Did you know that driving under the influence (DUI) is an offense under Florida law?
The state defines a DUI as driving with impaired normal faculties or an unlawful blood alcohol/breath alcohol of .08 or higher. If a police officer finds that you meet the qualifications for a DUI, you could face a range of penalties, including hefty fines, community service, probation, or even imprisonment.
A Florida DUI attorney can help you navigate these charges and fight for your rights. Before you hire one, it’s important to make sure they’re the right fit for you. Today, we’re sharing the top five questions to ask your prospective lawyer before moving forward.
1. Do You Specialize in DUI Cases?
When it comes to legal representation for your DUI case, not all lawyers are created equal. You need a team that specifically focuses on criminal and non-criminal traffic offenses. In addition, they should have worked for a long period of time in your local area.
While everyone has to start somewhere, you don’t want a brand-new lawyer helping you through your serious DUI offense. You also don’t want to work with someone who is unfamiliar with the way your state laws work or hasn’t interfaced with local prosecutors and judges.
Even if you find a team that seems to check all of the right boxes, they might not have the experience or qualifications required to help you. For instance, a family lawyer or a business lawyer might be highly certified in their respective focus areas, but unless they also work on DUI cases, they aren’t the right partner for you.
At RHINO Lawyers, criminal defense is one of our top specialties. In addition to DUIs, we also help our clients handle a range of other traffic-related criminal offenses, from driving while license suspended (DWLS) and reckless driving to drug possession, drag racing, and unlawful tag charges.
2. What Is Your Most Common DUI Case Outcome?
It’s helpful to ask a potential DUI attorney to explain how many of their cases go to a DUI jury trial. You can also inquire about how often their clients plead guilty. However, it can be even more enlightening to ask how many of their charges are dropped altogether.
A reputable attorney should be able to clearly state the number of dropped cases they’ve handled. While you don’t necessarily have to hire a lawyer with a perfect record, this can be a great indicator of the team’s tenacity and drive.
That said, be wary of any attorney who claims they’ve helped all of their clients avoid legal consequences. In most cases, this is an unrealistic claim and could be a red flag. When it comes to defending a DUI case, there are never any lock-tight guarantees, and a team that promises you the moon is one to avoid.
Instead, you simply need a lawyer who will work as hard as they can to help you achieve the best possible outcome. Ask them what they can do for your case and the different services they will provide.
3. How Will We Work Together?
Establishing a solid DUI defense requires clear and constant communication. From the very beginning, you need to understand how you will reach your lawyer and the ways they can contact you. You should be confident that they’ll be easy to locate and willing to answer questions any time they arise.
Some attorneys prefer email while others work mostly in phone calls. Be sure to write down their office hours and the steps to take if you need to initiate after-hours contact. It’s also helpful to ask if the person you speak to during your initial consultation will be the one handling the case.
4. What Is Your Typical Approach?
The second-best outcome to getting your DUI charges dropped altogether is taking your case to trial. In court, you can work through the details of the offense. In the light of enough evidence, prosecutors will often reduce the charges you face.
Knowing this, ask each DUI attorney to explain how they’ll help build your case. The most common strategy is to build reasonable doubt around your arrest. They can achieve this in a number of different ways, including:
- Analyzing the accuracy of the breathalyzer results
- Analyzing the reliability of the breathalyzer test
- Claiming that the breathalyzer test was performed illegally
- Analyzing the police officer’s testimony
- Analyzing the police officer’s breathalyzer training
In addition to the above, there are several tactics that can help create doubt around your case. For instance, it can be suspicious if the testing officer isn’t there to testify, or if the sobriety tests weren’t properly maintained. A qualified lawyer will find all of the holes in your case and bring them to light.
5. What Are the Associated Costs?
Finally, it’s important to understand what each attorney will charge to provide their services, as well as the types of payments they accept. Most of the time, criminal defense lawyers will charge a flat fee or a per-hour fee, and some may offer payment plans.
Check to see if the one you’re considering will offer a free initial consultation to review your case and determine if and how they can help. In addition to the standard fee, ask if there are any additional charges you should expect before you start working together.
From retesting your blood sample to hiring expert witnesses, your case might require extra services that cost above and beyond the baseline charges.
Do You Need a Florida DUI Attorney?
If you’re facing DUI charges, we understand this is a challenging and difficult time. You need and deserve an experienced, qualified, and reliable Florida DUI attorney on your side.
Our team at RHINO Lawyers is here to help. We specialize in criminal defense law and have handled DUI cases like yours before. We know what it takes to achieve a favorable outcome, and we’ll do our best to defend your rights at every turn.
As you prepare to take these next steps, contact us today. We offer a free instant case evaluation online and are also available for video consultations and online chats.
CONTACT TAMPA TRAFFIC TICKET ATTORNEY
RHINO Lawyers can help and guide you through a system molded by law enforcement, judges, and lawyers for decades. Having won cases for our clients in similar circumstances, our criminal defense team knows what it takes to fight on your behalf.
Let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at (844) RHINO-77.