Questions to Ask When Interviewing San Jose DUI Lawyers
Before hiring a San Jose DUI lawyer, you should schedule a preliminary meeting, called an initial consultation. This enables you to get to ask the lawyer a lot of questions to help you decide whether he's the right attorney for your case.
If you've never before hired an attorney, you might not know what questions to ask. This article suggests many questions that are appropriate to ask a San Jose DUI attorney. Don't feel compelled to ask every question on this list. Instead, focus on those that will help you make your hiring decision. Also, if you have any special needs or requirements, remember to ask about those during the initial consultation.
Bring a written list of questions to your initial consultation and also bring writing materials so you can take notes. You'll be discussing a lot of important information, and you don't want to forget any vital details.
Experience & Background
One way to break the ice is by asking the San Jose DUI lawyer about his experience handling DUI cases. Questions to consider include:
- Where did you go to law school, and when did you graduate?
- What bar associations and other professional groups do you belong to?
- How long have you handled DUI defense cases?
- Do you only handle DUI cases, or do you do other types of criminal defense work?
- What percentage of your practice is devoted to representing DUI defendants?
Case Strategy & Assessment
Although the lawyer may not be able to give you specific legal advice, he will want to know about your case. You'll want to get his assessment and ask how he'd propose handling it. Questions to ask include:
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of my case?
- What legal strategy would you suggest we pursue?
- What are the possible outcomes? What's the most likely outcome?
- What possible San Jose DUI penalties do I face?
It's important to know if you can afford to hire the attorney. Don't be shy when it comes to talking about money. Questions to ask the lawyer include:
- Would you charge an hourly fee or a flat rate to handle my case?
- If you charge a flat fee, what's included in that rate? What's not included?
- If you charge an hourly rate, how much would you estimate it will cost to resolve my case?
- Will there be additional fees and expenses on top of your legal fee? Can you provide an estimate of those costs?
- When is payment due? What payment methods do you accept?
- Do you offer payment plans? Is your legal fee negotiable?
You'll also want some insight into how the lawyer works with his clients and how your case will be handled behind the scenes. To learn more about this, ask the lawyer:
- Will you personally handle all aspects of my case, or will others in your firm also work on it?
- Can I meet the other people involved? What are their credentials?
- How often will we need to meet?
- Do you provide status updates? How frequently? What's included in those?
- What's the best way to reach you? How quickly can I expect a response?
Selecting a San Jose DUI Lawyer
After completing your initial consultations, it's time to select and hire a lawyer. If you're having trouble deciding which attorney is right for your case, ask yourself some questions.
- Which attorney has the right amount of experience handling San Jose DUI cases?
- Who offered the most reasonable and realistic strategy and proposed outcomes?
- Which attorney's legal fees could I afford?
- Which attorney made me feel most comfortable?
Once you've answered those questions, you should be well on your way to knowing which lawyer is right for your San Jose DUI case.