Most people don’t think in advance when it comes to having a lawyer by their side so they look for one when they get an upcoming case. You can’t predict if you will need one in the future but knowing who to call is very important because some trials can change your life. A good attorney can get you out of any situation but it will also cost.
If you don’t know anyone, ask your family members for a recommendation or look for a DUI attorney near me online because most of them have an online presence and they are in the database of your city office. This is very beneficial because you can check how long they are working and how good they are. But, there is much more to it than just finding the best in the business.
Hiring a Lawyer
There are multiple ways you can find one, you can ask for a free referral program but it would be better if your friends know someone or for you to search for yourself. Don’t make the decision right away because there are many possibilities and you would want to get to know them before hiring. Make a list of potential candidates and give them a visit with a set of questions related to the issue you have, in this case, DUI.
You can evaluate their experience and backgrounds online by reading reviews. The best choice would be someone in your area that is familiar with the prosecutors and judges. It would be much easier for them to present the case to someone they already worked with for several years. When you are doing research, make sure they have a lot of experience with DUI cases. Read more about it here: https://www.wikihow.com/Select-a-Criminal-Defense-Attorney
Schedule a Consultation
It would be ideal if you get an interview with at least 2 or 3 attorneys to find out which one suits your needs. Usually, all criminal-defense attorneys will have a free consultation. They probably have other work to do but they can give you their opinion on which you will decide who to hire. If they have time to work on it, you will fill out the information form so they can check it out and get back to you.
It’s hard for them to cover all the information you provide on a free consultation so make sure you prepare a list of questions. You probably don’t know too much about the law so it can be hard to understand all the terms. Ask them about their past work and how many DUI trials they won. You want someone that is best but also someone that you can afford.
Once you finished with the consultation, you can compare them and see who is the most qualified to represent you. One of the most important things to check is the fees especially if you have a tight budget. Don’t look for the cheapest option because they might not be the best choice. A large portion of them is willing to negotiate and don’t ignore your gut feeling if you think someone is great. You should feel confident by their side and trustworthy.
Understanding the Process
Unless you plead guilty you will appear in the court a few times and each time it will be different. The first step would be to hear criminal charges against you and file for an attorney if you need one. They can provide one for free but that doesn’t always turn out great. This is called an arraignment and the plea can be no contest, guilty or not guilty.
You will arrive before the judge with the prosecutor after you plead not guilty. They would need to convince the judge otherwise and they can call witnesses. The most important part would be the trial where the defendant is choosing a jury, deliver closing arguments, present witnesses and deliver opening statements. Read more here.
Preparing for the Trial
The moment you go to visit your lawyer, you are preparing for the trial because you are letting them know the information they need to win. If you want to fight against your charges, you need to preserve all the evidence you have. You should know that they will destroy all the evidence after 90 days. You will need to send them a letter before 90 days expire where you are requesting the video or police report.
A great thing is that there are many ways you can defend yourself like stating that the policeman didn’t have sufficient reason to stop you so there would be any further investigation. They could rely on a wrong anonymous tip or racially profiled you. You should remember everything that happened so you can describe the situation to your lawyer and they can figure which is the best way to defend.
Another example is to tell the judge that the officer wasn’t properly trained to administer a sobriety test and they did it wrong. The tests could be compromised and they should take another one. There are many tips and tricks you probably don’t know about but your attorney does if they went through it many times. Of course, it would be best if you didn’t have any charges against you.
How to Behave When You Get Stopped?
The way you behave when you get pulled over can mean the difference between getting arrested or not. It’s important that you follow their instruction but it doesn’t mean you should accept everything they say. For example, you can decline the sobriety test and accept a breathalyzer test. Check if they have their camera on because the evidence is the key in these situations.
Many people make a mistake and start talking too much in these situations. The best thing would be to remain silent and only provide what they ask for. You don’t need to tell them where you are going and what you are doing, you can just tell them that you are not required to provide that information. You could also avoid consenting to any search.