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When you are arrested for a DUI, you are facing very serious criminal charges. A large part of how your case turns out will depend on the type of help your Columbus DUI attorney can give you. That’s why choosing the right one is so vital.
The following are the top 10 questions you should ask when hiring a Columbus DUI attorney in order to find the best one for your needs.
How long have you been practicing law? Experience matters. That’s why you need to know how long your attorney has been practicing law to get a sense of how comfortable they are working with the system and representing your best interests. Ideally, you want an attorney with at least several years of DUI trial experience under his or her belt.
What’s your training and background? You want to make sure that your attorney has the type of training needed to get you the best possible outcome for your case. This doesn’t just refer to their degree, but also to their post-graduation training and known focus. Your DUI case will have a much greater chance for success if your attorney is continuing to educate himself or herself on evolving DUI/ OVI issues here in Ohio.
How familiar are you with the Columbus court where my DUI case would be tried? Local court knowledge is often vital in DUI cases, especially when deciding whether or not to accept a plea deal. Every court and every judge operates a little differently, so you need to know that your attorney has experience on cases tried in the court you’ll face, as well as a working relationship with the prosecutor on your case.
How often do you handle cases like mine? Not all lawyers concentrate on the same issues. You want a Columbus OVI lawyer who regularly helps clients with OVI cases similar to yours in order to ensure they are prepared for the issues likely to arise and familiar with the defenses likely to work.
What’s your success rate? It’s not rude to ask an attorney about his or her track record. You should be direct and ask to hear how often they successfully get a plea bargain or an acquittal for their clients.
What are the likely outcomes of my case? Most of your legal consultation on your DUI case will include a discussion of the prosecution’s case against you and the attorney’s evaluation of the likely outcomes for your charge. You need a Columbus OVI lawyer who will give you his or her honest legal opinion and clearly explain your options and likely outcomes.
Can you guarantee that I’ll win my case? The answer should always be no — but that they will do whatever they can to get your case the best outcome possible. No attorney, no matter how good, can guarantee a specific outcome. You should be suspicious of any lawyer who does.
Will I be working directly with you or with another lawyer or paralegal? Working with an attorney is a very personal and important relationship. You need to know exactly who you will be working with and whether or not you feel comfortable with the arrangement. It’s important to find out upfront exactly how much contact you’ll have with your Columbus DUI attorney.
What are your fees? The costs are of course important, so do your research. Make sure you are getting the best value for your money Most DUI attorneys will charge either a flat fee or an hourly rate. Find out what services are included in the fees charged, what you can expect as a potential overall total, and what you can expect in return. Keep in mind that the lowest fees can sometimes be misleading, so dig deeper. Also, ask what payment plans may be available to help you handle the costs.
Can I review your written agreement for representation? The written agreement for representation covers all the expectations you can have from a working relationship, including how you can be in communication, what level of personal care you can expect, the firm’s responsibility to you, and much more. Look it over and have the attorney explain the most important points. This will give you an overview of exactly what working with that Columbus DUI attorney would be like.
When you address all these questions thoroughly, you can be sure that you are picking the best OVI lawyer for your case. You should never be afraid to press for an answer, as a good lawyer should be able to answer them all.
If you’ve been arrested for an OVI or a DUI in Ohio, make sure to get a Columbus DUI attorney you trust right away. At Luftman, Heck and Associates, we are happy to answer these questions and any others for you at no cost during our free preliminary consultation. Call us today at to set up yours.