Getting arrested on a DUI charge can be scary. Besides possibly spending the night in jail, you are facing the loss of your driving privileges, hundreds of dollars in fines and court costs, and possibly your freedom. Especially if you have a prior offense or two on your record, a lot could be at stake.
You already know that your best chance at a fair resolution that minimizes the charges’ impact on your life is to hire a defense attorney. But there are a lot of lawyers in San Diego who advertise themselves as practicing DUI defense. How can you find the one who will deliver the best results? What should you look for when hiring a defense attorney?
The most important asset to look for
Perhaps the most essential quality that a good DUI defense attorney can have is experience. The more DUI cases a lawyer has handled, the better they know the law and court procedures, and the more likely they have dealt with a case like yours before. Time spent as a prosecutor can also help them see things from that side’s perspective and strategize accordingly. A deep background of drinking and driving cases adjudicated makes it easier to tailor an effective strategy for each new client.
An impressive case history
That experience should translate to a record of success. An attorney you are interviewing should be able to point to cases similar to yours that they have handled successfully. This means both reaching plea bargains that kept their clients out of jail and winning dismissals and not-guilty verdicts when the prosecution’s case was weak or based on illegally obtained evidence. A strong track record also creates respect among judges, police and prosecutors, who will know that the attorney will not let their client get railroaded into a bad plea deal or unjust verdict.
A person you can work with
Finally, you and your attorney should have compatible personalities. You will be working together closely and need to be able to get along and trust each other. Otherwise, your lawyer will not be as effective as they can be.
Once you find the right defense attorney to represent you, DUI charges often feel less frightening. Whatever happens, you can be assured of fair treatment by the court and an outcome that respects your rights.