Where To Look For An Experienced DUI Lawyer
A DUI charge is serious, and a conviction will have life-altering consequences. Besides the suspension of your driver’s license, you will face heavy fines, mandatory classes, community service, counseling sessions, and the possibility of jail. A DUI charge in your records will also impact your ability to keep or find a job, get housing, or enjoy educational opportunities, among many other disruptions in your life. That is why it is imperative that you consult with a lawyer specializing in DUI in Seattle, WA as soon as possible.
An experienced DUI attorney is your best bet for mitigating the damage of the offense and having someone who can guide you through the legal process as successfully and efficiently as possible. However, if this is your first time facing this frightening situation, you may be unsure how to look for an experienced DUI attorney. If so, here are some useful ideas.
Why is getting a DUI lawyer important?Facing DUI charges or any other criminal traffic violation is a serious situation. Having a qualified attorney representing you in court gives you a chance to have the charges reduced to reckless driving or maybe even dismissed. Your attorney knows how to challenge the evidence against you and what it takes to win a DUI case.
Steps to Find an Experienced DUI Attorney
Create a List of Potential LawyersYou can come up with several potential candidates by asking for recommendations from friends and family members you trust. This should be a recommendation from someone who has used the attorney’s services, and they should also be able to tell you more about the overall process and how their lawyer performed.
You may also ask for recommendations from attorneys with whom you have worked in the past. This can be an attorney who helped you purchase a property, one who helped you with a will or estate, or any other whom you know. They will likely have a network of colleagues and may have the right name for you.
Suppose you are too embarrassed to ask anyone for a recommendation. In that case, you may search online at the National College of DUI Defense, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, or the Bar Association in your state.
Determine Whether an Attorney Is Qualified to Handle Your CaseOnce you have compiled a list of potential attorneys, you need to learn about each attorney’s qualifications. Find out where they went to school, what area they specialize in, and if they are in good standing at their state bar.
Your attorney must be licensed to represent you in court. They must be licensed locally since hiring a lawyer who is licensed in another state and needs to hire a co-counsel to represent you in your state will end up costing you more money.
If you hire a local attorney, you have the benefit of working with someone who is familiar with the courts and may know the judges and prosecutors where your case will be heard. Also, the judges and prosecutors will know this attorney’s reputation, which may result in a less harsh sentence for you or even in your case getting dismissed.
Schedule a ConsultationOnce you have narrowed down the list, it is time to schedule an in-person consultation. This meeting will allow you to make up your mind as to who you feel most comfortable with or who inspires the most confidence.
Tell the lawyer about your case. By being honest and giving them as much information as you can, your attorney will be able to tell you how best to proceed. It is never recommended that you surprise your attorney with further facts about the case once it has begun.
Show the attorney any DUI-related documents you may have to allow them to understand what violations you are being charged with. Never assume that a DUI attorney will immediately know what to do with your case since every DUI is unique. If you have a copy of the police report, letters from the DMV, or any other document, bring it with you at this time.
At the end of the meeting, you should know about their experience, whether they would be the ones personally handling your case, and how much they would charge. With this information, you can decide what lawyer would work best for you.
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