Hiring A DUI Lawyer: What Questions Should You Ask Your Attorney?
DUI charges are serious, and the penalties are usually a combination of both administrative and criminal. You can get your license taken away, fines, and possibly jail time. You need to hire an excellent attorney and know which questions to ask to ensure you get good legal representation.
DUI charges (driving under the influence) result from being caught with a high blood alcohol content (BAC) or impaired by prescription drugs while operating a motor vehicle. Either way, the charges are severe, and you need an excellent DUI attorney to help you navigate the court system.
We want you to have the representation you deserve. Below we will tell you the most important questions to ask your prospective DUI attorney to ensure you know what to expect and get excellent legal representation.
10 Most Important Questions to Ask When Hiring a DUI Lawyer
Here are some great suggestions, but remember to ask your attorney anything that applies specifically to your circumstances about your DUI case.
#1. What is your level of experience with handling DUI charges and trial experience?
Facing DUI charges can feel overwhelming, and you are most likely nervous, upset, and worried about the long-term impact these charges or possible convictions may have on your personal and professional life. Over the years, the penalties for DUI convictions have become more severe, and hiring a qualified attorney with extensive experience and handling DUI cases in court is essential.
Ask your potential DUI attorney about their experience level of representing clients facing DUI charges. You also want to know their experience level, how many DUI cases they have gone to trial, and the results. An attorney with extensive experience in DUI and DUI-related cases will have the skill set and experience to fight for you in court.
#2. What investigative resources will you use in my DUI case?
An experienced DUI attorney must thoroughly investigate your arrest and utilize all available resources to gather documents, including the breathalyzer or blood test results, police reports, witness statements, video footage, and your statements. By doing an extensive investigation, your attorney will best be able to evaluate any evidence against you or create a solid defense for your case.
#3. What type of defense strategies would you use in my DUI case?
Every DUI case is unique, with varying circumstances and facts. A skilled DUI attorney will create a defense strategy that incorporates facts in your case, your preferential outcome, and the best possible outcome for your circumstances. They will ensure weaknesses in the case are used to your advantage. A solid defense strategy may result in charges being dropped or reduced.
#4. Based on your experience with DUI cases, what do you think is the most likely outcome of my DUI case?
When you work with a local DUI attorney, they will know the general trend that DUI cases follow based on the judge, and the court in your case will be heard. For example, certain judges may decide cases based on specific facts or be more likely to offer a plea agreement based on your circumstances. Your attorney will consider several factors, including your criminal history and past DUI convictions. There is no guarantee of the outcome of your case, but they will have a good idea based on previous experiences.
#5. What are the possible penalties for a DUI conviction in my case?
Even first-time DUI offenders in Georgia can include
- fines ranging from $300-1000
- 1-10 days in jail
- Community service
- Drivers’ license suspension
- Drug and alcohol counseling or treatment program
- DUI school
- Installation of ignition interlock
The penalties for 2nd and 3rd DUI charges are more severe.
#6. What can I do to improve the possible outcome of my case?
Depending on your circumstances, an experienced attorney will likely suggest some of the following:
- Avoid drinking as much as possible
- Don’t drink and drive
- Show up in court on time
- Voluntarily install an interlock device
- Willingly go to alcohol counseling
- Ensure you are gainfully employed
#7. Will I lose my driver’s license following a DUI arrest?
When you are arrested for a DUI, the administrative penalty in most states is an automatic driver’s license suspension unless you quickly file an appeal or request a hearing. Failing to do so will result in a suspension of your driver’s license even if you haven’t been convicted. However, occasionally a judge will grant a restricted driver’s license that allows you to drive for work or school purposes.
#8. Is it possible to avoid going to jail when convicted of a DUI?
Most first-time DUI offenders won’t receive a jail sentence; however, it is possible. For anyone who has a significant criminal history or previous DUI offense, you would likely have mandatory jail time, depending on your state’s DUI laws.
#9. Will I get a deal or plea agreement in my DUI case?
DUI charges are standard in most areas, and when the state offers a deal or plea agreement, it requires you to plead guilty to the DUI or possibly a lesser offense in exchange for a reduced penalty. For example, you may get an offer that, in exchange for pleading guilty, you will avoid jail time.
#10. How long does it take to resolve a DUI case?
Usually, a DUI case takes a few months from your arrest to the final judgment. However, the time can vary depending on the complexities of your case. Should your case proceed to trial, it will last even longer, depending on the circumstances and the court’s trial calendar. Therefore, you must be patient with your attorney and allow them ample time to build a strong case and reach the best solution.
Criminal Defense Attorney Andrew L. Schwartz Is Here To Help You
If you face a DUI charge in Marietta, Georgia, hire Criminal Defense Attorney Andrew L. Schwartz to represent you.
Attorney Andrew L. Schwartz is dedicated to protecting the rights and freedom of those accused of serious felony or misdemeanor crimes in Cobb County. His practice areas include dealing with criminal charges, including DUI, burglary and theft, probation violation, and more. Contact us today for a consultation!