Your choice of legal representation will be the most important decision you make in defending your case. An experienced attorney specializing in DUI is much more than just your lawyer—they will be a seasoned expert who will draw upon their many years of experience to protect your rights.
This depth of resources can’t be approximated with a general practice attorney or even a less experienced DUI attorney. It may seem like going with an attractively priced younger lawyer could save you money, especially if it’s possible that you’ll go to trial. However, the long-term costs of a well-intentioned but inexperienced defense are far higher. You’re going to want every possible advantage while pursuing a successful outcome for your case.
Here are a few reasons to favor experience while searching for a DUI defense attorney:
1. Established relationships with judges, clerks, prosecutors, and other officials.
The facts and merits of the case will determine the outcome, but long-standing familiarity with the professionals in the room will help your attorney communicate effectively in your defense. An experienced DUI attorney will have a long track record working through trials in the Massachusetts court system and getting to know the many judges, prosecutors, and other officials.
These pre-established relationships make it possible for a DUI defense attorney to identify whether things are progressing in a standard way or something unusual has come up. They’ll also be able to advise you on how particular judges tend to interpret certain aspects of the law in cases similar to yours.
2. Experience in your local court system.
Local experience may provide your DUI defense attorney with foreknowledge of the standard procedures in local courts and the tendencies of particular judges. This will help your attorney prepare you for your trial (for example, by warning you that the local court tends to open half an hour earlier than other local courts and the judge keeps to a punctual schedule).
It may also open up relevant avenues of defense. Suppose your attorney knows how a particular judge has interpreted certain issues in the past. In that case, they may be able to use that knowledge and experience to advise you as to whether you should proceed with a jury trial or a bench trial.
3. A demonstrated track record of success.
A conviction for DUI stays on your criminal and driving records forever. You’ll want to have confidence in the individual you entrust with your defense. There’s no more reassuring factor than a long track record of positive results such as Not Guilty verdicts, dismissals, and favorable plea bargains—especially in cases with similarities to your own.
Glowing testimonials and evidence of trial success cannot guarantee a result in your case. However, you’ll know you’ve selected an experienced DUI attorney who gives you the best possible chance at a successful outcome in your case.
4. Clear expectations.
A deep well of experience enables your DUI defense attorney to clearly explain everything that happens next, which possible outcomes to expect at each step of the way, and what your chances will look like given the specific facts of your case. Clear and consistent expectations will alleviate some of the stress and uncertainty—so that you can focus on what you need to do next.
You can kick off your search for an experienced DUI attorney by preparing the right questions for the initial consultation. When you’re ready, use these tips to find a Massachusetts DUI lawyer with the right experience to represent you and build an effective defense.