Driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the most common offenses in the US. Reports from the US Department of Transportation show that over 1.28 million arrests were made for DUI in 2012. This number has steadily increased over the years.
While the number of DUI arrests may seem surprising, the number of deaths resulting from accidents involving drivers under the influence is even more shocking. The figures released by the Department of Transport in the same report showed that 33,561 people died from injuries in DUI accidents. Over 2 million people were injured in DUI accidents the same year. Highway crashes involving drivers under the influence cost the country over $37 billion. DUI certainly is a serious offense.
The costs of DUI
A DUI charge can have a serious impact on your life. It can result in your driving privileges being revoked. It can also result in a loss of income or potential income as a result of your criminal record. You may even have to serve some jail time.
Get an attorney
Your best chance at avoiding a conviction is to find an experienced DUI attorney.
- List potential attorneys
Begin by making a list of potential attorneys. This can include attorneys you’ve been referred to or have heard about as well as those whose websites you’ve come across. You may also want to consider an attorney you’ve used for other matters, who may have some experience in criminal law.
- Narrow down your list by qualification
Consider the qualifications of each attorney on your list. Check their educational background, the state in which they practice and their license. Check to ensure that they are accredited by the American Bar Association. They should also have experience in successfully defending DUI cases.
It’s also a good idea to see what others have to say about the attorneys. Check reviews to see what previous clients have to say.
- Arrange for an in-person consultation meeting
When you’ve narrowed down your list to at least three lawyers, contact them directly for a meeting. This will give you a chance to ask questions and judge just how compatible you and the attorney are. Be sure to bring all the documents related to your case and present the lawyer with the facts of the case. Listen to what they have to say.
You should also take this opportunity to ask the lawyer some questions about their experience and their case load. You will want to choose a lawyer that has experience and the time to handle your case properly.
- Compare attorney fees
Having visited all attorneys you’re considering, you can now compare their fees. Don’t go for the lowest or highest rate at once. Consider other factors such as experience, compatibility and strategy. You should choose the lawyer that you feel will help you get a good outcome.
Ensure that all charges have been included in the prices you’re comparing. Don’t consider any lawyer who isn’t open about their charges. For more information visit Sohovich Law in San Diego.