and others in your practice to prepare for that case without that case taking over your life.

Help Those Who Cannot Help Themselves

One of the top reasons to become a defense attorney is because you’ll have the chance to help others who cannot help themselves. Working in a legal aid office or for a civil rights organization lets you work on cases that involve an individual charged with a crime who does not have the financial means to hire a lawyer. These clients may suffer from mental diseases, have a lack of education or have a history of criminal activities in the past. With your help, they can escape their criminal charges.

Job Description

Criminal defense lawyers typically work at least 40 hours a week, but longer hours are common. Additionally, work hours may be irregular because evenings and weekends may be required by clients or law firms. New criminal defense lawyers usually join up with an existing firm; however many go on to open up their own firms. Criminal defense lawyers regularly travel to courtrooms, law libraries, prisons, hospitals, offices and the homes of clients.

Research and case preparation are the two main duties performed outside of actual trials. Criminal defense lawyers examine evidence, laws and statues, and past judicial rulings in order to build up the strength of their arguments. Once all this research is gathered, a criminal defense lawyer prepares it by creating an effective argument strategy for the courtroom. When in the courtroom, a criminal defense lawyer must constantly adapt and choose the most effective argumentative methods available to them in order to win a case.

Responsibilities:

  • Conduct research and analyze a case to determine a probable outcome and devise an effective strategy to defend your client/s in court.
  • Interpret laws for clients and help them to understand their legal options.
  • Aim to resolve cases as quickly and favorably as possible.
  • Represent clients at arraignments, hearings, and court trials.
  • Present evidence to a judge and/or jury should the case go to trial.
  • Prepare and draft legal documents, including legal briefs and appeals.
  • Negotiate plea negotiations, punishments, and settlements.
  • Undergo ongoing training to stay updated about changes and new developments in the legal field.
  • Conduct yourself in an ethical and professional manner at all times.

WHAT QUALITIES SHOULD A PERTH CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER HAVE?

Communication – The interaction between you and your lawyer is extremely important. It’s vital that you have a criminal lawyer who is easily approachable and can communicate legal advice to you honestly and in a way that you clearly understand. Your criminal lawyer should be a good listener, as he is a speaker, so your queries and concerns can be considered and properly answered. Effective communication with your lawyer will assist you to understand of the law as it relates to your charges, the plea options available to you, the court procedure, and the potential legal issues that may arise during the court process. Good communication facilitates a client-lawyer relationship built on confidence and trust.

Understanding – The criminal lawyer should be understanding and empathetic to the stressful and emotional impact that the criminal charges are taking on you. The lawyer should have respect for your reputation, concern for your safety and well- being, as well as concern for the direction that your case is headed. The criminal lawyer should ensure that you understand what measures can be taken to minimise public exposure and to maintain privacy during the court process.

Consideration & Preparation – A criminal lawyer should carefully consider the evidence giving rise to the factual allegations of the criminal charges and provide you with honest advice about your case. The lawyer should be thorough and detailed in the preparation of your case for trial and consider all possible defences that may be raised at the trial.

Representation – The criminal defence lawyer should be a good speaker and maintain commitment, determination and focus to achieve the best possible result in court for you. The representation should be strategic in its approach. The defences to your charge should also be communicated and presented in a way that is clearly understood by a Judge or Jury.

Can a lawyer get you out of anything, as long as you haven’t talked or incriminated yourself?

Absolutely not. If there is evidence against you which proves the case, then there is evidence against you which proves the case. If there is enough evidence, even if you never say a word, then you might still be convicted. There have been times when very good lawyers in combination with just the right jury have allowed people to be acquitted of crimes that they were clearly guilty of. But those are a combination of a lot of skill on the part of the attorneys, (often) a lot of money on the part of the client, a lot of luck on the part of picking the right jury, and frequently, mistakes on the part of the prosecution.

Fatal Car Accident Lawyer

TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE RIGHT CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER

Parting Thoughts

Picking a car accident lawyer isn’t that different from picking any other professional. Get recommendations, pick someone with experience who you can also tolerate, and choose someone who communicates well with you.

