If you’ve been arrested for DUI (driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol) in California, you may be wondering if you need to hire a DUI lawyer. While every DUI case is different, our best advice is to discuss your situation with a Los Angeles lawyer who specializes in DUI cases.
Trying to handle a DUI charge on your own is not advisable. For most DUI lawyers, the initial consultation is free. At the Simmrin Law Group, we make no promises regarding the outcome of your case. However, we are often able to get the DUI charges against our clients reduced or even dismissed altogether.
What If You’ve Already Been Arrested for DUI?
If you’re already been released by the police department and haven’t yet contacted an attorney, you may choose to interview more than one Los Angeles DUI lawyer before deciding who to hire.
It is always advisable to shop around before hiring legal representation. You want to find someone who is experienced, someone who sympathizes with your case, and someone who you can afford.
If you’re calling a DUI lawyer from jail, you will still want to ask some basic questions. You also need to be prepared to provide the DUI lawyer or their staff with a copy of your police report, bail paperwork, previous offenses, if any, etc. They may ask you multiple questions for each question you ask them.
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Ask Questions About Your Lawyer’s Experience
Some of the most important questions to ask regarding the lawyer’s experience level. A lawyer with an extensive history of getting results in DUI cases is a far safer choice than someone new to these types of cases. Here are a few questions to gain more insight into your potential lawyer’s experience in these cases:
- How long have you been representing DUI clients?
- How many DUI cases do you handle in a year?
- If you handle cases other than DUI cases, what percentage of the cases that you take on are DUI cases?
- Do you have any special training related to DUI cases?
- How often do cases end in a plea agreement? How are the charges reduced?
- How often do you take cases to trial?
- Are you familiar with the prosecutor in my case? How about the judge?
- Do you practice in my county on a regular basis?
- Do you have experience representing people at the DMV? Will you represent me both in court and at the DMV hearing?
Ask Questions About Legal Fees & Rates
It’s also important to make sure you discuss the cost of a lawyer’s services upfront so that there are no surprises down the road. Ask the following questions to ensure that you don’t end up in over your head when it comes to legal fees:
- Is the first consultation really free?
- What and how do you charge after that? Hourly? Flat rate fee? How much?
- Are there extra fees, like for expert witnesses or blood sample re-testing?
- Will I get one big bill or separate bills along the way?
- What form of payment do you accept?
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Ask Questions About Possible Outcomes to Your Legal Case
When facing a DUI charge, you will likely have a lot of questions about the possible outcome of your case. An experienced DUI lawyer can give you a general picture of what to expect as your case moves forward. Here are some questions that should help give you more clarity:
- Can you get my charges reduced? (Beware a DUI lawyer who guarantees this. Every case is different, and there are no guaranteed outcomes.)
- Is a plea agreement a possibility?
- Are there any motions you can make, like a motion to suppress evidence?
- Is there anything that works in my favor in my DUI case? What factors work against me?
- Should we take a plea or go to trial?
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Questions That Might Be Unique to Your Case
Of course, depending on your specific case, there may be additional questions you want to ask, including questions about penalties for first-time offenders or repeat offenders, how a conviction will affect your CDL license, and more.
Most lawyers and their staff are happy to answer any questions you have. At your initial consultation with each law firm, you’ll get a feel for what answers you’re looking for, and that can help you decide who to hire to defend you in your DUI case.
Penalties for a DUI in Los Angeles
You should know that penalties for a DUI conviction can be severe, especially if this is not the first offense. It’s important to get an experienced lawyer who can help you avoid a harsh outcome. Some of the possible penalties you may be facing if convicted include:
- Fines up to $3000
- Jail time up to 1 year
- Suspended license for up to 3 years
- Completion of a mandatory drug or alcohol treatment program
All of these penalties can snowball into losing your job, ruining your reputation, or even tearing your family apart. Our goal is to get the best possible outcome for you and your family.
Be Prepared When Meeting With a DUI Lawyer
When interviewing potential lawyers to represent you in a DUI case, it’s important to come prepared. In addition to having a list of questions to ask the lawyer, you should also bring several items that can help your prospective lawyer get a better idea of the situation in which you find yourself.
The more information the lawyer has to review, the better advice they can give. In addition to a list of questions to ask, you should also bring:
- All of the court documentation you have
- Your bail papers
- Your police report
- Any other paperwork you may have received from the police
With this information, a Los Angeles DUI attorney will be able to let you know whether it looks like the case against you is solid or not. They will also be better positioned to inform you of your best options moving forward.
Get a Free Consultation With a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer
Whatever the circumstances of your DUI case are, you need a lawyer working with you to help make sure you get the best possible outcome for you and your family. If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, you need an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer on your side.
Call the Simmrin Law Group today or use our contact online contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation. We’re available to help you 24/7.