Being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious, often life-changing moment, and the repercussions can last for decades. That’s why it’s so important to find a lawyer who has the right experience and knowledge to get you the best outcome possible.
There is no one lawyer who is “the best” at handling DUI cases. Los Angeles has many experienced DUI attorneys who do good work for their clients. There are, however, ways to tell whether a specific lawyer knows how to handle your DUI case and whether you should trust them with your future.
Six Warning Signs of Bad DUI Lawyers in Los Angeles
Just because a lawyer says they take DUI cases does not mean they are the right lawyer for you. Here are some warning signs you can look for when considering a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles.
Promises of Winning
No lawyer can predict the outcome of a case, and even the best DUI lawyer does not have total control over what will happen. A good lawyer will tell you what is most likely, and they will have a track record to back it up.
In fact, if a lawyer brags they will win your case to get you to hire them, that’s a breach of legal ethics! Consider any promise of winning your case or a guaranteed result to be a red flag.
They Say Only They Can Help You
This is the sign of strong-arm sales tactics, not legal expertise. Talented attorneys speak of their competitors with respect and can clearly explain what they do differently that sets them apart. If they can’t do this, they’re either new to your area or trying to be a salesperson more than a lawyer.
No Experience With a Case Like Yours
If a lawyer cannot reference other cases like yours that they have won, this is a huge red flag. Tell the lawyer about the specifics of your case and ask if they have dealt with this before. Situations like:
- Was there a child in the car?
- Did your DUI involve an illegal drug?
- Was your license suspended already for something else?
An experienced DUI lawyer has seen these situations before. Most DUI attorneys get their expertise under a skilled attorney before striking out on their own. Even if your case is highly unusual, they should have an idea of how to approach it.
Charging for Consultations
Your first consultation should be your chance to feel out the lawyer and find out if they’re right for you. You should not have to pay for it, period. There is no legitimate reason to charge for DUI consultations.
They Have Too Many Practice Areas
California DUI law is very complex and lawyers can spend years working on cases before they become highly knowledgeable. That means you should seek someone who works exclusively on this type of case.
The lawyer who also takes personal injury claims, divorces, or robbery cases is probably not the right lawyer for you.
They Don’t Listen to You
The best lawyers are compassionate and attentive when you talk. They want to understand your specific case and help you succeed. If a lawyer doesn’t seem to listen to you, you can probably do better.
Signs of a Good DUI Lawyer in Los Angeles
No (good) lawyer will say they are the best DUI lawyer in Los Angeles, but they will show their experience and how they can help you. Look for signs like these.
A High Amount of Good Reviews
A DUI law firm runs on referrals. Advertising helps, but the surest way to find a talented lawyer is to ask someone you know about who they used. For DUI lawyers, that’s not always possible. However, there are plenty of legal review sites that can help you decide who to call first.
A Good Rapport With You
A good lawyer will listen to you. A great one is someone you can get along with. Going into a legal relationship where you don’t like your lawyer will make an unpleasant situation even worse. If a lawyer rubs you the wrong way, find someone else.
Explains Your Options
The role of any defense attorney is to get the best possible result for their client. Sometimes, that’s getting charges dropped. Other times, it’s getting as light of a sentence as possible. A good DUI attorney will study your situation and go through all the possible DUI strategies, outcomes, and consequences.
Clearly Explains Their Fees
DUI lawyers rarely work on contingency. There will be a fee for their services. Your potential lawyer should explain their fee and how it can increase or decrease. Many DUI lawyers also have financing or sliding scale fees to help people who can’t pay for a lawyer outright.
Find the Best Los Angeles DUI Lawyer for Your Case
Have you been charged with DUI? We can connect you with an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer and get you a FREE consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call us to get your free consultation today.