Selecting the right DUI defense attorney is important. Your chances of earning a Not Guilty verdict in any DUI case will depend upon the confidence, expertise, credentials, and other qualifications of the person defending you. Here are the eight qualifications that should be your top priority as you evaluate your options:
1. A Law Degree From an Accredited Institution
Not all law degrees are the same. Make sure your DUI defense attorney has earned their degree from a law school that has been accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). This recognizes that the school has met a high standard of excellence for academic quality, ethics, integrity, and other markers of effective law education.
2. Membership in the State Bar Association
It is critical that your DUI lawyer has passed the bar exam in the practicing state—a test of their knowledge and capability to represent you in your state’s legal system. You can be confident that an MA DUI lawyer with membership in the local bar association has passed the bar in the state and knows what it takes to fight for your rights in court.
3. Specialization — Exclusively Practices DUI Defense
A general criminal attorney will take any criminal cases that come across the desk, whether that means DUI, assault, drug cases, robbery, personal injury, kidknapping, murder, or anything else. However, you won’t have the best possible chance to win your chase unless your attorney is specialized exclusively in DUI law. Attorney Joseph J. Higgins, for instance, devotes his entire practice to OUI/DUI Defense, and has represented clients charged with OUI/DUI in over 60 courts in Massachusetts.
4. Membership in Professional Organizations
You’re going to want an involved attorney who maintains membership in organizations like the National College for DUI Defense and DUI Defense Lawyers Association. These professionals take their field seriously and believe in the mission of legal organizations to promote and improve the administration of justice for DUI defendants.
5. Glowing Testimonials and Reviews
Make sure you’ve investigated the DUI defense attorney’s website to see if they are willing to post testimonials from past clients. A collection of positive reviews, in the clients’ own words, will give you the confidence you need to trust in the attorney’s expertise and chances of earning the best possible result for your case.
6. Proven Track Record of Success in Case Results
Another good sign is a page of the lawyer’s website where they post a collection of real case results from their case history. An extensive list of “Not Guilty” verdicts and “Dismissed” cases is all you need to see to know that this DUI defense attorney has what it takes to earn results at trial.
7. Previous Experience as a Prosecutor
Your DUI case is going to be prosecuted by an Assistant District Attorney (an ADA). Attorneys with past experience as an ADA, like Joseph J. Higgins, understand exactly how the prosecution attacks a DUI case, what strategies they employ, and most importantly, the specific weaknesses they will have in the case against you. There’s no replacing the advantage that real experience in both prosecuting and defending DUI cases gives you at trial.
8. Professional Awards & Distinctions
You’re going to want a DUI defense attorney who is decorated with numerous awards and other forms of recognition reserved for the best of the best in their field. Attorney Higgins has been identified by both SuperLawyers Magazine and Boston Magazine as a “Rising Star” in the field of Drunk Driving Defense. This distinction is reserved for just 2.5% of all attorneys across the state.
In addition, he’s been named a “Superb” DUI Attorney by Avvo with a 10.0 Avvo Rating, among numerous other distinctions:
- 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 Clients’ Choice DUI—Avvo
- 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 Rising Star—Super Lawyers Magazine
- 2014 “10 Best” Client Satisfaction Award—American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys
- Top 40 Under 40—American Society of Legal Advocates
- Top 40 Under 40—National Trial Lawyers
- Recognized by The National College for DUI Defense for his dedication and commitment to DUI law
Your DUI defense attorney will only be able to check off the eight desirable qualifications listed here if they’re the right attorney for the job. Choose your legal counsel carefully and trust highly qualified attorneys like Joseph J. Higgins to defend your best interests at this critical moment in your life.