Pick Someone You Can Stand

It might seem trivial, but legal cases can drag on for a long time. If the thought of dealing with a person you dislike for a long period of time makes you shudder, pick someone you’ll actually get along with. After all, you don’t hire a mechanic or a plumber you dislike or distrust.

Pick Someone Who Plays Hardball With Insurance Companies

Car accidents mean dealing with insurance companies. Insurance companies want you leaving with as little as possible, so they will offer the smallest settlement they think you will accept.

Choose A Lawyer Who Communicates

Have you ever dated someone who never seemed to take your calls or answer your text messages? It’s frustrating and can sour the relationship, right? The relationship with your lawyer should never look like this.

Things to Look for When Choosing a Car Accident Lawyer

Experience

Ask the lawyer about their experience. Make sure they have specific experience handling car accident cases. You will also want to be sure they have experience arguing cases in court and have a winning track record.

An organized office space

The more organized their office looks, the more organized they probably are. Keep an eye on how their staff does their work and how tidy the lawyer’s desk is. If they have to shuffle through piles of paper in order to find what they’re looking for while their staff struggles to handle incoming calls, they’re probably not very organized, which doesn’t reflect well on their ability to handle your case.

Willingness to provide references

Always ask a lawyer for a list of references you can contact and speak to. These references should speak to the reputation of the lawyer. Even if you don’t contact their references, you can have confidence in the fact that they provided them to you. A lawyer that doesn’t have references or won’t provide you with any should be avoided.

Choosing an Auto Accident Lawyer

How Much Are Auto Accident Lawyer Fees?

Before you hire a lawyer, it is important that you understand the fee arrangement. You must understand how you are supposed to pay the attorney. It is impossible to tell exactly how much work will be required for a case and because of this attorney’s fees can be more or less than originally expected. If you have any concerns about attorney’s fees, be sure to discuss them with them before signing anything.

How Do I Decide on an Auto Accident Lawyer?

After meeting with a lawyer and discussing your case, you will be better prepared to make a decision on whether or not to hire them. After the meeting, ask yourself the following questions.

What Should I Ask when I Meet with a Lawyer?

When you meet with a auto accident lawyer you should have as much detailed information and facts about the car accident and any injuries or financial losses as possible. It is also important that you feel comfortable with him/her. If you feel that you cannot have a positive relationship with them, find another one. There are many lawyers who are happy and willing to help you so be sure to find the right one. If you feel comfortable with them, then here are some questions you should ask.

Types of Motor Vehicle Accidents We Handle

The circumstances of each auto accident will vary almost as much as the resulting damage. Our car accident attorneys handle all types of accident cases. In addition to cases which simply involve violation of traffic laws, we also handle complex cases, such as those resulting from:

  • Drunk or drowsy driving
  • Vehicle rollover
  • Defective roadways or poor signage
  • Defective vehicles
  • Distracted driving
  • Weather conditions

In large cities like Atlanta, Houston, and New York, commuters and pedestrians battle traffic congestion on a daily basis. This increases the chance that even the most careful driver will at some point be involved in a wreck. Getting the right help and advice is the most important thing you can do for your future.

What questions should I ask when I meet with an attorney?

Remember that this is essentially an interview—you are interviewing a prospective contractor to determine if you feel comfortable with this person and whether or not you can trust him or her. Interview several attorneys and law firms as you are searching for a car accident attorney. Ask questions such as:

  • How long have you been practicing law?
  • Do you handle other types of cases or do you focus your practice on car accidents?
  • How many cases do you handle at one time?
  • How do you communicate with clients to keep them informed of the progress in the case?
  • How can I reach you (i.e. telephone, email, cell phone, text, etc.)?
  • Will I always work with you, or will other junior attorneys and paralegals do most of the work on my case?
  • What are the terms of the fee agreement? Do I receive an itemized bill for your services?