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Things to Know When Hiring an Ohio DUI OVI Lawyer

The consequences of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Ohio can be serious. If the police have arrested you for drunken driving, you need an Ohio DUI lawyer.

But if you've never hired an attorney before, there's a lot to learn in a short amount of time. This article offers the nuts and bolts of what you need to know.

The legal term for a DUI in Ohio is operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI). But informally it's also known as driving under the influence (DUI) in Ohio, driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Ohio, or operating under the influence (OUI) in Ohio.

Under Ohio OVI law, the penalties for drunk driving include:

  • Fines of between $200 and $10,000
  • Jail time
  • Temporary suspension of your Ohio driver's license

To find an Ohio DUI OVI lawyer, the process sounds simple enough. Get some names, interview one or more lawyers, hire one. Yet, you can take none of the steps lightly. With so much at stake, you don't want just any lawyer. You want the best Ohio DUI OVI lawyer you can find.

Finding an Ohio DUI Attorney

There are several ways to find an Ohio DUI OVI lawyer. You can ask friends, family members, and work associates if they have ever hired an OVI lawyer in Ohio. If they have, you'll want to find out what they thought of their lawyer. Did the lawyer offer good advice? Were they happy with the results? Would they hire the same attorney again?

If you're reluctant to disclose your arrest to people you know, you have another option from us. Whether you're in Toledo or Portsmouth or any spot in between, offers a service that can connect you with an Ohio DUI OVI attorney in your area. To start the process, give us a call at 1-877-913-7222 or fill out the short form on this website. We'll have a few questions for you, then we'll provide you the name and contact information for at least one Ohio OVI lawyer near you. You may contact the attorney directly, or he or she will get back to you within two business days.

Interviewing Ohio DUI OVI Attorneys

Now that you have a name or two of attorneys, it's time to set up appointments to meet the lawyer. Most DUI OVI lawyers in Ohio are willing to chat with you briefly to introduce themselves to you and review your case. Your goals for this meeting are to:

  • Learn about the attorney's background and experience
  • Review your legal options and possible strategies
  • Determine whether this is the lawyer you want to hire

Legal Options & Strategies

Unless the charges against you are dropped, you're probably looking at three legal options: Plead guilty, try to negotiate for a plea bargain, or plead not guilty and take your chances at trial. You should discuss the consequences of each legal option with the attorneys you meet.

Strategy will be specific to each individual case. Just because you failed a breathalyzer or field sobriety test does not mean you are without Ohio DUI OVI defenses. Ask the Ohio lawyers you meet with how they would handle your case.

Legal Fees

By this point, you're probably wondering how much hiring an Ohio DUI OVI lawyer might cost. In general, DUI lawyers bill in one of two ways: either with an hourly fee or a flat fee. With the first, a lawyer charges for the actual time he or she works on your case. With the second, there is one fee for the lawyer's time.

The lawyer's fees, however, are not all-inclusive. You may have a whole host of other expenses to pay for. These might include court fees, a paralegal's time, an investigator's time, photocopying, and travel expenses. So, when you ask a lawyer about his or her rates, make sure you get an estimate on how much the other expenses might total.

Some lawyers may be willing to adjust their rates if you ask. However, you can only ask about this before you hire your lawyer. Once you have hired a lawyer, it is too late to renegotiate fees.

Finally, ask the Ohio DUI OVI lawyers whether they offer any payment plans and what forms of payment they accept.

The Intangibles

Don't ignore your feelings about each attorney you meet. While you need your lawyer to perform for you, you also need to get along with your lawyer. You may be working together for several months. You need someone you can trust, someone who's patient with you, someone who makes you feel comfortable. Shortly after each first meeting, take a moment to jot down your impressions of the lawyers in these areas.

Choosing an Ohio DUI OVI Attorney

When you are done meeting all the Ohio DUI OVI lawyers on your list, it is time to select one to hire you. Reflect back on the topics covered in this article: Experience, strategies, legal fees, and your feelings. Which attorney best meets your ideals in each area?

If you only met with one Ohio DUI OVI lawyer but you find that he or she meets or exceeds all your expectations, your search has ended. If you have two or more worthy candidates, ask them for the names and contact information for a few previous clients.

Call the former clients to find out what it was like working with the lawyers. Did the lawyers vigorously advocate for them? Did the proposed strategy work as planned? What didn't they like about the lawyers? Would they recommend them to a loved one?

Once you have found the very best Ohio DUI OVI attorney for you, hire him or her so that you can face the rest of the judicial process represented by legal counsel.