5 Tips to Find the Right Criminal Defense Attorney to Help with Your DUI Case
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence DUI), you need the best criminal DUI lawyer you can find. These charges are very serious. State DUI laws vary but in all 50 states, a conviction for this kind of crime can result in jail time and the loss of your driver’s license. In Ohio, the charge is referred to as “operating a vehicle under the influence” (OVI). More than 1.1 million people in that state or one in seven drivers there, have at least one OVI conviction. According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, there are almost 45,000 people in the state who have five or more convictions for this charge. Two people share the state record of having 20 convictions for OVI.
Get out of jail. If you have been arrested for this charge, the first thing you need to do is get out of jail. Some people may tell you that you can do anything from jail, for your defense, that you can do from outside jail. That is simply not true. Your access to resources, including your legal representation is severely limited when you are in jail. You may be released on your own recognizance (ROR). This means you agree to show up in court and the judge believes you.
If you are not allowed to go, the judge may set a bond. If you can afford it, you should contact a bail bondsman about arranging for your bond to be paid so that you can get out and start working on your defense. This will also be really important for your mental health.
Find the Right Lawyer:
- Talk to your friends and relatives. DUI arrests are not uncommon. Depending on where you live, again state DUI laws vary greatly from state to state, there may be more or fewer arrests for DUI charges. You may not end up going with the DUI lawyer that your friend used but this can open the door to finding the criminal DUI attorney that is right for your case. This can also give you an idea of how much the criminal defense for your case will cost so you can be prepared or so that you can make arrangements for the financing of your legal defense.
- Talk to the National College of DUI Defense. This is is a non-profit that helps train lawyers on the intricacies of the DUI defense and the different state DUI laws. They maintain a database of DUI lawyers across the United States. You can either use their website or call them to get information about DUI attorneys in your area. They are the premier organization for this kind of legal defense.
- Talk to your state’s bar association. They also have a database of criminal defense attorneys in each state and who handle DUI cases.
- Have you ever used a lawyer for anything? If you have had the need of a lawyer for anything else, you can talk to them about who the best area defense attorneys for DUI are. You do not want to hire a divorce or patent attorney to help with you DUI case but this person may have insight into lawyers in the area.
- Make sure the lawyer has DUI experience. When you talk to lawyers for your DUI cases, you need to find out how much experience they have dealing with your kind of case. They need to be familiar with your state. State DUI laws are very, very different from each other. A DUI lawyer in New York may not be good for DUI cases in Florida, for instance. And just like you would not go to a cardiologist for your busted knee, you do not want a divorce attorney to handle your DUI defense. Ask the lawyers how long they have worked both in DUI defense and in your state. Nearly 96% of all criminal cases are settled with a plea so you need to know that your lawyer has experience with the local prosecutors.
Being arrested for anything is scary. The right DUI lawyer, it will make everything a lot easier.