How do I find a good DUI defense attorney?
Mr. Taylor describes what an arrestee can, and should, do when selecting an attorney to represent them. DUI is a highly complex field and a specialist is necessary for effective representation. Martindale-Hubbell’s international directory and AVVO rating systems provide an arrestee with credible information about all licensed attorneys. Arrestee’s can also visit local court houses and talk with court employees to get insight from people with firsthand knowledge of who the best attorneys are. Arrestee’s should be wary of any attorney that makes a promise as to the outcome of an arrestee’s case. It is impossible to make this prediction and these attorneys are simply unethical. Finally arrestee’s should be wary of “dump truck lawyers”. These are lawyers who charge an arrestee $1,000 to $2,000 and who put very minimal time and effort into an arrestee’s case. These lawyers will often plead the arrestee guilty at the first or second court appearances. You can always spot a &quo;dump truck lawyer&quo; by the fees they charge.
Well, first of all interview at least three attorneys and consider such things as: First, did he or she graduate from an accredited law school or an unaccredited one? Secondly, how many years of experience as an attorney does that individual have and how many of those years were dedicated to DUI defense? Does the attorney you’re talking to specialize in DUI defense, and I mean as a specialist in DUI defense? If you were going to see a doctor and it was a general practitioner, an obstetrician, you would not ask that individual to quote you a fee for brain surgery. You would want a specialist in the field. DUI is a highly complex field and you need a specialist. You should also consider the attorney’s ratings by professional organizations. Martindale-Hubbell’s international directory of attorneys is the most prestigious, having been in business now for over a hundred years. Their highest rating is AV, which is very high to preeminent and I am proud to say, that I have had that rating for many, many years. Another rating system is AVVO. A-V-V-O, on the internet. Again, they have a rating system; ten is the highest and, again, I am proud to say I have a ten. One way of finding out is just to go to the local court and ask some of the bailiffs and court clerks. They are the ones who watch every day while attorneys try cases; they are in a unique position to tell you who is the best. And while we are speaking about other attorneys, be very cautious of any attorney who makes promises to you when you are talking to him, in deciding who to retain. Any attorney who makes a promise to you as to the outcome of the case and what your sentence is going to be is simply unethical. It is not only unethical, it is impossible to predict without knowing anything about the case other than what you have told them. No one can make promises like that; you should walk away as quickly as possible. Finally, avoid what we in the trade call “dump truck lawyers”. A dump truck lawyer is someone who is going to give you a low ball fee, $1,000, $2,000 and, because he can’t afford to spend any time on the case, is going to plead you guilty at the first or possibly second court appearances, without doing any investigation of the machines, the breath machines, or existence of videotapes, or witnesses, or anything else. These individuals should be disbarred, but, unfortunately, they are still practicing and you should be aware of their existence. You can almost always tell them by their fee structure.