In 2016, alcohol-impaired driving claimed over 10,497 lives in the U.S. alone. About 29 Americans die in alcohol-related crashes every single day. Considering these facts, it’s no wonder why driving under the influence is a criminal offense.
Drunk driving penalties vary among states. In Louisiana, you can expect to pay a fine of $300 to $1,000 or spend up to six months in jail for a first DUI offense. You might also have your driver’s license suspended and receive 32 hours of community service.
A third DUI offense may result in fines of up to $2,000 and one to five years of jail. Plus, your driver’s license will be suspended for three years.
Hiring an experienced drunk driving attorney to help you out can make all the difference. Those who work in this field know the legal system and have the expertise to formulate a strong defense.
Not sure where to start? Keep these things in mind when hiring a DUI attorney in Louisiana:
Check Their DUI Expertise
Attorneys specialize in different fields, from commercial law to criminal defense. Make sure you choose one who knows the ins and outs of DUI laws.
Ask your family and friends for references. Go online and search for DUI lawyers in your area.
Another option is to look up the National College for DUI Defense, which features an extensive list of attorneys with experience in this field. Simply choose your state and check out the lawyers you’re interested in.
Make a list of firms that suit your needs and then contact each of them. Ask how many DUI cases they’ve litigated so far and for how long they’ve been in business.
Choose a Reputable Drunk Driving Attorney
Attorneys with a high success rate will collect the praise of past clients and have testimonials on their websites and social media pages. Check these things before making a decision.
Look up the attorney’s name online and see what comes up. Read customer reviews and success stories. Don’t hesitate to contact previous clients and ask briefly what their experience with that lawyer was like.
Get Multiple Estimates
DUI legal fees vary from one law firm to another. They depend on how complex your case is, the attorney’s experience and reputation, and other factors.
Get multiple quotes from different firms. Watch out for high upfront costs and make sure there are no hidden fees. If possible, try to get an estimate for the cost of the whole service.
Ask the Right Questions
Make a list of questions to ask potential attorneys. These may include:
- How are you going to handle my case?
- Who will be in court with me?
- How many jury trials have you had over the past year?
- Are you familiar with the prosecutor who will handle my case?
- Which factors work in my favor?
- Is a plea agreement possible?
Also, remember to ask when you’re going to be billed and how much time you will have to pay.
Make sure you feel comfortable discussing with your lawyer. He or she should be able and willing to answer any questions you may have.
Get Legal Help When You Need It the Most
Hiring a drunk driving attorney in Louisiana takes some research. Don’t go for the first offer you get. An inexperienced lawyer or one who doesn’t care about your case is going to be a bad fit.
If you need help with a DUI offense, contact us today! We have years of experience in handling DWI /DUI charges and treat every case with personalized attention.