“Lawyer” is a title that people often have respect (or disdain) for, but that doesn’t mean every lawyer will deliver the same results under given circumstances. A defendant facing DUI charges in Florida is entitled to a court-appointed attorney if they can’t afford one, but there are several private defender options out there. There are several factors a defendant facing DUI charges should examine when choosing between defense attorneys. You could also have special circumstances in your case that require dedicated attention. For your free consultation with one of our private Florida defense attorneys, call 850-607-2929.
When your rights are on the line, it’s not enough that an attorney has “experience.” “Experience” could mean a broad array of things when used in a general legal sense. For example, a lawyer could tout years of experience without mentioning the majority of that legal experience was in an unrelated field like worker's compensation or medical malpractice. Or a lawyer could have years of experience in defense but in a less-involved role like as a receptionist or file clerk. But that doesn’t mean you should strictly look for someone who has worked as a criminal defense attorney- experience on the prosecutorial side can be useful as well.
Some clients may indeed be unsatisfied with their legal outcomes, which were beyond the extent of what an attorney could change. But for the most part, a lawyer won't have several negative reviews if they consistently provide good service. Check reputable lawyer review sites if you want to find a lawyer whose clients are left feeling satisfied.
Confidence And Charisma
Whether you end up in a jury trial or a bench trial, your lawyer will need to defend your position of innocence to the judge and/or jury. It can’t be denied that a charismatic lawyer who’s a good public speaker may convey the message of a defendant’s innocence better than one who is withdrawn and nervous. If your lawyer makes you feel uncomfortable, other people will likely feel the same way. Ideally, a defense attorney has a confident and assertive personality that lends itself to practicing law.
Competent Support Staff
There’s a saying about every chain being as strong as its weakest link. There is no exception when it comes to law firms. Let’s say the number one attorney in the state had a paralegal who forgot to file responses in time and a receptionist who failed to ever deliver client questions to the attorney. This could destroy all the good (and expensive) work put in by the attorney. Some attorneys portray themselves as law firms when they are truly solo practices with a remote reception company, inquiries and messages being handled by a person potentially thousands of miles away.
Check The State Bar
In some areas, there are ads for defense attorneys on every bus, billboard, and bench. In others, the selection of defense attorneys may not be so abundant. If you are struggling to find a defense attorney in your area, try checking with the state bar for licensed lawyers in your area. The State Bar should also have resources on seeking low-income options, if necessary.
For some, it may be preferable to initiate the private defense representation process in person. For others- especially those who may have their vehicles impounded or licenses suspended- phone consultations can be more convenient. Additionally, many of our clients need to have someone else conduct a defense consultation on their behalf. Holding this consultation by phone can make it easier to fit into the schedule of an already-busy person taking on this responsibility.
Private legal representation comes with a high sticker cost, but the long-term savings could be far more significant. Additionally, some defense lawyers may offer flexibility in down payments and monthly payment options. However, most attorneys will only be able to give you a quote for legal services after hearing about your situation in a consultation.
A key component of fair pricing is the consultation price. Some defense attorneys may charge a fee just to have a consultation with a potential client, with no guarantee that the attorney can even help or take the case. Spending too much money during the consultation phase could reduce the defendant’s available budget for the rest of the defense process. This could mean skipping out on crucial evidence like expert testimony or accident recreation. Additionally, we have several clients who retain through consultations held with their family members on their behalf. It wouldn’t be fair for our clients to assume the risk of not being happy with our services or payment structure during the consultation phase. That’s why at The Watson Firm, PLLC, initial consultations for defense against Florida DUI charges are free of charge. Call 850-607-2929 to schedule your free consultation today or contact us online.
A Clear Plan
The last thing a defendant facing criminal charges wants to hear at the end of a consultation is, “I don’t know.” Even if your case is unique, an experienced defense attorney should at least be able to identify which issues may need to be researched, regardless of if that information is available at the forefront of their mind. A defense attorney should be able to give you realistic expectations about the outcome of your case during your consultation as well.
Our Florida Defense Attorneys Offer Free Consultations By Phone
Seeking defense representation as early as possible after a DUI arrest in Florida is crucial to achieving the best possible outcome. Evidence could be lost, memories forgotten, and other issues that a defendant could be completely unaware of without the guidance of a skilled defense attorney. While drivers facing DUI charges in Florida will be provided a public defender if necessary, they also have the option to choose their lawyers. We strive to be the best of the many options that DUI defendants have in the Pensacola area. For your free consultation, click here or call 850-607-2929.