Whether itís you or someone you know who has been charged
on terms of drunk driving, finding the best lawyer is a process that can be
very time consuming and stressful for anyone. Youíll want someone who is
extremely experienced and competent who at the same time lacks any unethical
One of the best ways to find a good lawyer is to ask for referrals. Whether it is your familyís lawyer himself who might know other DUI lawyers, or even a family member who has previously been convicted themselves, there are a number of different people available to you who can recommend a good lawyer. You could also go to your local courthouse and request information from bailiff or count clerk. Police officers can also be a great referral source. Simply inquire as to who they think is the best lawyer theyíve seen or who they might hire if they were facing DUI charges.
One commonly used referral service that is generally not a good place to look is the local Bar Association. The reason for this is that a lawyer who wishes to be placed on the list at the Bar Association only needs to fill out a simple request form and you will almost always simply be referred to someone random on that long list.
If you get to the point where nobody can refer you to a good lawyer, you can search the internet. Not only can you find information on good DUI attorney, but you can also find lots of useful information on DUI law itself as well as the procedure, evidence, and penalties wrapped up in the whole process. While surfing the net, you may encounter numerous internet ads, websites, and directories. These directories donít always necessarily mean these people are the best lawyers for you. They only mean someone has paid the most to have their advertisements show up on your computer.
The National College for DUI Defense is another great resource. This establishment has a website including more than 800 lawyers nationwide who are specially trained and focus mainly in drunk driving cases. Though it's important to remember that a membership in this College does not guarantee you any promises of competence or ethics, it does prove the lawyer's seriousness in DUI law. One important aspect of the College is their famous seminars including an annual 3-day class held at Harvard Law School. The American Bar Association recognizes this seminar as the ONLY organization who is proficient enough to Board-certify lawyers as specialists in DUI defense.
You should consider the following when making your decision on what lawyer you wish to hire:
* What reliable law school did the lawyer receive his accreditation from? Did they graduate from the National College for DUI Defense? Was he Board-certified?
* When a lawyer takes on DUI cases as well as criminal and civil cases, he is oftentimes not the best choice for a convicted DUI offender. You should definitely ask the attorney if he specializes solely in DUI defense.
* Is there some sort of written contract including any and all fees and initial costs that cover any outside costs such as court costs, blood reanalysis, etc.? Make sure you have all possible fees given to you up front.
* Does your lawyer have access to a lab that can reanalyze your blood samples, witnesses, and breath analysis?
* Does the attorney guarantee you anything in terms of final outcome? If so, you may want to keep looking. Making promises is not only unethical but specific results are never predictable.
* From A through V, how does the lawyer rank on Martindale-Hubbell International Directory of Attorneys?
* Check online at the State Bar Association to see if the attorney has had any complaints?
Last updated Sept. 14, 2007
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