What To Look for in an Atlanta DUI Lawyer
The right DUI lawyer can mean the difference between being found guilty or not guilty of driving under the influence. This can have some serious consequences. A conviction for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the State of Georgia can mean fines, higher insurance rates, mandatory community service, mandatory DUI school and substance abuse counseling, and your driving privileges can be taken away for a year
Not all DUI lawyers are alike. With so much at stake it is important to get the best DUI defense lawyer your can. Before you decide who will represent you in court, at trial, and even before the administrative license suspension hearing, make sure that the lawyer you chose has the courtroom experience, DUI training, and the will to fight for you no matter what the other side says.
To help you find the best lawyer for you, it may be helpful to have a list of the questions you should be asking, and what kind of experience, training, and commitment will give you the best chance to win your case, keep your license, and avoid a criminal record.
30 Days to Keep Your License
Ideally, you would have weeks to talk to different lawyers, meet with them, and take your time to make sure you were choosing the best lawyer for you. Unfortunately, the laws in State of Georgia do not really let you have that luxury. In most cases, you may only have 30 days to find a lawyer who will immediately start working for you so that you can keep your license to drive.
The Georgia Department of Driver Services will suspend your license after an arrest for a DUI. They don't wait for you to be convicted, your license will be suspended just for an arrest, unless you file for a hearing or request an ignition interlock device within 30 days. Explaining your options and ensuring you make an informed decision is the first thing an experienced Atlanta DUI lawyer will do in your case.
Questions for Finding the Best
- How long have you been practicing law in Georgia?
- How much of your practice is defending DUI cases?
- Do you practice other kinds of law, like family law, criminal law, or immigration law?
- Do you have experience as a former prosecutor handling DUI cases?
- What percentage of your cases are DUI cases?
- How many DUI clients do you represent at any one time?
- Do you know the judges, prosecutors and police officers in my case?
- Will you be able to represent me during my ALS hearing so I can keep my license?
- What do your past clients have to say about you?
- What do other lawyers have to say about you?
These are all questions you should put to any potential lawyer before deciding who you want to represent you before serious DUI charges. Many lawyers may appear to be great DUI lawyers on paper, but their answers may indicate something else.
Lawyers who deal in wide variety of legal fields may not have the latest DUI knowledge and training to best represent you, and may be unfamiliar with ALS hearings that can be unique to DUI cases. However, DUI lawyers who exclusively handle DUI cases are kept up to date on the latest law, information, techniques and technology involving DUI cases. They often have the same training as some police officers in how to conduct field sobriety tests, so that they know when and how the police make mistakes that can unfairly make you look guilty.
Experienced DUI lawyers will also have experience before the same judge in your case, with the same prosecutor, and using the testimony of familiar police officers. This familiarity with the same people involved in your case can go a long way to help predict how your case will go, and your chances for a successful defense.
- Will you be the attorney representing me throughout my case or hand me off to someone without your level of DUI experience?
- Will you be the attorney defending me if my case goes to a trial?
- Are you available on nights and weekends if I have questions about my case?
- Will you provide your personal email and phone number in case I have any questions?
- Will you keep me informed of any changes to my case, and give me regular updates?
Some DUI lawyers who have all the experience, know the laws and people involved, and have a great track record of success may not be the same people who will be standing with you at trial. In some cases, a highly regarded lawyer will detail all their experience, but when you show up to court, another less experienced associate will be the one who is in charge of keeping you out of jail. Others may want to work only during regular business hours, and will not be able to respond to your questions and concerns. Make sure that the lawyer you talk to is the same one who will defend you, and be available to address your concerns, whenever they come up.
Find the Right DUI Defense Lawyer
If you have any other questions about how you should pick the right lawyer, feel free to call me anytime, day or night. I have successfully handled almost 5,000 cases in my more than 19 years of experience. You can contact me for a convenient phone consultation, and I will answer these and any other questions you might have. Remember that a DUI arrest does not have to lead to a conviction. I have successfully represented all kinds of Georgia drivers facing a DUI. Call me today so you can keep your license to drive, and keep your record clean.