Will the Courts Be Lenient Towards a First Time DUI Offender?
Even if it is a first offense, the driver should take a DUI very seriously because the court is not going to take it easy. The court is obligated by law to impose certain minimum mandatory conditions for different DUI offenses, even for first time offense. So even for a first offense, the law says if there is a guilty plea or a conviction, you have to impose this, you have to impose this fine, you have to impose this much jail, you have to impose this treatment – and if the driver doesn’t want to get those minimum fines, then they need to get the charge thrown out or to get it reduced down.
Most of the time they cannot do that unless they have a DUI attorney and all of those collateral consequences like costs of probation, the costs of insurance, they are all going to be there. Get a DUI attorney and try to get the case thrown out or get it reduced down so it does not have those long term collateral consequences.
What Are Some Red Flags To Look For When Retaining A DUI Attorney?
Some of red flags would be, when you first call the attorneys office, do you get to speak with the attorney? It can be hard to catch the attorneys in their office because they’re busy in court. If you do not get to speak with the attorney, how soon does he return your call? If you have a guy that doesn’t call you back for a couple of days, then I would consider that to be a red flag. Next you could ask about background qualification. Attorneys are supposed to do their continuing legal education, go through a certain amount of training each year.
One of the simple questions would be, how many areas of law do you practice, and if they are practicing more than two or three areas of law then you might want to consider that to be a red flag. If the attorney quotes a low price over the phone without speaking to you too much, maybe less than a thousand dollars, then you might want to consider that a red flag. If they’re charging you that little, it’s likely they aren’t going to be putting very much time into your case.
Another red flag would be if the guy over the phone guarantees that your case is going to be dismissed and that your driver’s license is not going to be suspended. Be wary of that guy. Those would be some things to be concerned about – big promises in your initial conversation, if you did not get a return call, and being quoted a guaranteed victory for under $1,000. I would be worried about any of those things.
Any Other Recommendations About Retaining A DUI Defense Attorney?
Once you have spoken with maybe two or three attorneys and you’ve got maybe an instinct or feeling about who to go with, I would call them back again and see how willing they are to speak with you about follow-up questions. Maybe something else pops into your mind; call back the law office, see if you can get a hold of the attorney. See if he will take the time to speak with you and discuss your case a little bit more, because ultimately that is going to happen later on down the road if you do hire them. Something undoubtedly is going to come in your mind; can you get a hold of him? Can you communicate with him?
You might want to make another visit to the office. Same kind of idea; is he willing to meet with you and spend some time with you? Answer any additional questions? You could even go and observe them in court and ask him when he has another hearing. Go to court and watch him handle another case if you’re still trying to make that decision. One of the most important things when you’re hiring an attorney is can you communicate with him? Are they returning your calls? Are they willing to meet with you and show a real interest in helping you defend your case?
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