When someone has been charged with a DUI, they have to make the decision of whether they want an attorney to represent them in the case. A DUI is a serious charge, and one that can affect your career, education and other goals. Hiring an attorney is often a good idea so that you know your options, available defenses and are able to argue your case efficiently and strongly with the help of a knowledgeable legal professional.
Once the decision is made to hire someone, how do you know who the best attorney is? Chances are you received a lot of mailers and flyers once you were arrested. This is because there are many companies that provide your arrest record information to law firms. Once a person has been arrested, the law firms are notified and they send out their letters to potential clients. Just because these attorneys are readily searching, does not mean they are the best attorney for the job.
One of the biggest concern when looking for an attorney should be the attorney's experience. The criminal justice system is based on a lot of negotiations and settlement offers. Contrary to popular belief, very few cases go to trial. The majority of cases get settled prior to trial once the person charged feels that a good offer is made. When the attorney has experience they are not only familiar with the prosecutors, Judges and staff, they can assess whether the deal being offered is a good one, or one that should be turned down.
Many people believe that there is not that big of a difference whether the Criminal Defense attorney knows the Judges and Prosecutors because ultimately the case will be decided on the facts. While this is true, it is not entirely the whole case. The case will ultimately be decided on the facts of the case and whether or not there are available defenses that meet the legislative burden. There is a strict code of ethics that lawyers must follow and they will not bend the rules and dismiss a case merely because the attorney is a friend of theirs.
However, it still makes a difference if the attorney is familiar with the Prosecutors and Judges. The attorney will know what to expect with a Los Angeles DUI before even going into the courtroom. Oftentimes the attorney can predict what the initial offer will be, and if the case is moved to a different courtroom, they can make an educated guess of whether the second offer will be better or not.
That ability to predict the potential outcome helps a great deal when the criminal defense attorney is making a determination on whether to accept an offer or to plead not guilty and proceed to pre-trial. Before hiring an attorney do the proper research and speak to an attorney about his experience and knowledge about the Courtroom where your case will be heard. It could make the difference between having your case reduced or dismissed!