If you are looking to hire a Massachusetts DUI attorney, you may be bombarded with hundreds of options.
But while there are hundreds of DUI attorneys to choose from, not all of them are created equal.
Some attorneys are experienced and excellent at what they do, while other attorneys may be inexperienced and have little idea of how to defend a drunk driving case.
To help you choose the best DUI attorney for your case, keep these ten tips in mind:
- Concentration. A lawyer who has two Harvard degrees is of no use to you if his concentration is bankruptcy law. You have to make sure that the lawyer you hire concentrates not just in criminal defense, but DUI defense. Drunk driving law is very specific and you will want to hire an attorney who understands all the nuances of the law.
- Experience. It’s one thing to call yourself a DUI attorney, it’s another thing to actually be a DUI attorney. Ask each prospective attorney how many cases they’ve handled in the past, how many trials they’ve done, and the success of their prior cases.
- References and Referrals. If you know someone who had been charged with a DUI, you can ask about his experience with his attorney and a possible referral. You can also ask the attorney for referrals and talk to actual clients that he had represented.
- Internet Research. You can also perform some research on the Internet regarding a prospective attorney. Some user-review websites like Yelp or Avvo provide reviews, ratings, and comments from past clients.
- Meeting. It’s important to feel comfortable with your attorney and have a good relationship. You will need to trust your attorney and feel confident trusting him with your personal information. This can only be accomplished at a face-to-face meeting. Sometimes you may not hit it off with even the most credentialed attorney. You’ll need to find a balance between comfort and competence in your lawyer.
- Representation. Oftentimes, you may talk to an attorney at the initial interview and that person may be different from the person who will actually be working on your case. For example, many partners or senior attorneys handle client meetings, while their associates actually perform the work defending your case. You want to make sure that you know who will be representing you and that you are comfortable with that person.
- Fees. You should have some general idea of how much you will have to pay for the attorney’s services. While most attorneys will not pinpoint a number (this is okay), you should understand how you will be billed, what services and fees will be charged, and have a rough idea what you will have to pay.
- Follow-Up. You will inevitably have questions about your case and want to talk to your attorney. Ask the lawyer how you can ask questions and if you can contact him directly via phone or text message. You want an attorney who maintains open lines of communication and keeps you in the loop.
- Discussion. During the initial consultation, you may bring up some specifics about your case just to see how the lawyer responds. You can get a good idea of the attorney’s handle over the subject matter by reviewing his response.
- Shop Around. As mentioned above, there are literally hundreds of Massachusetts DUI attorneys to choose from. Shop around and talk to several lawyers. Make sure you feel comfortable before settling on the attorney you hire.
There is a lot at stake in a DUI trial. You can face criminal penalties and possibly go to jail. As a result, you will want to make sure you hire the best DUI attorney for you. Keep these tips in mind as you search.