Factors to Consider When Hiring a DUI Attorney in Washington
It’s serious to be arrested in Washington for driving under the influence, or DUI. Washington State law provides for license suspension, large fines and jail time for those convicted of DUI. If you’ve been arrested, you need to protect yourself by hiring a Washington DUI lawyer as soon as possible.
There’s too much at stake to take chances with your DUI. Washington DUI lawyers understand criminal defense, and can provide the experience, guidance and advice essential to your case.
Although it’s important to hire an attorney soon, it’s equally important to hire the right attorney. This article explains how to decide which attorney is best for you.
Hiring a Defense Attorney for a Washington DUI.
The first step is to find a lawyer. Attorneys.com can connect you with Washington DUI lawyer near you, from Vancouver to Spokane. Your family and friends may also be able to provide an attorney recommendation.
When you have the names of one or more attorneys, schedule an initial consultation with each one. The consultation is your first meeting with an attorney. It gives you the chance to get to know an attorney and ask questions, and it’s usually free. During a consultation, your goal is to learn about your DUI, Washington State law and the attorney. There are several important factors to consider when looking for a Washington DUI attorney.
Your attorney should have strong experience in Washington DUI defense. Ask the attorney:
- How long he has been practicing DUI defense in Washington
- How many cases he has handled
- If he is familiar with the judge, prosecutors and court staff where your case will be heard
Experience is one of the most important factors in choosing an attorney. Ask any additional questions that will help you understand an attorney’s defense skill.
Legal Strategy and Options
An experienced Washington DUI attorney will know how to approach your case and assess your options. You should consider:
- How the attorney plans to defend you
- The suggested options
- The possible outcomes
- If you understand and agree with the defense strategy
Washington DUI lawyers typically charge by the hour, although some may charge a flat fee. Before hiring an attorney, ask:
- How the attorney charges
- What the amount of the hourly rate or flat fee is
- If costs and expenses are included
- If a retainer fee is required
- What the estimated total cost will be
Your comfort level
You need to trust your attorney and have confidence in his judgment. Some factors to consider are:
- If the attorney explains things clearly
- If you understand his approach
- If you believe he has your best interest in mind
- If the attorney communicates well and will keep you informed
Deciding on a Washington DUI Defense Attorney
After you’ve met with each attorney on you list, take a moment and review your list of important factors. Ask yourself how each attorney measures up.
You may have a clear choice, or you may need more information. If you can’t decide, ask each attorney for client references. A first-hand account from a former client may be helpful to you.
When you feel confident in your choice, hire that Washington DUI lawyer and move ahead with your defense.