If you get charged with a DUI, the consequences can be devastating.
You could pay a hefty fine, lose your drivers license, or even face months of jail time. Even after your time is paid, you could be on probation for up to five years.
So it pays to hire a good defense attorney.
But to find the right attorney, you’re going to need to know what questions to ask.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the four most important questions to ask while looking for an Orange County DUI attorney.
1. Are you an experienced Orange County DUI attorney?
A DUI is a heavy charge. So you’re going to want to go with an attorney with experience.
Hiring a less experienced attorney may be less expensive, but they will not be as familiar with the applicable laws. They will be less able to negotiate on your behalf.
On the other hand, an attorney with DUI experience is aware of the nuances of DUI stops. They may be able to negotiate less severe charges.
They may even be able to point out police errors that can get the case thrown out.
2. How many cases have you won?
It may seem rude to ask about this. But when your future is at stake, you deserve to know an attorney’s track record.
If you forget to ask about their record, you could end up with an attorney with a long losing streak. And you might be next.
Make sure you’re clear with your definition of “winning.” Your attorney may include plea bargains with acquittals. If you aren’t willing to take a plea deal, it’s helpful to know this.
3. What are my options?
When you’re arrested for a DUI, a number of different things can happen.
A first time DUI in California carries at least a $390 fine and up to six months jail time. However, a good lawyer may be able to convince a judge to a less severe alternative sentence.
Some of these sentences include:
- House arrest: You will serve your time confined in your own home instead of in prison.
- Ignition interlocks: Your car will be fitted with a device that will keep your car from starting unless you pass a Breathalyzer test.
- Mandatory DUI classes: These discuss the dangers of drunk driving as well as what to do when you are drunk. As part of your sentence, you will need to provide the court with a certificate of completion.
You may decide the best thing is to plead guilty in return for a lesser sentence.
Or, if you feel you have a strong case, you can fight the charge and seek an acquittal. An Orange County DUI attorney will be able to counsel you toward the best choice for your case.
4. What will it cost?
Hiring an attorney can be expensive. But it beats the cost of trying to fight a DUI without legal counsel.
Many attorneys work on a flat fee or hourly rate. However, there may be a number of other costs to consider.
If you wish to submit to additional blood tests or provide your own witnesses, these may have additional fees involved.
If you are in Southern California and have been charged with a DUI, you need the best attorney you can find.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation.