The Law Offices of Kensley R. Barrett Articles How to Choose a DUI Lawyer in Rhode Island

How to Choose a DUI Lawyer in Rhode Island

By Kensley Barrett  Nov. 18, 2016 9:13p

Are you facing a DUI charge in the state of Rhode Island? If so, choosing the right DUI lawyer to handle your case should be priority number one. The attorney you choose to fight for you can actually make or break your case. Many people are mistaken and think that they should automatically plead guilty to a DUI charge. An experienced attorney can help you reduce the penalties you face and possibly help get them dropped entirely. To make sure you pick the best DUI lawyer in Rhode Island, we are sharing some tips to help you select one.

Research Potential Attorneys

The first thing you will want to do is start researching potential attorneys in your area. You don't have to select one and stick to your decision. You can actually schedule consultations with various attorneys to find the one that's right for you. (More on that in a moment!) If you aren't sure where to start, ask some friends and family if they have recommendations for a great attorney. Odds are, someone you know has had to use a local attorney and it's always comforting when someone you trust can vouch for the attorney you choose.

If you aren't able to get any references from friends or family, you can go online to find potential attorneys for your case. You can use services such as the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers or Avvo. These services make it easy to search for an attorney so you can select the best one for your needs.

The main thing you'll want to look for is someone who has experience dealing with DUI cases. You don't want someone who is experimenting with DUI cases without having years of experience of proven results. You want to feel confident that the attorney you choose will fight for you and work to get the best possible outcome in the courtroom.

Find a few attorneys with plenty of experience handling DUI cases and start making calls to schedule consultations with them. During these meetings, you can get a clear idea of what each attorney's plan is for your case so you know exactly what you're up against. It'll also help you make an educated decision about which attorney is right for you so you can pick someone you're comfortable with.

Interview Your Potential Attorneys

Once you've scheduled your consultation with the potential attorneys, you want to head into your meeting prepared with questions. There's no shame in asking questions and getting to know the attorneys because this will help you find the ones that's the right fit for you and your case. You'll want to ask questions about the attorney's experience, plus strategies for your case so you can know what the next step should be. Some of the questions you'll want to ask include:

  • How long have you been practicing? It's important to find out how long an attorney has been practicing. You want someone who has years of experience in the courtroom so you can be confident that you've chosen someone who will effectively fight for you.
  • Do you have much experience with DUI cases? As mentioned above, you want an attorney who has worked with DUI cases for a long period of time. Someone who is just experimenting with DUI cases won't be the most knowledgeable on the state's DUI laws and effective defensive strategies. Instead, choose someone who has a proven track record for getting results for DUI clients.
  • What outcomes have you obtained in similar DUI cases? Obviously, all DUI cases are unique, however it's still good to know that an attorney can get results for his/her clients.
  • How will you handle my case? No attorney can promise a specific outcome for a case. An attorney can, however, outline a strategy for your unique situation. Ask the attorneys you interview how they would handle the case so you know what to expect next in fighting your DUI charge.
  • How will you stay in touch throughout the duration of the case? DUI cases are not resolved overnight. In fact, they can take some time before you receive your day in court and therefore get a resolution. It's important to choose an attorney who will keep you updated on the progress of your case throughout the duration of your time together. Will you be immediately notified of updates? Will the attorney call you or send you an email? Make it clear that you want to stay on top of all the latest progress on your case.
  • Are you in good standing with the State Bar? One of the most crucial things to make sure of when choosing an attorney for your case is to find one who is in good standing with the Rhode Island State Bar. You do not want to hire an attorney who has been disbarred or has been involved in any kind of trouble previously.
  • What are the costs associated with your service and how much will it be? Hiring an attorney is a very costly expense, but one that is necessary if you want to fight DUI charges. Before you leave the consultation, find out what services are included and how much everything will cost. Pick an attorney who gives you a fair price so you don't overpay for services. If you need a payment plan, don't be afraid to ask if they offer one.

In the end, it's important that you choose an attorney who is not only competent in the courtroom, but who you also feel comfortable with. You and your attorney will be working together to fight for your rights in the courtroom and you want someone who you can trust and count on to be there for you every step of the way. Take your time when interviewing potential attorneys and choose wisely. Just make sure you don't wait too long to take action! The sooner you get an attorney working on your case, the more likely you are to yield a positive outcome.

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