Things to Know if Charged with a San Diego DUI
If you have been charged with a San Diego DUI, you are probably looking for an experienced attorney. If you aren’t, you should consider it. The state of California takes drunk driving charges very seriously, and the consequences of a conviction can follow you for the rest of your life. You may not be sure how to hire an attorney for a DUI charge, but here we will explain what you need to know to hire an attorney who is right for you.
DUI Laws in California
A DUI is a criminal charge, and you will have to go through the court system once you are arrested. The California Department of Motor Vehicles also has an administrative review process where it can suspend or revoke your driver’s license after a DUI. This is on top of the criminal process.
Once you hire a lawyer for the hearings and criminal proceedings for your California DUI, that lawyer will be with you throughout the process, making sure you understand your options and presenting the best case to the court.
Identifying & Interviewing San Diego DUI Lawyers
To find a lawyer for your San Diego DUI, you can talk to people you know. If they have been charged with a DUI, they may be able to recommend a lawyer. If you don’t get any good recommendations or if you aren’t sure you want to discuss your arrest with people you know, we at Attorneys.com can help.
Once you give us a few simple pieces of information, either by filling out the form on this page or talking to us at 1-877-913-7222, we will connect you with a San Diego DUI lawyer.
Then, you can begin meeting with attorneys about your San Diego DUI. The initial consultation is your chance to talk with lawyers to learn about their experience, find out about San Diego DUI penalties and decide which one you want to hire.
You need to talk with each attorney about his experience helping clients in the San Diego area, whether that is in El Cajon, Lakeside, Alpine or elsewhere. Be sure to ask each attorney about how often he has appeared in San Diego County Superior Court and in other area courthouses like Imperial County Superior Court. See if he is familiar with the judge and prosecutors who may be involved in your case.
Ask him about drunk driving cases he has helped clients with that may be similar to yours. Find out what types of strategies he would recommend. Make sure you understand all the different consequences of your drunk driving arrest. Find out what types of fines, jail time and license suspension you face if you are convicted. Penalties get more severe for additional DUIs, so be honest with your lawyer about any drunk driving history you have.
You also need to ask what your drunk driving defense could end up costing you. Talk to the lawyers about their rates.
When it comes to a San Diego DUI case, you will probably need to pay your attorney by the hour. With this type of arrangement, the lawyer decides how much he charges for the actual amount of time he works on your case and he gets paid for all of this time, regardless of the outcome.
If you meet with several lawyers, you may find that their hourly rates vary a lot. Lawyers charge different rates based on experience, background, reputation, location and other factors.
You may have heard of lawyers who offer other types of rates such as flat fees or contingency fees. With a flat fee, you and the lawyer agree to an up front fee, and that’s what you pay for your entire case. Attorneys will usually only accept flat fees for very predictable types of work, so you may not find a San Diego DUI attorney to accept your case for a flat fee. Attorneys will only take a case on a contingency fee basis when there is a chance of a big financial payout, which doesn’t apply in a criminal defense case.
Selecting an Attorney for Your San Diego DUI Case
After your meeting with the lawyer or lawyers, think about everything you have learned. You also need to think about whether you and the attorneys agree on different strategies for your case. Consider how comfortable you are with the attorney and his suggestions and whether you trust his advice.
If you still aren’t sure, ask the attorney for names and contact information of references and talk to those people to get their insights. All this will help you find the right lawyer for your case.
Once you hire the right lawyer, you can proceed with your case knowing you have someone on your side.