What Can a DUI Lawyer Really Do to Help Me?
A good DUI defense attorney has many responsibilities to a client, most of which will not be addressed by a court appointed attorney. This is why a good DUI attorney is also a counselor.
The attorney should…
- ease stress and anxiety,
- instill confidence, and
- provide recommendations for the recovery of whatever problems that caused any criminal behavior (even if the goal is to get the case dismissed).
The attorney must do what is in their client’s best interest while obtaining the best possible outcome given the circumstances.
When an attorney is getting paid, they have an obligation to satisfy all of these objectives. When they are not paid enough, it is natural the attorney may not satisfy all of them. This is why it is important that the attorney is paid full price, because a lesser service is not acceptable when dealing with a make-it-or-break-it event.
Answer all client questions
A client will always have questions that need reliable answers. These questions will come during all stages of the case, even after the case is over. It is critical that the attorney listens carefully and provides truthful, credible, and timely answers.
Questions will be asked about procedure, advice on appropriate actions to be taken, how to deal with employment, family, witnesses, and more. The questions can be endless and they all must be addressed properly. If the attorney does not know an answer, the client must find an attorney who does.
Evaluate the evidence
First, it is important for an attorney to obtain ALL of the evidence. Most lawyers only obtain the police report and in-car video.
However, to truly evaluate a case, the attorney must judge the reliability and accuracy of the chemical test. The breath or blood test is often the strongest piece of evidence in a driving under the influence case. It must be evaluated in every case. If the attorney does not know how to do it, then hiring them is a waste of your time and money.
The BAC level will be measured by breath or blood tests, each of which require special training to evaluate. The field sobriety examinations also require special training. Attorneys also must evaluate the arresting officer’s competence, the breath test administrator’s skills and/or the blood draw medical records.
Once they have reviewed ALL of the evidence, a defense strategy can be created. It usually takes a combination of many pieces of evidence to identify a strategy. Without a skilled evaluation of ALL of the evidence, a great result cannot be achieved.
Communicate all the real options
A lawyer is only as good as their legal analysis and communication of all available options. It is not a lawyer’s job to communicate the options that they are interested in or are able to handle. Therefore, an attorney’s experience and expertise is critical.
For example; if a lawyer does not know how to fight a blood test, they cannot identify a blood test evidence problem, or provide you a solution to attack it.
Furthermore, a good lawyer will provide all realistic options, even if they require more work on their part. There should be no self-interest concerns on the lawyer’s part. They should be ready, able and willing to do whatever the client wishes.
The client must be properly advised on their options and each option’s advantages and disadvantages.
Anxiety, nervousness and fear are all common emotions held by the accused. By providing solutions to the problem and by being available to answer all questions, those feelings will be eased.
Instructing the defendant on what to say when questioned by a judge or probation officer will make them feel better. Again, a lawyer’s job is as much a counselor as it is a litigator.
Communicate to the Judge and Court
It often takes a third party to effectively communicate a message. The defendant, and even their family members, are often too close to the situation. This allows their feelings to cloud their judgment.
An experienced lawyer will communicate on behalf of the defendant and in a manner that is in their client’s best interest. Persuasion is an art, which is best done by one who has success in doing it. The most persuasive lawyers put themselves in the shoes of those they argue against and are able to understand what is important to them.
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