Saturday, June 7, 2008

Important California DUI Lawyer Selection Questions & Answers

Will the California DUI Lawyer I hire be the California DUI Lawyer who will handle my California Drunk Driving case?

You may want to be personally represented by a big-name, widely respected and experienced California DUI Lawyer. But simply hiring such a California DUI Lawyer doesn't mean he or she will personally handle your case.

California DUI Lawyers sometime hire associates - attorney employees. The best California DUI Lawyer sometimes have an associate that works directly with them on cases. These associates are more like an assistant to the big name. The associate must be well-trained, closely supervised and highly experienced.

If you think there may be a bait-and-switch, ask which California DUI Lawyer will actually make the California DUI court appearances in your case. Ask who the California DUI Lawyer will be if the case goes to trial. Ask these California DUI Lawyer questions prior to making an appointment to see the California DUI Lawyer, and insist that you want to contact the California DUI Lawyer him or herself, not an associate or non-attorney employee. If the big name California DUI Lawyer won't contact you to accept a retainer, imagine how difficult it'll be getting that California DUI Lawyer to take an interest in your case.

If you're interviewed by a non-California DUI Lawyer who seems more like a salesman than a California DUI Lawyer, you can probably expect to encounter the same unprofessional attitude from that law firm throughout your case. Lawyers have a Code of Professional Conduct they must adhere to, backed up by the enforcement efforts of the State Bar of California. Non-California DUI Lawyer have no enforceable rules for ethical conduct.

How much should I expect to pay a California DUI Lawyer?

Each California DUI Lawyer has something to offer that sets him or her apart from the other California DUI Lawyers. For some, it's low fees. For others, it's an exceptional reputation and high skills to match. You likely won't find both traits in the same California DUI Lawyer. If it's low fees you're looking for, don't expect exceptionally high skills.

California DUI criminal defense attorneys generally charge an upfront flat fee pretrial retainer, rather than billing by the hour like civil law attorneys do. Some have a hybrid fee structure, crediting the California DUI Lawyer retainer against hourly billing. Most California DUI Lawyer retainers simply cover everything needed short of trial. If you have one or more prior convictions within 10 years, expect to pay substantially more. (The more prior convictions you have the more serious the penalties and the more vigorous the California DUI Lawyer must be.) The California DUI Lawyer retainer generally covers both the DMV hearing and the court case, except for trial, which is generally billed additional.

Be careful of dump truck California DUI Lawyers that plead nearly all their clients guilty!

"Dump truck" is what California DUI Lawyers call other California DUI lawyers who mostly just plead their clients guilty, instead of trying California DUI cases. Unfortunately, there are a large number of California DUI Lawyer dump trucks out there. They can be spotted: Any California DUI Lawyer that quickly leads the conversation into talk about plea-bargaining, so it seems that is the primary focus, is suspect (unless there's several prior convictions or a high alcohol reading). Another sign of the dump truck California DUI Lawyer may be one who suggests he or she can get it all taken care of easily &/or quickly; such a California DUI Lawyer so may advertise. Not surprisingly, many of these California DUI Lawyer ads may also say words to the effect: "LOW FEE" or "Why pay more?"

Dump truck California DUI Lawyers often run DUI mills with a large number of associate attorneys. Or perhaps worse, California DUI Lawyers that are hired on a per-appearance basis - they're paid maybe low amounts each time those California DUI Lawyers go to court. One sure sign of the dump truck is a low retainer fee. Ask how much the California DUI Lawyer jury trial fee is. A reasonable California DUI Lawyer jury trial fee is one designed to adequately compensate the California DUI Lawyer for hours of trial preparation and regular courtroom/jury trial time plus additional daily time before and after the actual courtroom/jury trial time - during the California DUI trial itself - and can actually be about $7,500 to $10,000 and more depending on the particular charges or a particular California DUI case. Such a fee is reasonable and necessary without being intended to discourage clients from pursuing a California DUI trial.

