Every day, people around the United States drive under the influence (DUI) of alcohol about 300,000 times. That being said, fewer than four thousands of these drivers are caught. When a driver is caught and charged with the DUI, this is typically the 80th time they have done this. If you are helping someone who has been arrested and charged with this crime, you need to find a DUI law firm to help you with your case. Here are some ways to do that.
- Talk to people you know. People do not advertise the fact that they have been arrested for a DUI so you may not know if one of your friends or family members has been arrested. Ask around and the chances are decent that you know someone who has used a criminal defense attorney or knows someone else who has. You may not end up going with the same person but it will give you a good starting point.
- Look for law firms in your area. It is possible to be represented by a DUI lawyer who is not in your city but it makes a lot more sense to talk to people who are local to you. Depending on the complexity of your case, you are going to want to have the option of meeting in person with the DUI attorneys and that is easiest when they practice near you.
- Look online. There are a number of websites you can check. There is the American Bar Association and NOLO. You can also check, Yelp, Angie’s List and Facebook for law firms. Many cities, towns and localities set up Facebook pages and groups that are set up to promote local businesses and services. Be wary of negative reviews that are left anonymously. People are much more likely to complain than compliment so take any of these with a grain of salt.
- Talk to lawyers you know. Have you ever hired a lawyer for anything? No, the law firm that helped you with your divorce or bankruptcy cannot help you with your DUI case. Like medical professionals, legal professionals specialize. They may be able to point you in the right direction. They cannot say yes if you do not ask so it is worth asking.
- Make it a point to talk to at least three law firms. All criminal defense law firms offer free first consultations for prospective clients. You should take advantage of this policy. This gives them a chance to get to know you and your case and it gives you a chance to interview them. You want to think of this like you would a job interview. You are considering hiring them after all. You should take your time with this process and with these meetings. This is a normal part of the way they do business so you should not feel badly about taking the time to talk to the different law firms.
- Take in a list of questions. When you go into talk to the law firms, these are some of the questions you should ask:
- How long have you been dealing with DUI cases?
- How much of your practice is devoted to DUI cases?
- What made you go into criminal defense law?
- What made you want to do DUI cases?
- What will the timeline of my case be?
- Who will be working on my case?
- Can I meet those people? Law firms employ legal assistants, paralegals and other who will work on your case, you should have a chance to meet these people and get to know the people on your case.
- Make sure you understand the fee structure. All law firms have their own rates and process for payment. Some law firms will expect you to pay everything up front whereas other law firms will be ok with setting up a payment plan. You need to know that you can afford the law firm you are hiring and understand when the money will be due.
If you have been arrested for a DUI, it can be very scary. Spend your time and get the right law firm for your case, it can make a big difference in the outcome of your case.