How to Hire an Arizona DUI Lawyer
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a crime that is taken quite seriously in Arizona. The state imposes some of the harsher penalties available for DUI charges, and most people who do not practice in this area of law are not sufficiently familiar with it to provide an adequate defense. If you have been charged, you may be wondering about how to hire an Arizona DUI lawyer. Which questions should you ask? How will you know if you are getting a capable defense? How much should it cost? Phoenix DUI lawyer James E. Novak provides knowledgeable, aggressive representation to his clients, and DUI defense is a substantial portion of his practice.How to Hire An Arizona DUI Lawyer
You should not hire an attorney until you have met with them and asked questions to which you receive satisfactory answers. In some cases, an experienced lawyer participates in the initial meeting, but in a version of bait and switch, a less experienced or totally inexperienced attorney handles the case after that. You should find out who will provide the actual representation by coming to court, writing motions, and negotiating with the prosecution or police.
Ideally, an experienced lawyer will be involved in these important steps. In most cases, prosecutors and defense attorneys develop a relationship over a long period of time, and a good relationship or an awareness of a defense attorney's strong reputation and experience may influence the plea deal that you are able to obtain and whether the prosecution takes seriously a threat to go to trial.
You should hire an attorney who gives you a written fee agreement. This agreement will specify the scope of representation (including what the lawyer intends to do in your case), whether a flat fee or hourly rate will be charged, and the fee for representation. It should also specify whether there will be additional costs for expert witnesses or investigators and how those costs will be borne. For example, if a lawyer intends to challenge a blood laboratory test result, it may be necessary to retain an experienced expert on the issue of blood alcohol concentration and how it is measured. This expert will need to be paid, and you should know if you will be charged that cost, as well as how much it is likely to be.
You should discuss the scope and fees with the attorney who is representing you, rather than with a non-lawyer employee if possible. Many variables are involved in setting the fee, and you should be able to ask about which types of defenses are available in your case and the results that a particular lawyer has previously obtained in other similar cases. For example, our office may need to raise Fourth or Fifth Amendment-related defenses. Under Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, you have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures of your person. This means that an officer must have a reasonable suspicion to stop you and must have probable cause to arrest you. If either of these standards is not met, we may have grounds to ask the court to suppress certain evidence obtained after these critical junctures.
You should make sure to retain an attorney who is familiar with the judge and prosecution in the court where your case will be tried. You should also retain an attorney who is devoted to DUI and criminal matters, since this is an area of law that changes frequently. Small nuances in case law may have a big impact on your case, including which defenses may be available. For example, the police may have asked for a sample of your blood from the hospital where you were treated, and case law will determine whether or not this sample may be used to obtain a conviction in your case.Discuss Your Needs with a Phoenix Lawyer Skilled in DUI Cases
An experienced DUI attorney will be up to date on the law and can determine an appropriate strategy to take. If you are seeking to hire an Arizona DUI lawyer, you should consult a knowledgeable attorney who can adequately protect your interests. Contact James E. Novak at (480) 413-1499 or via our online form to set up a free appointment with a drunk driving attorney. He represents drivers throughout the Phoenix area, including in Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, and other areas of Maricopa County.