If you’ve been charged with a DUI, you may be facing loss of your driver’s license, fines, Drug & Alcohol Education classes, community service or jail time. An experienced criminal defense attorney who is well-versed in Pennsylvania DUI law will protect your rights and guide you through the process. The following tips and questions can give you the knowledge you need to choose wisely.
First Steps to Take
Ask around for recommendations and search the internet for attorneys you are interested in hiring. Once you have narrowed it down to a few, call to set up an appointment for a meeting. Make sure to bring any court documentation, bail papers, police reports and other relevant documents.
Background & Experience
There are different types of criminal defense lawyers, so it’s important to learn about an attorney’s specific background and experience. Consider asking:
- Which law school did you attend? When did you graduate?
- How many years have you been practicing criminal law and representing clients facing DUI charges?
- How many DUI clients have you represented?
- How often do you take DUI cases to trial?
- How often are you in the court where my case will be heard?
- Are you familiar with the prosecutor in my case?
Before an attorney can give you feedback about your options, he or she needs to understand the charges and evidence. Answer any questions an attorney asks you with candor. Once you have talked about your case, ask these questions:
- Is a plea agreement a possibility? Would you recommend it?
- Should we go to trial?
- How does the court process work? What should I expect?
- How long will do you think my case will take to come to a resolution?
Some additional relevant questions you may want to ask include:
- Will anyone else be working on my case? Can I meet them?
- Who will be representing me in court?
- How quickly can I expect a response if I need to contact you?
- How do you prefer to be contacted?
- How often will I receive updates on the status of my case?
Most DUI lawyers charge an hourly rate or will litigate your case for a flat fee. Fees do not always cover everything, so it is important to be clear about how you will be charged to avoid surprises down the road.
Hiring a DUI Attorney
After meeting with the DUI attorneys on your list, you will want to make a decision in a timely manner so he or she can start working on your case. If you hit it off with one of the lawyers on your list and you’re confident that they are qualified to represent you, go for it. If not, a few questions to ask yourself may be:
- Which attorney had the experience I need for the best outcome in my case?
- Which one offered advice I found most helpful?
- With which attorney was I most comfortable?
- Whose legal fees can I afford?
If you are considering hiring a defense attorney for your DUI case, our experienced lawyers in West Chester and Delaware County will protect your rights and ensure you get the best representation possible.