Is the California DUI Lawyer recognized by others as a leader in the field?

The best California DUI Lawyers participate as lecturers in California DUI / drunk driving defense seminars for other lawyers. There are a number of statewide California DUI Lawyer seminars per year on this subject. Those California DUI Lawyers who are asked to speak are generally recognized by other California DUI Lawyers as leaders in their field.

Is the California DUI Lawyer a member of the California DUI Lawyers Association?

There's over 100,000 lawyers in California. More and more of them will take your money to represent you in a California DUI / drunk driving case. A fraction of them are serious enough about this area of practice to join the California DUI Lawyers Association, the only statewide bar association of California DUI Lawyers who do DUI defense. A "Regular Member" is a California DUI Lawyer who meets the minimum qualifications for membership, with an added interest in staying up on development and networking with other California DUI Lawyers in his or her field. A "Specialist Member" is a California DUI Lawyer who has met strict requirements for skills and experience certification by the organization (see the membership application for details). There's a smaller number of California DUI Lawyer specialist members.

Does the California DUI Lawyer own a copy of California Drunk Driving Law?

It's agreed among experienced California DUI Lawyers in the field of drunk driving defense that you cannot do a competent job of defending people accused of drunk driving without a copy of California Drunk Driving Law. Nevertheless, only about just over a thousand or so California DUI Lawyers own a current copy of the best California DUI Lawyer book. Why not more? In one sales effort, 1000 lawyers were called on the telephone and offered a 30-day free trial. They were chosen because every single one of them had an ad saying he or she was a California DUI Lawyer or handled drunk driving cases and each of them had never owned a copy of the California DUI Lawyer book. Though we sold some books, most of them weren't interested. Those attorneys are still out there taking people's money to represent them in drunk driving cases.

Is the California DUI Lawyer creative and sociable?

Criminal trials involve a process known among California DUI Lawyers as "suspending reality" for the jury. That involves, number one, making the jury feel good about liking you. That's so the jury can willingly accept the possibility that you may be innocent, without thinking too much about all those other people who want to convict you (judge, prosecutor and cops). Winning trials also requires creative skills of California DUI Lawyer, presenting each case to the jury with another new angle that's unexpected by the California DUI attorney prosecutor. It's kind of like planning the plays for a Superbowl. All this takes a California DUI Lawyer with reasonably good Thespian ability and great social skills. If you feel like the California DUI Lawyer you're considering hiring is a person who is creative, feels comfortable and confident, and puts you at ease (as best as can be, under the circumstances), you've probably got a winner. But you'll need to contact the California DUI Lawyer him or herself to make this determination.

Will my case be dismissed through the efforts of my California DUI Lawyer?

Dismissal of the DUI charge is a procedure when a defendant plea bargains for a reduced charge. When that happens, the California DUI charge is dismissed and the client pleads guilty to something different.

If a California DUI Lawyer claims that drunk driving charges have often been dismissed for his or her clients, ask if those clients were convicted of anything else instead.

Is it best to hire a local California DUI Lawyer who's friendly with the judge and prosecutor?

There's pros and cons which probably balance out. But if the California DUI Lawyer makes it a major selling point, one begins to wonder if there's anything more substantial that the attorney has to offer than a California DUI Lawyer Specialist.

Won't the judge be upset with me if I hire a California DUI Lawyer, enter a not guilty plea and try to fight the charges instead of just pleading guilty?

The Constitution prohibits punishing you for asserting your rights. Despite the Constitution though, a very small number of judges do threaten greater penalties later for not pleading guilty very early. This tactic frequently works with less experienced attorneys. Premier California DUI Lawyers can call the judge's bluff, outsmart him or her, or arrange for a different judge to handle the California DUI case, etc. A good California DUI Lawyer armed with a solid background in California DUI law, and a willingness to challenge this type of judge can prevail over even the worst of them. Is not that at least part of why you retain a good California DUI Lawyer?

For a top California DUI Lawyer Specialist, visit