Posted on August 21, 2023 in DUI
If you get arrested for or accused of driving under the influence (DUI) in Arizona, you should begin your search for the best DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Being convicted of drunk driving could cost you thousands of dollars in fines, as well as lead to the suspension of your driver’s license and a permanent criminal record. With the right attorney, you can fight against a DUI charge and minimize the consequences of a DUI on your life by achieving the best possible case outcome.
Start your search by looking for a driving under the influence defense lawyer near you. It is important to hire a local attorney so that he or she fully understands the laws associated with your case. Your lawyer should have in-depth knowledge of state and local DUI regulations, as well as experience handling cases in your local criminal court system. This can give your lawyer an edge during your case, as he or she will have relationships with local prosecutors and judges to help you achieve a positive case result.
Referrals from friends or family members who have been through DUI cases can put you in touch with an attorney who you know is good at his or her job. Ask around to find out if someone you know has a recommendation for a DUI defense lawyer in your area. If not, you can use reputable sites such as the Maricopa County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service for assistance finding the right attorney near you.
Verify that the attorney you are considering has a valid and active license to practice law in Arizona or the state where your DUI arrest took place. You can use your state’s bar association website to obtain this information. You want to choose a lawyer who has not faced any disciplinary actions for issues such as ethical violations. Your attorney should also hold a degree from an American Bar Association (ABA)-accredited law school.
While it is not mandatory, a lawyer who is associated with organizations such as the Board of the Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice (AACJ) or the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) can show that your DUI defense attorney is a mark above the rest. Not all criminal defense lawyers are created equal. Hiring an attorney who is active in the legal community can give you an advantage during your DUI case.
When you are facing DUI charges that could change the trajectory of your life, you want a highly experienced defense attorney by your side. An experienced attorney will be better equipped to negotiate and litigate your case. Years of experience and thousands of clients specifically in the practice area of driving under the influence defense can enable your attorney to handle any challenge or complication that comes your way. Look for DUI jury trial experience, as well, to show a willingness to bring your case to court, if necessary.
Although positive case results and past client testimonials do not guarantee future success, a good track record can demonstrate that a DUI lawyer has what it takes to win your case. Look for a high success rate in helping DUI clients reduce their charges or avoid penalties altogether with case dismissals and acquittals.
You may also want to peruse past client testimonials so that you know what to expect if you choose to hire the attorney. Satisfied DUI clients and a positive reputation in the Arizona legal community can give you greater confidence in your attorney’s capabilities – lending more peace of mind during your DUI case.
You may assume you want the most aggressive DUI defense attorney available, but this will not necessarily translate into positive case results. Drunk driving cases in Arizona are nuanced and require a certain level of finesse to navigate. A defense lawyer who is overly zealous or too aggressive could do more harm than good in a delicate situation – potentially resulting in a negative reaction from the prosecutor. Your lawyer should conduct business with a certain level of care and prudence to get a read on the prosecutor’s position and negotiate the best possible DUI case outcome.
Do not overlook the important detail of finding a criminal defense attorney who works at a law firm that advertises itself as “full service.” This means the law firm has everything you need for your DUI defense case all in one place; you will not need to look elsewhere if your case goes to trial, for example, or if your case would benefit from hiring subject-matter experts. At a full-service law firm, you will receive “white glove” client services, where the firm will handle every detail of your defense from start to finish.
Your DUI case is personal to you. Facing DUI charges could change your life forever. You need an attorney who will take the time to personalize your legal strategy and match it to your unique needs. Your lawyer should be passionate about helping clients fight DUI charges and safeguard their futures. The right attorney will emphasize customer service, client care and communication. Look for sympathetic, nonjudgmental legal representation from a criminal defense attorney who understands not only the legal aspects of your case but the emotional stress that you are experiencing.
Before you decide on a DUI defense lawyer, schedule a meeting to talk to a prospective choice in person. It is important to meet with an attorney, as this can give you an idea of how well you will work together. Most criminal defense lawyers offer free initial case consultations with no obligation to hire them. A consultation can allow you to ask any questions you may have about the legal process ahead.
During your consultation, ask about the attorney’s experience handling DUI cases and record of success. Ask if the attorney you are meeting with will be your point of contact during your case. You do not want an attorney who plans on handing your case off to an assistant or paralegal. The attorney that you choose should be open, honest and transparent about how the law firm operates and how it charges for its services.