How to Hire a Virginia Beach DWI Lawyer
If you've been arrested and charged with a Virginia Beach DWI, one of your top priorities should be hiring an experienced lawyer to handle your case. If you've never before hired a drunk driving attorney, this article will guide you through the process.
If you're still on the fence about hiring a lawyer, know that driving under the influence (DUI, also known as driving while intoxicated, or DWI) is a serious crime with potentially serious consequences. Even if this is your first offense, Virginia Beach DUI penalties potentially include fines, jail time and loss of your driver's license.
A Virginia Beach DUI lawyer can guide you through the legal process, attempt to negotiate lesser charges or defend you in court, advise you of your legal options and advocate on your behalf.
Finding Virginia Beach DWI Lawyers
If you feel comfortable telling people you've been charged with a DUI, you can ask friends, family and co-workers if they could recommend a Virginia Beach DWI lawyer. If you get a recommendation, ask the person if he was pleased with the lawyer's services? Were the legal fees reasonable? Would he use the lawyer again, if necessary?
If you can't get personal recommendations, want the name of another lawyer or just don't want to discuss your arrest with people you know, Attorneys.com can help you find a Virginia Beach DUI lawyer. Complete the form on this site, or call us at 1-877-913-7222. After answering a few basic questions, we'll put you in touch with a lawyer in your area. Call the attorney at your convenience, or he'll contact you within two business days.
Once you've identified at least one Virginia Beach DUI attorney, call to schedule an initial consultation. This meeting will allow you to familiarize the lawyer with your case, learn more about the lawyer's experience, proposed strategy and legal fees, and decide if you want to hire the attorney. These meetings are usually free, but you should double check when making the appointment.
Meeting With an Attorney
To get the most from each meeting, you'll want to prepare for each meeting. There are a few steps to take.
First, make copies of any documents related to your Virginia Beach DUI, and bring copies of these papers to the meeting.
Next, create a written list of questions you'd like to ask the Virginia Beach drunk driving lawyer. Remember that the goal of the meeting is to decide if you want to hire the lawyer, so focus your questions on topics that help you decide. Ask about the lawyer's experience, assessment of your situation, proposed strategy for handling your case and legal fees. If you have any special requirements in a lawyer—such as weekend office hours—you should also ask about those.
Finally, bring writing materials to the meeting. You'll want to take careful notes as you talk to the lawyer or immediately after the consultation, while the details are still fresh in your mind. These notes will be helpful when you sit down to select an attorney.
Know that all lawyers are bound by certain confidentiality rules. That means the lawyer cannot disclose anything you tell him without your permission. This means you can speak candidly while meeting an attorney and know that what you say will be kept confidential, even if you ultimately hire a different lawyer.
Selecting a Virginia Beach Drunk Driving Lawyer
The criminal justice system moves quickly, and you don't have a lot of time to spare when interviewing Virginia Beach DUI lawyers. You need to select a lawyer promptly, so he can get to work on your case.
Soon after your last initial consultation, you need to decide which attorney to hire. Ask yourself:
- Who had the right experience to handle my drunk driving case?
- Which lawyer offered a strategy I agreed with? Was the lawyer's assessment of my case reasonable and realistic?
- Whose legal fees could I afford?
- Which lawyer do I feel most comfortable entrusting with my case?
After you've answered those questions, one lawyer may stand out from the rest. In this case, your decision will be an easy one. If you're torn between a couple of lawyers, ask each one to put you in touch with a former client who can serve as a reference. Call the clients and ask about their personal experience with the attorney. What were the lawyer's strengths and weaknesses? Were they happy with how their case was handled? Would they use the lawyer again, if necessary?
Once you've selected an attorney, you're ready to move forward with your drunk driving case.