Sometimes we make poor choices or are even victims of a stroke of terrible luck. According to MADD, 28.7 million people admitted that they’ve driven under the influence in 2017, which is more than the population of Texas.
If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Colorado, this isn’t something you can sweep under the rug or take lightly. A DUI conviction can have lasting consequences. Not only will you end up with a criminal record and face some harsh penalties, but this could also impact your ability to get a job, find a place to live, go to school, and even retain custody of your children.
Why You Should Hire a DUI Attorney
Hiring an experienced DUI attorney comes with a variety of benefits. You’ll get qualified legal counsel on what to do and not to do, which includes what to say and what not to say as your case progresses. Your lawyer will also possess behind-the-scenes knowledge of the court system, know how to navigate complex legal situations, and have an understanding of criminal defense tactics and potential plea bargains.
If you decide to represent yourself, some of the complicated legal processes and procedures could be so confusing that you end up harming your case instead of helping it. Similarly, choosing a public defender doesn’t put you in the best position. These are trained attorneys, but they are also overworked and not always able to devote the time necessary to provide meaningful help on your case.
There are over 1.3 million active lawyers in the U.S. and over 21,000 attorneys in Colorado alone. Knowing this, how do you pick the right one? Fortunately, many DUI attorneys are willing to meet for a consultation to introduce themselves and discuss your case. This is your opportunity to conduct your own screening. Here are some of the areas to focus on as you look for the best DUI lawyer.
Experience and Background
When you meet with any DUI attorney, they are going to want to know about your situation, but it’s essential that you learn as much as possible about them as well. There are many types of lawyers, and you want one that has some experience handling your particular type of charges. A few questions that you can ask include:
- How long have you been practicing criminal law?
- How long have you been representing clients in DUI cases?
- How often do you appear in the courthouse where my case will be heard?
- How often do you negotiate plea deals versus take cases like this to trial?
Assessment of Your Case
Listen closely to the questions that the lawyer asks about your situation. During this assessment process, you can get an idea of their possible case strategy and your potential legal options. Find out what the attorney recommends based on the information you’ve provided. Ask about other factors that could impact the outcome of your case.
Attorneys have different case management practices, and you want to hire one that suits your needs. Ask the attorneys you meet with if they will be the one working on your case or if it will be someone else. Find out how they will stay in contact with you and how long you should expect to wait for a response to questions.
Think About Distance
While you or your attorney can travel and communicate electronically, it’s smart to have an attorney who’s near you or, at the very least, who lives in the same area where charges are being brought against you. Again, local knowledge and relationships can be a boon to your case. More than this, though, you’ll likely want to meet with your attorney many times in person throughout the process. If you are located near each other, this will be more convenient.
DUI cases aren’t cheap, but it would be more expensive to ignore these charges. Ask the attorney how they bill for their services so that you understand the arrangement. Also, find out about payment terms and forms of payment accepted.
If you find a firm that rises to the top of your list, get confirmation of their excellence through references. You can check online sources for ratings and reviews as well as ask the attorney for some references.
Factor in Compatibility
Finally, you should factor in the compatibility of personalities when making a hiring decision. You want to hire someone who is smart, skilled, and effective; you also want to hire someone whom you truly believe will put your best interests first and with whom you are comfortable spending a lot of time. If personalities don’t mesh, you may have a more difficult time being honest and open with your lawyer, things that are key in any case, but especially in criminal defense.
Speak with a Qualified Colorado Springs DUI Attorney
If you’ve been charged with DUI in the Colorado Springs area, there is a lot at stake. A skilled criminal defense attorney is your best chance at achieving a favorable outcome. At Anderson & Carnahan, Attorneys at Law, we invite you to meet with us to discuss your situation.
We have provided experienced and aggressive legal representation to clients for over 50 years. Whether you hire our firm or not, we urge you to work with someone who knows Colorado DUI laws and the most effective defense strategies to mitigate the situation as much as possible.
Beware of any attorney that uses the word “guarantee.” Check credible sources when hiring an attorney. We offer every client a free case evaluation so that you can decide for yourself whether or not we are the right firm for you. Contact us today at (719) 473-9099 to schedule your appointment.