Choosing the right DUI lawyer is the most important decision you can make when you’ve been charged with a DUI. It’s not a decision to take lightly, so it’s okay to do plenty of research and ask questions. A lot is going to ride on the skill with which your DUI attorney argues your case and defends you.
Of course, finding the best Massachusetts DUI lawyer to take your case can be a challenge. There are plenty to choose from, and they all claim to be the best. If you haven’t received a referral from a friend, you may wish to schedule consultations with multiple attorneys to find the best fit for your case. Here are ten questions you should ask DUI attorneys during a consultation.
1. How long have you been representing DUI clients?
Experience is important in DUI defense. It’s best to pick an attorney that has been practicing DUI defense for several years.
2. Are you a former DUI prosecutor?
It’s not uncommon for former prosecutors to change careers and start a DUI defense practice instead. DUI lawyers who have a background in prosecution are in a unique position to defend you. They’ll be well-versed in the strategies and weaknesses of the prosecution if your case goes to trial, giving you an advantage.
3. How much of your caseload do you devote to DUIs?
Some criminal defense attorneys engage in many different practice areas, such as fraud, larceny, burglary, and domestic violence. If you’re seeking an attorney because you have been charged with DUI, you should find an attorney that practices 100% DUI defense.
4. Do you have a record of success?
Your Massachusetts DUI defense attorney should have a proven track record of success. Ask them directly about successful cases and look on their website for published DUI results and reviews from happy clients.
5. Have you been recognized for your success?
Most DUI attorneys who are worth your time will have been recognized for their excellence by accredited publications and organizations. Typically, they will display these accolades proudly, but it doesn’t hurt to ask your attorney who has recognized them.
6. What looks favorable in my case?
A skilled DUI attorney will be able to pick out the favorable aspects of your case and explain to you how they will use that information to defend you.
7. Should we go to trial, or is a plea agreement an option?
After you present the facts of your case to your attorney, they’ll be able to make a judgement about how you should proceed. Often, the best choice is to fight your case, but a plea agreement is usually an option, too. How you proceed will depend on the circumstances of your case.
8. How often do you appear at the courthouse where my case will be heard?
DUI attorneys who have been defending clients for years have typically had experience in different courthouses and argued in front of different judges. If your attorney has experience in the courthouse where your case will be heard, their familiarity could give you an advantage.
9. What is the best way to communicate with you, and how quickly can I expect a response?
Lawyers typically work on more than one case at a time, but that shouldn’t get in the way of their commitment to you and your rights. Although many lawyers prefer to speak on the phone, some may tell you that email communications and even text messages are preferable. Your DUI attorney should respond promptly to your questions.
10. Can you come to me?
Not every DUI attorney will come to your home or a place of your choosing to meet with you, which is ironic because most people who have been changed with DUI have lost their driver’s license, at least temporarily. A good DUI lawyer understands that losing your driver’s license makes it extremely difficult to get around.
If you’ve been charged with a DUI, find an attorney who will protect your rights and your driver’s license. Don’t be afraid to ask questions during a consultation so you can find the best DUI attorney to walk you through the DUI process in Massachusetts.