10 Tips to Help You Decide What DUI Defense Law Firm to Hire
When you or someone you love is facing charges of Driving Under the Influence, probably the most important decision you will make is what DUI law firm to hire to help you. These 10 tips can help you make the most informed decision so that you have the best DUI law firm fighting for your freedom.
- How many years of experience does the law firm have in helping people accused of DUIs?
It is very important that the law firm be familiar with helping people charged with Driving Under the Influence. Asking the law firm how many DUI cases they handle on a regular basis is totally appropriate, and advisable.
- How much experience does the DUI law firm have in the exact court where your case is pending?
Not only should your DUI law firm be well versed in the law governing DUI charges, but they should be equally familiar with the venue where your case is pending. Knowing the court procedures and how the judges and prosecutors operate can give you a major advantage in your case.
- How many DUI lawyers work together at this law firm?
You will want to retain a law firm that has multiple experienced California DUI attorneys who can work together on your case. Remember the famous quote "two heads are better than one". DUI defense matters can be very complicated and often require a lot of attention to very particular details. You are much better off retaining a highly skilled DUI defense team with multiple lawyers that can work together on your case as opposed to a lawyer that works alone or with just one other partner. Who will be supervising your case if your lawyer is in trial or otherwise engaged with another lengthy case? If you hire the right DUI law firm you will know that one of the many DUI lawyers in that firm will be on top of your case at all times.
- How easy was it for you to speak to a San Diego drunk driving defense lawyer at the law firm when you first called to discuss your case?
Did you have to leave messages or were you able to receive answers to your questions when you first contacted the law firm? A very good indication of the "communication" between you and your lawyer will be how easy or difficult it was to speak to the lawyer or their legal assistant when you first contacted their offices.
- Does your law firm utilize the ability to communicate with you via email?
In this day and age the most effective way to reach a lawyer is via email. An efficient DUI defense law firm will provide you with the email address of the lawyers who will be working on your case. You should be able to contact the law firm after hours and on weekends when an emergency arises.
- Does your DUI law firm want to know about your version of events, your background and the witnesses you have to support your position?
This is a critical part of any evaluation of who you should retain to assist you in your case. If the law firm you are considering hiring does not require you to complete a statement of case, social history and provide them with your witnesses, then you should not hire that law firm. A DUI law firm must know your case facts extremely well and also must know your background in detail so they can properly present your case to the court and the prosecution. If the law firm doesn't require that you be actively involved in your own defense by providing this information then do not hire that law firm.
- What is your law firm's "rating" with Martindale Hubbell?
There is only one recognized rating system for lawyers and that organization is Martindale Hubbell. Martindale Hubbell rates lawyers and law firms all over the United States and has done so for many years. There are 4 possible ratings a law firm can receive. They range from an "AV rating", a "BV" rating, a "CV" rating, or NO RATING. An "AV rating" is the highest rating any law firm can achieve in the United States. To attain this rating, a law firm must consistently do an excellent job in the defense of their clients for at least ten years. They must also have received outstanding reviews from other lawyers, judges, past clients and the general community. Since you only will be able to retain one DUI defense law firm, it is critical that you ask what that law firm's rating is through Martindale Hubbell. If the rating is anything less than an "AV rating" then you should look elsewhere for an attorney. You and your family deserve the very best!
- Can the law firm provide you with "testimonials" from prior clients who were happy with the legal services they received from the law firm?
Nothing can be more important than being able to read letters from former clients of the law firm who were facing similar DUI charges and selected the law firm to help them. Make certain that you are able to go to the law firm's website to read about how other clients felt about the legal services that the law firm provided them. This will be a good indication of the quality of legal services they will provide you in your case.
- You should never have a law firm represent you that makes guarantees as to what will be the outcome in your DUI matter.
It is important to understand that when people are making a decision on which DUI defense law firm to hire they are often very frightened. They are likely facing the real possibility of going to jail. This could result in the loss of their employment, as well as many other serious consequences. Unfortunately some law firms will attempt to take advantage of this vulnerability by "guaranteeing you a result" over the telephone. Please understand that if any DUI defense lawyer tells you that they can "guarantee you" no jail time or a dismissal of your case they are lying to you and you should never hire that law firm. It is against State Bar Rules to guarantee a particular result in any case. More importantly no law firm can guarantee you any result because the actual outcome of your case will depend upon many factors that will unfold as your case progresses through the system. The bottom line is do not be fooled by false promises.
- How much will the San Bernardino DUI defense law firm charge me for their legal services?
It is critical that you receive and sign a written contract before entering into a professional relationship with a DUI law firm. It is required by the State Bar of California that a lawyer provide their client with a written retainer agreement. The retainer agreement should clearly spell out the terms of the contractual relationship. Do not hire a DUI defense lawyer who does not give you a copy of a signed retainer agreement. This document needs to be signed by both you and your lawyer.
Many lawyers will charge extremely high fees while others may charge very low fees. If a law firm is quoting a very low fee, you will want to investigate the experience of that law firm. On the other hand just because a law firm is the "most expensive" does not mean that they are the most qualified to defend your case.
The final decision as to whom you should hire to help you or your loved one is who you believe has:
- The experience to handle your type of case
- The experience to handle your case in the exact courthouse where your case is pending
- Many DUI defense attorneys working together as a team on your case
- A law firm that was there to answer your phone call when you first called for help
- A law firm that allows you to communicate with them via email on a regular basis
- A law firm that wants you to tell them about your defenses and your personal history so they can be ready to defend you
- An "AV RATING" by Martindale Hubbell
- A law firm that provides you with "testimonials" from prior clients who were very happy with the services they received
- A law firm that will be honest with you and tell you the truth about your case so there are no surprises
- A law firm that will charge you a reasonable fee considering all of the facts of your case
Only when you consider all of the above criteria will you be ready to make the most informed decision in your case.
If you have any questions about the steps you should take in making the important decision as to what DUI defense law firm to retain do not hesitate to contact Wallin and Klarich toll free at 877-466-5245 or go to wklaw.com for more information.
Wallin & Klarich
Paul J. Wallin
At Wallin & Klarich, we approach every case with the belief that the person we're defending could easily be one of our own family members. We've seen firsthand how stressful legal matters can be for our clients and their loved ones. We are committed to being available to our clients at all times -- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If you or someone you love is facing drunk driving charges in Southern California, you should call Wallin & Klarich today for a free evaluation of your case. Call 1-888-764-2615 or fill out our online consultation form to get in contact with a legal professional today. We will be there when you call.
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