If you have been charged with a DUI or DUI-related offense, finding the right lawyer can be imperative to your case. DUI charges are unlike any other crime: they require specific knowledge not only of the law but the science and technology associated with breath, blood, and urine tests. Not all attorneys have this kind of knowledge or – more importantly – understand how the science and technology matter to DUI cases.
Here is your guide to understanding how to find the right DUI defense attorney for you.
Understand the Outcome You Want for Your Virginia DUI Case
Choosing any DUI attorney isn't difficult – just google "DUI attorney in Virginia / D.C., and you'll find several on the first page of search engine results. Choosing the right Virginia DUI defense attorney is another thing entirely. Before you can choose the right DUI attorney, you should consider what you want to happen in your specific case.
Do you want:
- to do your time and be done?
- to settle as soon as possible?
- to avoid a conviction at all costs?
If you want to do your time and be done with it all, you will likely plead guilty because you think the evidence is against you. If you plead guilty, you are looking at a driver's license suspension, possible jail time, a fine, and a criminal record that carries collateral consequences.
If you want to settle, then you will likely plead not guilty initially, but you will later plead guilty in exchange for a reduced charge or reduced sentence. If you go this route, you still end up with possible driver's license suspension, possible jail time, a fine, and a criminal record that carries collateral consequences.
If you want to avoid a criminal record, then you will fight the DUI charges at all costs.
Consider the Impact of Your DUI Goal Materializing
You want to consider – if your DUI case results in the outcome you want – how that outcome will affect your life? If you plead guilty or settle, you end up with a criminal record. If you fight the charge, you could avoid a criminal record at best and, at worst, get a reduced sentence.
With regard to a criminal record, do you already have a criminal record or would this be your first offense? Either way, a new conviction can cause you problems. For first-time offenders, you will find it difficult to:
- get a job generally
- get a job in the financial sector specifically
- get or renew a professional license, e.g., pilot's license, commercial driver's license, real estate license, teaching license, medical license, nursing license, CPA
- get or renew security clearance for a job
- obtain a loan, e.g., personal, auto, education, mortgage
- acquire good housing
- travel outside the country, e.g., Canada
- among other things.
Think of these things and determine how much they matter or apply to your unique situation. If the DUI is a felony, additional consequences could apply, like difficulty with child custody or the denial of your rights to vote and own a firearm.
Correlate the Virginia DUI Attorney's Experience with Your Goals
Now that you know what outcome you want and why, you want to make sure the attorney you retain has the skills and commitment to help you attain that outcome. This means for those of you who want to fight the DUI if it is viable to fight it, your attorney should:
- know the law;
- know the science and technology of chemical tests;
- have significant experience in DUI defense;
- have experience with cases like yours;
- have credentials that testify to his or her legal capabilities;
- have former client reviews that testify to his or her legal capabilities; and
- have the commitment and dedication to providing the best possible defense for you.
To narrow down who may be right for you, consider other factors like costs – you have to make sure the attorney you hire is affordable roofers services at a price you can manage.
Each case is different. Some cases are harder than other cases. The outcome you want may not be the outcome you receive, but with the right attorney, you will get the best outcome under your circumstances.
Contact the Right DUI Lawyer in D.C. & Virginia Today
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Virginia or the District of Columbia, you should hire the DUI attorney right for you. Not everyone has the same interests and so who is good for you may not be right for someone else. Contact S.L. England, an experienced DUI attorney in D.C. & Virginia, today to learn more about his approach and to confirm he is the right DUI attorney for you.