According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the state registers more than 172,893 DUI arrests every year. Out of these, about 133,525 get convicted following an arrest. This translates to about a 73.7% DUI conviction rate. In other words, if you find yourself arrested for DUI, there is a 73.7% chance that a superior court will find you guilty on one or several counts. But what about the 26.3%? How did they manage to escape conviction? The answer lies in their choice of a DUI attorney. A qualified and brave DUI attorney is your best shot for winning your case. Here are five qualities that make a great DUI attorney.
An Attorney Should Come Recommended
When looking for the best DUI attorney, you should start by seeking out recommendations. It would not hurt to ask around among your close friends and colleagues who have been in similar situations. A close friend or colleague could offer information about an attorney they hired and the outcome of their situation. If you do not want to ask your friends or family for a recommendation, be sure to ask the attorney that you hire for past client references, who may be willing to speak with you.
Consider the Attorney’s Qualifications
Just like every other profession, there are outstanding attorneys and there are not so great ones. A critical difference between the two lies in their qualifications. Are they licensed? Are they registered on the State Bar website? How much experience do they have as a DUI attorney? How many DUI cases have they handled successfully? Do they have any experience in a DUI case that is similar to yours? What happened in this case? These are some of the essential questions that you should ask before choosing an attorney.
You should select an attorney who has extensive knowledge and experience in the DUI field specifically. While other attorneys can still handle your case, a DUI attorney is the best option because they have more in-depth knowledge and understanding of California DUI laws, and the possible defenses.
Another crucial matter to consider is the attorney’s reputation and ethical footprint. This includes whether the attorney has had any disciplinary actions taken against them. They may not reveal this, but the State Bar website is available to the public for doing a brief check on an attorney.
A Great Attorney Does Not Form any Preconceived Notions
A reasonable attorney is driven by his legal and constitutional obligation to win the case or come to the best possible outcome, whether or not they believe that you are guilty. They typically work from the phrase “Innocent until proven guilty.” While the attorney may ask about any prior convictions, their primary duty is to work their way around the current problem. In line with this, a great DUI attorney will not accept the prosecutor’s or police statements without collecting evidence (or conducting Discovery) for more information. A competent attorney will protect your constitutional rights. For example, an attorney will always remind you to exercise and uphold the Fifth Amendment, that is, the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney, as your fundamental constitutional right.
Stellar Investigative/Research Skills
This is possibly the most essential quality that a brilliant attorney should have. Their research skills should be at par or better than police work. This is what makes the most significant difference between successful attorneys and haphazard lawyers. At any given point, the prosecutor and the police will have incriminating evidence against you. Attorneys should conduct in-depth research for your case to find out missing information that can help your case. Research can include anything around your DUI: from social media communications to what you ate for breakfast. They will make every possible attempt to try and find out exactly what occurred and how to use this to your advantage in court. At the end of the day, an experienced DUI attorney knows that the evidence they have (or don’t have) will determine the success or failure of your case.
Superb Negotiation Skills
Coupled with great investigative skills, a great DUI lawyer should be a strong negotiator. Negotiation is more than just begging for a reprieve. While negotiating for your penance, there are two things that an attorney should consider: what you deserve as per your offense and your likelihood of a conviction. This is why a responsible attorney will ask you to remain transparent with him at all times and divulge all the minor details around the DUI incident. By doing this, the attorney can highlight the prosecutor’s weaknesses and the flaws in their case against you. With all of these strategic tools, your attorney can argue on the best possible outcome.
If you ever find yourself accused of a DUI offense in California, contact Don Hammond at 323-529-3660 for a free consultation on your case. He is devoted to his clients’ success inside and outside of the courtroom. Moreover, he has extensive experience as not just a criminal defense attorney, but also as a DUI attorney with dozens of happy DUI clients each year.