How to Hire a Virginia DUI DWI Lawyer
If police catch you driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you have a serious legal crisis on your hands. You'll need a lawyer familiar with driving under the influence (known as DUI or DWI) charges. But if you've never used a lawyer's services before, you might not know where to find a Virginia DUI lawyer. This article can help.
Under Virginia DUI law, the potential penalties for a DUI conviction include a fine of at least $250, revocation of your driver's license, possible jail time, and even forfeiture of your car in some circumstances. This is no time to be trying to represent yourself in court.
If you believe you cannot afford a lawyer, you may qualify for a Virginia public defender. The judge in your case will ask if you want a public defender at your arraignment.
The judge will decide if you qualify. If you do, you must accept the one assigned to you. If you don't, then you need to start looking for a private Virginia DUI attorney quickly.
Finding a Virginia DUI Lawyer
There are several ways of finding a Virginia DUI lawyer. You could inquire with friends, family members, and work colleague to see if they have ever hired a Virginia DUI attorney. If they have, you'll want to know what they thought of the experience. Ask them:
If you'd prefer not to discuss your recent arrest in Virginia for drunk driving, you have another resource right here. Whether you are in Richmond, Virginia Beach, Arlington, or any other part of the state, Attorneys.com offers a service that connect you with a Virginia DWI lawyer in your area.
Call us at 1-877-913-7222 or fill out the short form on this web site to start the process. After answering a few questions, we'll forward the name and contact information for a Virginia DUI lawyer near you,
You may contact the attorney yourself, or he or she will call you within two business days.
Preparing to Meet a Virginia DUI Lawyer
Getting a name or two of a recommended Virginia DWI attorney is only the first step in hiring the right attorney. You need to conduct a short interview with them. Many DUI lawyers in Virginia are willing to meet with you to get to know you and discuss your case.
At these first meetings, you can find out about the attorney's background, discuss your legal options and possible strategies, and, most importantly, determine whether you want to hire the attorney to represent you.
Because you will not have unlimited time at these meetings, you can take several steps to prepare ahead of time. You will get much more out of your first meetings with a Virginia DUI lawyer if you write a list of questions you want to ask and gather a few documents together.
Focus your questions on topics that will help you decide whether you want to hire the lawyers you meet. Some suggested areas to cover include:
- How much experience the lawyer has representing Virginia clients accused of DUI
- Whether the lawyer has worked with the prosecutor in your case before or at least has contacts within the prosecuting attorney's office
- Your legal options, their consequences and possible strategies
- How much you might pay in legal fees and expenses
Write down your questions and bring them with you, so you don't forget to ask anything. It's also helpful to bring some writing material, so you can record the answers and any notes you want to take.
The documents the Virginia DUI lawyers will want to see are:
- The police report, if possible
- Any other paperwork the police gave you
- Any documents from the court outlining the charges against you and your next court date
- Your bail papers
Meeting with a Virginia DUI Lawyer
When you arrive for your first meeting, resist the urge to dominate the conversation with the story of your arrest. Allow the Virginia DUI attorney to lead the conversation with questions for you. Many attorneys want to understand the prosecutor's case before getting into your version of the facts.
Answer the lawyer's questions directly and completely. You do not need to fear that anything you say would ever be used against you. DUI attorneys in Virginia are bound by strict confidentiality rules. Even if you don't end up hiring the lawyer, everything you said at the first meeting will remain confidential.
If you have any special needs, make them known at the first meeting. For example, you may need weekend appointments or communication in Spanish. Ask if the attorneys can accommodate you.
Selecting a Virginia DUI Attorney
When you have conducted all of your interviews with prospective Virginia DUI attorneys, it is time to choose one to represent you. You may have only talked with one but were really impressed. If so, your search is over.
If, however, you can't decide between two or more candidates, ask them for the names and contact information of a couple of previous clients. Then call to get real-world feedback. Ask the same kinds of questions as suggested above for friends and family members who may have hired a DUI lawyer in the past.
If you're still torn, ask yourself a few questions, such as:
- Which attorney had the most experience representing clients facing similar charges?
- Which attorney seemed patient with my questions and explained new concepts well?
- Whose strategy did I like the best? Who offered the best advice?
- Which attorney's legal fees seemed reasonable?
- With which attorney was I most comfortable?
The answers to these questions should point you in the direction of the very best Virginia DUI attorney for you. Now that you've found him or her, hire the attorney and face the rest of your prosecution represented by counsel.
Connect with an Attorney nowCall 877.913.7222