Drunk Driving Defense, DUI Arrest - FAQs
13. I am looking for an experienced DUI lawyer. How do I find one?
The ideal method to measure a qualified DUI attorney is through their reputation. One way to determine this is simply through asking lawyers in the local area who they believe are the most qualified in DUI defense. You can also visit courthouses ask clerks, bailiffs, and public defenders the same question: Which DUI attorney would they recommend?
The highest recognition DUI lawyers can receive is American Bar Association-approved Board-certification by the National College for DUI Defense. This certification shows an exceptionally high level of experience, knowledge and ability; there are currently only 5 ABA-NCDD Board-certified DUI attorneys in California (Mr. Taylor is one of them). Another strong indication of expertise is membership with the National College for DUI Defense, as well as attendance at the College's rigorous 3-day seminar held annually at Harvard Law School. There are many qualities to look for in a DUI attorney.
Note: You should view online "client reviews" on such sites as Google, Yelp and AVVO with caution. Unfortunately, there are disreputable attorneys who will pay internet services to post false "reviews", extolling the virtues of the attorney and giving him top ratings. Some of these attorneys have gone further and posted false reviews about their competitors, disparaging them with false allegations and poor ratings.
Generally speaking, then, you should seek attorneys who have excellent reputations, extensive experience and specialization in DUI defense. Conversely, it is wise to avoid attorneys who:
- Have graduated from unaccredited colleges and law schools (for a list of accredited law schools, see www.aals.org/about_memberschools.php).
- Have little experience as an attorney (the attorney's date of admission to the Bar can be found on http://members.calbar.ca.gov/fal/MemberSearch/QuickSearch) or in the DUI field.
- Attempt to represent clients charged with a wide range of criminal offenses rather than focusing on DUI defense.
- Pay for internet ads appearing at the top of Google or other search results, or advertise on radio, in newspapers or via mail (so-called "jail mail"). Experienced attorneys with good reputations do not need to advertise
- Claim high "win rates" in court or at DMV hearings (for example, "We win 80% of our cases!"); this is impossible to confirm as the attorney cannot ethically divulge his clients names and government agencies don't keep records of results by attorneys.
- Make promises as to results ("I can get the charges reduced to "reckless driving" and get your license back); this is both unethical and virtually impossible to predict. If you ask the attorney to put the promise in writing, he will refuse.
- Falsely advertise themselves to be authors of DUI defense books that are, in fact, self-published for advertising purposes only. Simply check Amazon.com to see if the attorney's book actually exists.
It is not recommended to seek out a referral from the local Bar Association or a referral service. These services usually work off of a list and just offer you the next lawyer on the list. The problem with this strategy is that there are very few skills or requirements necessary to have in order to be put on this list. All an attorney has to do is request to be put on the list.
At the Law Offices of Taylor & Taylor, we pride ourselves on offering value -- providing the highest quality representation at a competitive cost. Our fees are reasonable and do not involve any hidden additional charges. Credit cards are readily accepted and payment plans are available. Please feel free to contact us at time to discuss fees without any obligation or cost. We look forward to serving you and helping you through this difficult time.
For a discussion of fees charged by DUI defense attorneys, as well as pitfalls to be aware of in seeking one, see What will it cost to retain a DUI attorney to defend me?.