How to hire the right drunk driving lawyer in Virginia

Drivers should take care when hiring a DUI attorney to ensure they choose the right legal representative for their situations and needs.

Each year, numerous people are arrested in Virginia and elsewhere for suspected drunk driving. In fact, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles reports there were 20,768 driving under the influence convictions in 2015 alone. The consequences of a DUI arrest can have life-changing implications. In order to help protect their rights following such arrests, many people choose to hire an attorney. It is important that they take care when choosing a legal representative, however, to ensure they select the right lawyer for their situations and needs.

Create a list of potential lawyers

When choosing a DUI attorney, it is advisable that people do not just pick a name from a list. Rather, they should get recommendations from family or friends, professional legal associations, or other attorneys and professionals they have worked with. Before making their final selection, people should make a list of possible attorneys to look into further.

Research the candidates

After people have created a list of potential DUI lawyers, they should look into their qualifications. This includes checking out their education, training, experience and ethical record. It may also be helpful for people to read reviews from former clients. Looking into the attorneys they are considering may help drivers who have been arrested for drunk driving to choose a legal representative with the experience to handle their unique situations.

Interview the attorneys in consideration

Before making their decision, it is recommended for people to meet with the top drunk driving lawyers on their lists. Drivers often place their freedom and futures in the hands of those they choose to represent them in their DUI cases. Therefore, meeting with their candidates may help them determine whether they are comfortable with a lawyer and if their personalities mesh.

When meeting with potential DUI attorneys, it is important for people to disclose all of the facts related to their cases because their unique circumstances may affect their charges and potential penalties. For example, people may face a minimum fine of $250 and a one-year driver's license revocation for their first DUI conviction. However, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles points out that if a driver has a blood alcohol level of between 0.15 percent and 0.20 percent, he or she may also be subject to a jail sentence of at least five days. Providing lawyers with all of the information may help them to provide accurate counsel, and help people to avoid those who make bold promises.

Think about the costs

The legal fees may vary significantly from one attorney to the next. DUI arrests are generally unexpected and people may not have funds set aside for this type of situation. Therefore, the costs of their legal representation may be an issues. Asking about the fees lawyers charge before making their decision may help them know what to expect and ensure they choose an attorney who they can afford.

Protecting drivers' rights

Drunk driving is considered a serious offense in Virginia, and thus, may be punished harshly. Thus, the consequences of a DUI conviction may have a significant impact on Virginians' professional and personal lives. Following a drunk driving arrest, it may benefit people to obtain legal representation. A lawyer may help them establish a defense against the charges they are facing, as well as ensure their rights are protected.