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Key Questions

The following questions should be asked of any DUI attorney before being hired to represent you in your Placer County Driving Under the Influence case. NOTE: We urge you to print this page and use it as a questionnaire when you are interviewing prospective law firms.

These points are being offered to assist you in screening, evaluating and possibly eliminating a candidate who is vying to be the DUI lawyer for your case. If you merely wish to plead guilty and suffer the consequences, this may be a service that you can perform entirely on your own, without the assistance of ANY attorney.

These points focus on what questions to ask of your potential DUI TRIAL attorney in order to determine what legal services, if any, you will be expecting him or her to perform on your behalf to FIGHT the charges.

If the lawyer you are considering cannot pass the "litmus test" of being a qualified Placer County DUI specialist (as explained in this article), you should look further for legal help, if you plan to try to WIN your case.

Is your practice primarily dedicated to Placer County DUI Defense?
Meaning the firm doesn’t have ‘offices’ in numerous locations or counties.

The ONLY acceptable answer: Yes.

Will the DUI attorney after whom the Law Firm is named actually be the attorney that appears on my behalf in court?

The ONLY acceptable answer: Yes.

Here's a few nice follow up questions if the answer is "no": Who exactly might I expect the actual attorney in court representing me to be? Any idea? Does this person have the same experience and reputation as the individual in the firm name? Will I be charged less then?

Are you EXTREMELY familiar with the judges and prosecutors that will be involved with my Placer County DUI case? Do you have a strong and positive relationship with those individuals?

The ONLY acceptable answer: Yes.

This is an important question for firms that claim to have a statewide or even national practice.

Did you attend a law school accredited by the American Bar Association? (these are the best schools in the country)

The ONLY acceptable answer: Yes.

Are you a member of the National College for DUI Defense? Have you attended at least four of their intensive training events?

The ONLY acceptable answers: Yes and Yes.

Are you a Member of the California DUI Lawyers Association?

The ONLY acceptable answer: Yes.

Do you have at least 15 years trial experience defending clients? (not trying to put them in jail as a prosecutor)

The ONLY acceptable answer: Yes.

Are you willing to go to jury trial if the prosecutor won’t make a fair offer to settle the case?

The ONLY acceptable answer: Yes.
Follow up: How many jury trials then have you personally tried?

Does your law firm have a FULL STAFF of qualified, experienced, paralegals, legal assistants, and investigators?

The ONLY acceptable answer: Yes.

Does your law firm do DMV administrative hearings IN PERSON? (not on the phone)

The ONLY acceptable answer: Yes.
Follow up: If it were your law license at stake would you do the hearing on the phone or in person?

Is the substantial majority of their practice devoted to DUI defense only?

The ONLY acceptable answer: Yes.
Follow up: What percentage? Should be at least 80% - 100%.

Does your fee include representation for the DMV Administrative hearing? And do you use a written retainer agreement?

The ONLY acceptable answers: Yes and Yes.

Do you accept court appointed cases?

The ONLY acceptable answer: No.
Why pay for, in essence a public defender, who may need to keep the judge/ DA happy to keep getting appointed cases? Or a lawyer who’s practice is not successful enough on retained clients alone?

NOTE: If an attorney (or salesperson acting on behalf of the attorney) cannot answer ANY of these questions in line with what has been provided as "The ONLY acceptable answers", you are not consulting with a law firm qualified to legitimately defend you in your DUI case. Period.

Please feel free to call my office today toll free at 800-978-0186 or email me at and I will be glad to answer any questions you may have about hiring a DUI attorney.