If you have recently been arrested and charged with driving while under the influence, your primary concern is likely how to find the most competent DWI lawyers and choose the one that can adequately represent you during this difficult time. Penalties for first-time drunk driving offenders can range from thousands of dollars in fines and jail time to a suspended license. Here are four ways to effectively search for knowledgeable DWI lawyers.
1. Attorney Referrals
One of the most trusted ways to find and secure capable legal counsel is through referrals. Ask your friends, relatives, and co-workers for any recommendations they might have. It can be helpful to specifically ask them who they would choose to hire if they needed an experienced drunk driving lawyer. When sifting through your list of referrals, if at all possible, look at each candidate’s record and see if they have a history of aggressive defense in these types of cases.
2. Client Reviews
Perusing online client reviews can be another helpful way to locate the best advocate for your case. When using reviews, make sure to closely examine the experience of every candidate you’re considering. It’s wise to look at more than just how many years they’ve been practicing, and instead, try to find specific details about their track record in court. Online review sites can even examine your arrest details, get you in touch with the right attorneys, and then tell you how many DWI cases they’ve fought and how many they’ve won. The most glowing reviews may help you tell who has the most success in their cases, which can make a huge difference when it’s time for your court date.
3. Consult a Bar Association or Specialty Group
Every state has its own bar association, which can be a great resource in the search process. Most bar associations have services to find lawyers, as well as court system guides and ways to check for license verification. Specialty groups or professional associations can also help in the search by providing tips and information. When searching for someone with experience in drunk driving cases, consult the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, which is the professional association that governs criminal defense, or the National College for DUI Defense.
4. Set Up Face-to-Face Meetings
Once you’ve found a few possible candidates, it’s a good idea to set up face-to-face meetings. You’ll want to make sure that you won’t be charged for this visit, and you’ll want to come prepared with a list of questions. A few of the most important questions to ask are whether your case will be handled directly by the attorney and not just the staff, what expenses you will be responsible for, and the timeline for generally how long it takes to resolve these types of matters.
Choosing a high-quality criminal defense lawyer could be the difference in whether you win or lose your case. Although DWI laws vary greatly throughout the US, experienced DWI lawyers will carefully evaluate the specifics of your situation and work with you to attain the most equitable result.