Have you recently been accused of driving under the influence (DUI)? If so, it is essential to take steps to defend yourself. The penalties associated with a conviction for drunk driving could permanently impact your life.
However, with so many different potential criminal defense attorneys to choose from, selecting the right one is crucial. A reputable Los Angeles DUI attorney should have experience, confidence, and a strong track record of success. During your free consultation, remember to ask the following vital questions.
1. Do You Have Experience Handling DUIs?
One of the most important questions to ask a potential DUI attorney is whether they have experience handling cases like yours. Criminal defense encompasses nearly any type of crime. This means many criminal defense lawyers will devote their time and energy towards a wide array of offenses, such as:
- Violent crimes
- Sex crimes
- Drug crimes
- White-collar crimes
- Federal crimes
Having an attorney with experience in multiple areas of the law is okay. However, finding a DUI lawyer who practices DUI defense almost exclusively may be in your best interests. If you find a potential DUI lawyer with a history of winning DUI cases that go to trial or getting their client’s charges dismissed through pretrial diversion or plea agreement, this may be the best way to go for your defense.
2. What Are the Potential Defenses?
You will only know which defenses will be most suitable for your case once you speak with a DUI attorney about the specific details of your case. During your consultation, this is a great time to raise your concerns and determine which approach will most likely produce a favorable outcome. If a prospective criminal defender cannot understand how they would approach your case, they may not be the right fit for your DUI defense.
3. How Will You Build My Defense?
Although guilt should be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the truth is that in criminal court, it is often up to the defendant to introduce this reasonable doubt to secure an acquittal. When you are meeting with potential DUI attorneys, asking them how they will work on building your defense is crucial.
It would help if you had a lawyer who will be prepared to analyze chemical blood alcohol test and breathalyzer results, secure witness statements, and be capable of negotiating with the district attorney, as plea bargains are one of the top ways to avoid a guilty verdict. Although potential lawyers may not be able to give you a comprehensive defense strategy during your initial consultation, they should tell you where they will start.
4. What Happens if I Am Convicted of a DUI?
It is crucial to understand the potential consequences you are facing if you are convicted of the charges against you. Many factors are taken into account when evaluating criminal penalties under the law. First, second, third, and habitual DUI offenders will face varying penalties that could include:
- Time in a county jail or California state prison
- Fines and restitution to victims
- SR-22 insurance
- Completion of a drug or alcohol treatment program
- Suspension or revocation of your driving privileges
The length of time your driver’s license will be suspended, you will be incarcerated, and your fines will vary on a case-by-case basis. Potential DUI defense lawyers should be able to give you insight into the criminal penalties of a conviction.
5. Will I Be Acquitted or Found Guilty?
Although potential criminal defense lawyers will not be able to tell you the outcome of your case, they can give you an idea of the likelihood of you being convicted or acquitted. They should be able to consider the information provided and give you a better idea of what to expect from your criminal defense if you hire them to take on your case.
6. Will My Driver’s License Be Suspended After a DUI Conviction?
Nearly anyone convicted of driving under the influence in California will have their driver’s license suspended. However, every person’s case is also different. There may be other factors that could impact whether your license is in jeopardy.
The right DUI defense lawyer should help you understand whether your license is at risk, how long your driver’s license could be suspended, and the steps you could take to avoid suspension or revocation entirely.
7. Is There Anything I Can Do to Increase My Chances of Winning My DUI Case?
You can take specific steps to receive favorable treatment from the prosecuting attorney. Your criminal defense lawyer can help you understand the options most likely to benefit your case. For example, if you voluntarily install an ignition interlock device (IID), the state may be willing to reduce the charges against you to a less impactful offense.
8. Will I Be Offered a Plea Agreement?
Plea agreements are one of the top ways to avoid a conviction. However, they may not be available for every person charged with a criminal offense. With DUIs in particular, plea agreements may only be available for first-time or non-violent offenders.
When discussing the details of your case with prospective DUI defense lawyers, you should find out whether you will be eligible for a plea agreement or a pretrial diversion program.
9. Will I Be Able to Avoid Going to Jail Even if I Am Convicted?
Just because you are convicted of a criminal offense does not mean you will automatically be sentenced to time in jail or prison. The specific details of your case will impact the outcome of your case.
Avoiding jail time is crucial if you hope to reduce a DUI conviction’s impact on your life. Your DUI lawyer should have a plan to help you maximize your chances of avoiding incarceration.
Get Help from a Los Angeles DUI Attorney Today
You do not have time to waste preparing your DUI defense. If you have additional questions or are interested in getting further insight into how a reputable Los Angeles DUI lawyer will handle your case, do not hesitate to contact us for a confidential case evaluation. Please complete our secured contact form or call our office to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.