Getting a DUI can put you in a compromising position. You’ll likely face a license suspension, heavy fines, and possibly even jail time, depending on the severity of your circumstances. It’s highly recommended to work with a DUI lawyer if you’re facing DUI charges. Here are some important questions to ask a DUI lawyer.
Do you specialize in DUI law?
It probably comes as no surprise that this is one of the most important questions to ask a DUI lawyer. Before you hire them to take your case, it’s helpful to know if they specialize in DUI law. While many DUI lawyers will practice in other areas of law, such as criminal defense, knowing that your lawyer specializes in DUI law can be highly advantageous to you and the outcome of your case.
How long have you been representing clients facing DUI charges?
Even if they specialize in DUI law, they may not have a lot of experience, so don’t hesitate to ask your DUI lawyer how long they’ve been representing those facing DUI charges. You can also ask them to walk you through a recent case and how it was resolved. This can give you a better idea of what happens throughout a DUI case and it gives you something to compare your circumstances to. It also allows a DUI lawyer to share with you what their roles and responsibilities will be throughout the process.
What outcome do you expect for my case?
At your initial consultation, one of the questions to ask your DUI lawyer should include what their expectations are. While a DUI attorney cannot predict the future, they should be able to give you a bit of insight into what they expect out of your case. This is especially true if they specialize in DUI law and they have a lot of experience in DUI cases. After you provide the details of your DUI arrest, ask what kind of outcome they expect and what potential paths you can take to avoid the maximum penalties. This gives them an opportunity to share a plan for your DUI defense and what your options are.
Will the attorney I hire be the attorney who actually handles my case?
This is a common question that many people have when facing DUI charges. Some attorneys at big firms are infamous for taking on DUI cases, then passing the buck to lower-level associates. This means that you’re paying for the experience of one attorney, but getting the help of another. This doesn’t always lead to negative outcomes, but it’s also not exactly ethical. Be sure to ask your DUI attorney if they’ll be the one handling your case, or if you’ll be referred to someone else once the case moves forward.
What can I do to help my DUI case?
There may be nothing you can do at this point to drastically shift the course of your DUI case, but your lawyer might have some suggestions to make sure that you’re taking all the right steps moving forward. That’s why it’s important to ask what you can do to help your DUI case. For instance, your East Brunswick DWI lawyer will most likely tell you to keep a close eye on court dates, be on time for appearances, dress professionally, and speak respectfully to judges and police officers. Most importantly, your DUI attorney will strongly advise you to never get behind the wheel of a car if your license is suspended.
If convicted, how long will a DUI stay on my record?
In some cases, working with a good DUI lawyer can lead to a case dismissal or charges being dropped. However, if you are convicted of a DUI, it’s helpful to know what happens next. For instance, how long will your DUI stay on your record? In a state like New Jersey, a DUI cannot be expunged. This is because it’s considered a traffic offense, not a criminal offense, so a DUI stays on someone’s record for 10 years.
How many of your DUI cases go to trial?
Generally, a small percentage of DUI cases go to trial. These are typically cases that involve serious injuries, fatalities, or significant damage to property. Regardless of the severity of your DUI case, this can still be one of the more important questions to ask your DUI lawyer. If your case does end up going to trial, it’s good to know that they have DUI trial experience.