Factors to Consider When Hiring an Oregon Drunk Driving Lawyer
In Oregon, drunk driving is a serious offense. Because of this, you need to find a lawyer who can assess your legal options and formulate a solid defense for your case.
According to Oregon DUI laws, your first drunk driving conviction alone could send you to jail for up to one year. You would have to perform 80 hours of community service. You could incur fines, ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, and pay DUI fees of at least $300. Not to mention that your license would get suspended for a year and you would have to undergo an array treatment programs as well.
The right DUI attorney could help reduce the charges against you. This article explains how to determine whether a lawyer is right for you and your drunk-driving case.
Hiring Oregon DUI Attorneys
The first step toward hiring an DUI lawyer is to find one. If you’ve never hired a lawyer before, ask the people you know for referrals. Personal recommendations are a valuable resource because they provide insight into how well a lawyer works with his clients.
If you prefer finding a lawyer on your own, or would simply like to gather the names of a few more attorneys to interview, check out Attorneys.com. Simply fill out the form on this site, or call 1-877-913-7222. After answering some basic questions, we will connect you to an Oregon DUI attorney. Contact the lawyer yourself, or the attorney will call you within two business days.
After you’ve found some attorneys, schedule initial consultations with them. An initial consultation is a meeting between you and the attorney to discuss your drunk-driving case. The meeting should also help you select a lawyer.
During this meeting you should ask the attorney questions to better understand his experience handling DUI cases, his assessment of your case and his billing rates. You should also gauge your comfort level with the lawyer.
Since the lawyer needs to understand the circumstances surrounding your drunk driving charges, take time to prepare for the meeting. First, gather any relevant documents. This includes the police report and court documents detailing your drunk driving charges.
Then compile a list of questions to ask the attorney.
Finally, bring writing materials to the meeting so you can take notes.
Issues to Consider When Retaining an Oregon Drunk Driving Lawyer
It doesn’t matter which town in Oregon you live in. It could be Portland, Oatfield or Nyssa. You should always take time to assess a DUI attorney’s qualifications before hiring one.
The lawyer you hire should devise a solid legal strategy to defend you. He should be able to explain Oregon DUI laws and how the laws apply to your case. The attorney should also be able to assess your case and inform you of the potential outcomes. Ask yourself:
- Which lawyer proposed the best legal strategy for my case?
- Who could assess my case and provide potential outcomes?
- Who best explained Oregon drunk driving laws and how they applied to my case?
- Which lawyer’s advice seemed most realistic?
You should also factor in a lawyer’s experience handling DUI cases. You want to hire the attorney who’s represented similar clients.
The lawyer must understand the legal issues associated with your DUI. This knowledge will help him formulate a solid legal strategy and guide you through the court proceedings.
The lawyer you select should also know the Oregon court system, judges, prosecutors and fellow defenders. Assess an attorney’s involvement in Oregon bar associations, such as the Oregon State Bar. A lawyer who’s involved in an association tends to know many people in the legal arena.
Next, look at how the lawyer charges for his services. Evaluate the total estimated cost of your case. Ask yourself if the fees seem reasonable. Then determine if you can afford to hire the attorney.
Generally, a DUI lawyer charges an hourly rate or flat rate for his services. If you retain a lawyer that charges by the hour, you will get charged for every hour the lawyer works on your case. If you hire a lawyer that charges a flat fee, you must pay the set price up front.
In addition to a lawyer’s rates, you must pay for other expenses, such as the costs of investigators, expert witnesses and paralegals. You could also be responsible for court fees if found guilty.
Lastly, factor in your comfort level with each lawyer. Since you may be working with the lawyer for a long time, you need to feel at ease in his company. You need to trust him and his legal advice.
Since all DUI lawyers are not the same, retain the one you are most comfortable with personally. You also need to be sure of the lawyer’s experience, billing rates, proposed legal strategy and legal advice.
When making your hiring decision, assess all the factors discussed above. If you’re having difficulty selecting an attorney, ask for references. Call them and get their opinion on the lawyer. Or call the lawyer back if you have additional questions. A lawyer who gets back to you in a timely manner to answer follow-up questions could be the one for you.
Finally, select the Oregon drunk driving lawyer who’s the best all-around match.