How to Find a Good Arizona DUI Lawyer
Finding a good, qualified Arizona DUI lawyer can be a daunting task. Unless you already know one, or have a friend who knows one, the task of finding a lawyer to represent you can be overwhelming, especially with the added stress of facing a DUI charge. It can be hard to tell the difference between the lawyers who have the proper training and motivation to give your case the attention it needs, and the shysters who are just out to separate you from your money.
Because Arizona's DUI laws are very strict, the decision you make with regard to your attorney is of great importance. Having the right lawyer can mean the difference between paying a modest fine or facing serious jail time if convicted.
Don't feel like you have to call up the firm with the slickest TV commercial, or the biggest ad in the phone book. Fortunately, you can find what you're looking for quickly and easily online. There are multiple websites that specialize in helping you find the right Arizona DUI lawyer for you.
Your first stop should be the State Bar of Arizona. You can find a lot of good information to help your search, and they have a Find a Lawyer section that allows you to search for lawyers by location or by keyword, such as "DUI", "DWI", etc.
That should give you several DUI lawyers to choose from, but if you need another resource, martindale.com is another great site that allows you to search for an attorney. It also has a vast collection of legal information that can be very helpful.
You should have a list of eligible lawyers and their contact information at this point. Now you are ready to start calling and finding the Arizona DUI lawyer that is the best fit for you. Always speak to a few different attorneys before you choose one. You need to ask a few questions before you agree to let someone take your case. In addition to these questions, write down any other questions you may have before you start making calls, so you don't forget to ask them.
Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Arizona DUI Lawyer
1.ÃÂ Will you personally be responsible for handling my case?
2.ÃÂ Will you contact me regularly about my case?
It is a DUI attorney's responsibility to keep you informed on the status of your case. At the least, they should be responsive to your attempts at communication, but ideally they should be proactive in contacting you.
3.ÃÂ How much experience do you have dealing with DUI cases?
4.ÃÂ Do most of your DUI clients enter guilty pleas?
If the answer to this question is yes, find another lawyer. You do not need a lawyer if you are going to plead guilty, unless your lawyer can work out a deal to reduce your sentence significantly. Otherwise, just save your money.
5.ÃÂ Are you certified to administer field sobriety tests?
It is helpful to have a lawyer who is knowledgeable about the procedures and limitations of field sobriety tests. This knowledge is useful in the cross-examination of your arresting officer, and can be the key to a not guilty verdict.
6.ÃÂ How much do you charge?
This is important, but you shouldn't necessarily be looking for the best bargain. You should look for the attorney that is most qualified and that you feel the most comfortable with. However, you should get estimates from several prospective lawyers to make sure you aren't being overcharged.
Make the best choice you can based on the feedback you get from speaking with the attorneys. Remember that your lawyer works for you, not the other way around, so he or she should be available and happy to take your questions. You'll be paying your DUI lawyer a good amount of money to represent you, so make sure you are totally comfortable with your choice.