1. )#) Do not retain a criminal law attorney or DUI defense lawyer based upon the attorney’s office location. For many hardworking people, it is simply easier to go to a local criminal law attorney blocks away to make legal decisions that could land you or a loved one in jail and/or affect one’s livelihood forever. While a general practice attorney is often acceptable for non specialty areas such as the drafting of wills, contacts, etc., criminal and drunk driving defense has become a specialized field requiring unique training and attention. For example, most police departments have officers who are trained to do nothing other than pursue drunk driving arrests or drug crimes. As a result, it is often critical that your attorney be one that has devoted himself or herself exclusively to the practice of criminal law or DUI defense with more training in the field than the officer who has arrested you. In an age where most all top criminal or DUI attorneys are accessible for free phone or computer consultations, there is simply no reason not to consult with as many capable criminal defense law attorneys as possible before making the all important decision of who will defend you in a criminal court of law.
2. )#) Be wary of a fee arrangement that requires you to pay a criminal law attorney or drunk driving attorney base upon an hourly rate. It is often the practice of top criminal attorneys to have a client pay an initial retainer fee for their criminal defense, followed by a detailed fee for services performed beyond the initial retainer fee, or down payment. While not a problem limited to criminal law attorneys or DUI lawyers, a professional paid by the hour has a financial interest in prolonging services for their financial benefit. Within the context of a criminal prosecution, this financial arrangement can too often prove to be a lose situation for an uniformed client. This is so because not only is a client faced with the prospect of limitless and often frivolous professional fees, but also the potential of creating unnecessary conflict between defense counsel and a prosecutor who will often attribute delays in settlement to a client who is punished for the needless actions of a criminal arrest attorney with financial thoughts on his mind not always consistent with an effective criminal defense.
3. )#) Never speak to law enforcement without a criminal law attorney and be especially proactive in retaining a criminal law or DUI defense lawyer at your earliest opportunity
One who has been arrested for a felony or misdemeanor crime or accused of a criminal offense must always be aware that an arresting officer or detective is not your friend. No matter the kindness and sympathy one in law enforcement may extend to you, the fact that you are a professional, veteran of the armed forces or contributor to the sheriff’s department is not going to legally aid you in providing a legal defense. Only a rookie or inexperienced detective or police officer will yell and scream at one being investigated for a crime. Rather, an effective law enforcement officer is usually trained in the art of gaining a suspect’s trust and in turn the potential for an incriminating statement without the assistance of a capable criminal defense law attorney to protect you. Do not let the truth get in the way of reality. It is an officer’s job to thoroughly scrutinize a statement given in good faith for any possible discrepancies in an effort to incriminate one subjected to a criminal investigation.
Once that statement, no matter how innocently intended or misinterpreted has been made, the job of your criminal law attorney has been made infinitely more difficult. If you or a loved one is the target of a criminal investigation and have not given a statement without the presence of your criminal attorney, consider yourself fortunate. You have the benefit of securing the services of a top criminal defense lawyer prior to charging decisions and settlement options being made within a prosecutor’s office.