Posted in Atlanta DUI Lawyer on May 20, 2020
Drunk driving charges can lead to severe consequences for a Georgia driver. A DUI charge can impact every aspect of your life from your career to your family and personal relationships. You must act quickly to protect your driving privileges and try to avoid criminal penalties.
Do You Need a DUI Lawyer to Handle Your Drunk Driving Charges?
The first step to take after being arrested for DUI is to find the right DUI lawyer for you. You need an attorney who has extensive experience handling DUI cases ranging from first time DUI to Georgia felony DUI.
Each decision you make after being stopped for drunk driving impacts the outcome of your criminal case. Without an attorney to advise you of your legal rights, you could make a mistake that results in losing your driver’s license, significant jail time, or having to install an ignition interlock device.
Attorneys who practice DUI defense understand what is at stake. They understand the DUI laws in Georgia and the defense strategies that may help you avoid the worst penalties for a drunk driving conviction. In short, they can mean the difference between time spent in jail and time spent with family and friends.
However, not all DUI attorneys provide the same level of representation.
Find the Right DUI Lawyer to Handle Your Criminal Case
Begin with a Short List
As you begin searching for a DUI attorney to handle your case, it can be helpful to prepare a list of attorneys to research. Ask family members and friends for recommendations. Someone who has firsthand experience dealing with a DUI attorney can give the best recommendation of that attorney’s skills, experience, and performance.
You can also ask another attorney who that attorney would choose if he or she needed a DUI attorney. Even if an attorney does not practice criminal law, most attorneys are familiar with criminal law attorneys in the area. They know who they would call if they or a family member were facing a DUI charge.
Research and Evaluate
Research the attorneys on your list. Take time to read the information on each attorney’s website, including their biographies and reviews. You can gain a lot of information about an attorney’s experience and skills by the information on the law firm’s website.
Check online for reviews and ratings. You can check with the state bar association for complaints or grievances filed against a specific attorney. Don’t forget to check social media sites for reviews.
When evaluating the attorneys on your list, make sure that you consider where the attorney is located. It can be beneficial to choose a local attorney.
Local attorneys are familiar with the courts and prosecutors who will handle your case. A local attorney is familiar with the process and procedures, as well as how various DUI cases are typically resolved in that jurisdiction.
Meet with the Attorneys
You may need to meet with several attorneys before finding the right DUI lawyer for you. While you may speak to several attorneys on the telephone, it is important to have a face-to-face meeting with the attorneys on your shortlist.
When you narrow down the list to two or three attorneys, meet with each of the attorneys in the attorneys’ offices. It can be difficult to judge an attorney’s communication skills and personality from a telephone conversation.
Experience and skills are essential, but you also need to feel comfortable with the person who will be representing you in court. You should be able to speak openly and honestly with your attorney because you trust your attorney. If not, it could impact the representation you receive during the criminal case.
During your meeting, make sure you discuss the attorney’s experience handling DUI cases similar to your case. For instance, if your drunk driving charge involves endangering a child while DUI, underage DUI, or challenging a field sobriety or breath test, you need to make sure that the attorney handled these types of DUI cases in the past.
Get the Answers You Deserve
Also, ask how much of the attorney’s practice is dedicated to DUI-related cases. An attorney who practices mainly in DUI matters has more experience handling cases like your case compared to a general criminal defense attorney who handles all types of criminal cases.
Make sure you also discuss how many cases the attorney settles versus how many cases go to trial. You want both a great negotiator and a seasoned trial attorney handling your DUI case. The combination of an experienced trial attorney with a skilled negotiator gives you a better chance of a positive outcome in your case.