If you are charged with a DUI, you may be faced with choosing one of hundreds of options for a Los Angeles DUI defense attorney.
Choosing the right DUI attorney is extremely important, as you have very high stakes in the outcome of the case. A DUI conviction can lead to jail time, monetary fines, and a criminal record that can follow you for life.
To help you choose an attorney, here are five tips to remember:
- The "best lawyers" don't necessarily go to the "best" law schools. Just because your attorney went to Stanford, this does not necessarily mean that he is the best attorney for you. You want to hire someone who's experienced with DUI cases and understands the intricacies of the law. You don't want a patent attorney arguing to keep you out of jail.
- Beware the bait-and-switch. Make sure the lawyer you talk to is the lawyer who will work on your case. Sometimes, a highly qualified attorney will talk to you, but then he'll pass the case on to his new (and less experienced) associate. Ask the attorney you talk to if he will handle your case personally.
- Be wary of sleaziness. If the most highly qualified attorney sets off your "sleaze radar," you may want to keep shopping. You have to feel comfortable talking to your attorney, and sometimes the attorney with the best education and experience is not right for you.
- Shop around. The fact that there are so many attorneys to choose from is a good thing. Shop around until you find the right attorney.
- Know how much you'll have to pay. Not many lawyers will give you a specific number for costs, but you should have a good idea regarding how much you'll have to pay. This includes knowing how fees are determined and which costs are extra.
- Search for a Los Angeles DUI Attorney (FindLaw)
- California DUI Laws (FindLaw)
- Consequences of Refusing a Breathalyzer in California (FindLaw's Los Angeles DUI Blog)
- The FindLaw Guide to DUI Charges (FindLaw - Free Download)