7 Questions to Ask Your Orange County DUI Attorney: If you’ve been pulled over and charged with driving under the influence, hiring an Orange County DUI lawyer should be one of your first steps. While some people may see this charge as a light one, it can get serious and land you in jail. A DUI lawyer will act as your legal representative to advise you on how to plea and fight to get you a favorable outcome. However, with all the Orange County DUI lawyers available, how can you figure out the right one for you? Here are some questions to ask before hiring.
What is your experience in handling DUI cases?
There are many fields of law that lawyers practice. Hiring an attorney who focuses primarily on DUI cases is vital because they’ll have specific knowledge about laws concerning your case as well as a commitment to further education in this field. Because laws are always changing, you’ll want someone familiar with the current DUI laws in Orange County. Other than specialization, your lawyer should also be experienced. While an attorney who has just come from law school may be less costly, he’ll have less experience from the law to court.
A seasoned lawyer knows the right techniques to handle the prosecution, how to question the arresting officers, how to question the legitimacy of things such as breathalyzer and sobriety tests. If a lawyer hasn’t helped someone in a DUI charge, how can he/she help you?
Have you handled a case like mine before?
Even if they’re all called DUI cases, they’re different depending on the circumstances. While being experienced in DUI law is vital, it’s also crucial that he is somewhat familiar with handling a case like yours. If they have never dealt with a case like yours, they may not know what to expect or what to do in some aspects. Knowing that your Orange County DUI attorney is ready to protect your rights and defend your interests in your unique circumstance will give you the confidence to move forward. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your representative knows what to do in every part of the process.
Are you the one who will be handling my case?
Don’t assume the individual you’re speaking to will be the one to handle your case. Some law firms send someone to handle the initial consultation, but they may not be the ones to handle your case. They’ll consult with you, determine the specifics of your case, and pass it on to another person. When meeting with an Orange County DUI lawyer, ask them if they’ll be handling the aspects of your case and not giving it to another lawyer. Seek to know who will be sitting beside you in court. You’ll want someone you’re comfortable talking to and not an inexperienced lawyer fresh out of law school.
How many DUI cases have you won?
Handling lots of DUI cases is one thing and winning the cases is another. Even though a lawyer has dealt with lots of cases in the past, seek to find out how many he/she has won. If they have won a majority of DUI cases coming along their way, then it gives some assurance that even yours can be won. But if the cases they’ve won is significantly less, how are they sure they’ll win yours? Even if cases are sometimes unpredictable and a DUI lawyer can’t guarantee a positive outcome, hiring an attorney who has won lots of cases gives you confidence and peace of mind.
What’s the best scenario in my case?
You will want your attorney to do the best they can to get you a positive outcome. But, they should also be open. You may be guilty. First, being guilty doesn’t mean you deserve the harshest punishment of a full sentence. Second, just because you’re guilty doesn’t mean that you have to plead guilty in a court of law; it may land you in serious trouble. Third, being guilty doesn’t mean that other things didn’t occur during the time of your arrest. The office may have mishandled you or even administered the breathalyzer test incorrectly. In DUI defense, you have lots of options. However, the most important thing is to have an attorney who is completely frank with you on what to expect.
How do you plan on handling my case?
Asking how a potential Orange County DUI lawyer plans on handling your case is also crucial. He should analyze the case and evidence presented to determine the best course of action. For instance, he should be able to determine whether the breathalyzer was administered correctly. He should also try to determine whether the officer abused your rights during arrest, either by misrepresenting your performance on tests or by seeing if they followed proper procedures for your arrest. There may be witnesses at the time of arrest who can testify that you didn’t appear intoxicated. You always have options in your DUI case. Your lawyer should evaluate your case and have a plan to better fight for you.
What are your charges?
Even though experience and knowledge are more important than price, you may not afford every lawyer who comes your way. That means knowing their charges upfront is crucial. Just as you wouldn’t hire the cheapest neurosurgeon to work on your brain, consider paying for value. However, paying a lot of money may push your budget. Look for the best lawyer who you can afford. Also, be sure to ask if there are any hidden charges apart from what you’ve agreed. For instance, some may charge hidden fees to interview witnesses and file motions. You should ask these and other relevant questions about pricing during the initial consultation.
Orange County DUI lawyers should be the first people to contact if you’ve been charged with a case like this. While some people may argue that it’s more costly as compared to self-representation, a seasoned lawyer knows how to navigate the complicated field of law and get you a positive outcome. He can offer you the best legal representation to get your punishment lessened or expunged. If you’re having a hard time determining whether a particular attorney is good for you, ask the questions we’ve discussed to make the right decision.