What Exactly is DUI?
DUI stands for “Driving Under the Influence.” It is the common acronym most people use when talking about being charged with drunk driving.
The act of drinking and driving is not a crime in Maryland.
However, it is a crime to drink too much or consume another substance (i.e. cocaine, heroin, marijuana) that impairs your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.
The other common charge a person will face if arrested for drunk driving is D.W.I., or “driving while impaired.”
DUI and DWI are similar, DUI is more serious, requires a higher burden for the State to prove and carries higher and stiffer penalties and fines if convicted.
Finding the right Baltimore DUI lawyer can be a difficult task, but here are a few tips to guide you in the process:
Ask other attorneys for recommendations
Typically, you can ask another attorney for recommendations for a DUI attorney. Because they work with and around many attorneys daily, they are usually privy to information such as which attorneys do outstanding work and which attorneys you should shy away from. Often, attorneys create a reputation for themselves at the courthouse, be it good or bad.
Look at their website
Often, attorney websites will provide you with lots of useful information such as the type of law they specialize in and maybe even some accolades for their service in a field. This information not only alludes to their reputation and connections in that field, but it also assures you that you are considering someone who has some experience. If you check a website where the attorney specializes in business formation, but also does DUI cases on the side, they may not be the right Baltimore criminal defense lawyer for your situation.
Check their resume
Experience is key. When defending a serious charge like a DUI, you want to be represented by the best. With the experience comes the ability to negotiate you the best deal in the situation.
Check their reputation
You want an attorney who is familiar with the judge who may preside over your case or has history with the prosecuting attorneys. However, you don’t want an attorney representing you who has built a bad rapport with those same judges and prosecutors. Your side wants to present itself in the best light possible, and that includes the attorney representing you.
Many attorneys are listed on websites such as Avvo and LegalAdvice.com. You can quickly scan through sites like these to see the comments left by previous clients. However, you want to be mindful that some people may leave negative comments based on not getting the results they desired but received results sufficient for their situation. Take the reviews for just that, someone else’s opinions of the services they received.
Check the cost of representation
You can find excellent representation for a reasonable price. A high price does not necessarily mean you are paying for more experience or expertise. A low price could signal problems, such as incompetence or inexperience.
Go in for a consultation
Finding a DUI attorney nearby where you live or work is often important to people because they don’t have to travel far from their residence to meet with the lawyer. Also, if the individual charged needs to run over to their lawyer’s office, it isn’t far away and they can get their quickly.
Having an in-person meeting with an attorney can help to determine if the attorney is right for you. Often, we can get a sense of security (or alarm) by a person’s mannerisms as well as their conversation. An attorney should make you feel that they have your best interest in mind and will provide you with the best representation. If the feeling is off, you may want to continue your search.
Do your research
State law websites allow you to see if an attorney is authorized to practice law, if any disciplinary action has been taken against them or if they are currently in good standing.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Asking about an attorney’s case load is important in that it can indicate how much time will be allocated to your case and providing responses to your questions.
Know what works for you
Location of office. Size of staff. Fee structure. Attorneys actual involvement in the office. You know better than anyone else what your needs are. Make sure the attorney you select works for you.
Bedside manner is an important virtue for a doctor and should be the same standard you hold your DUI lawyer to. Meet with the lawyer and ask yourself these questions after the meeting:
- Did I get a good “vibe” from the lawyer?
- How did the lawyer speak about the topic?
- Did the lawyer know the answer to most of my questions?
- Does the lawyer know the Judges?
- Does the lawyer know the prosecutors?
- Did the lawyer promise me an certain outcome? (no lawyer can promise you or guarantee you an outcome. Each case is unique, be wary of lawyers that promise you anything)
- How does the lawyer present? (this person will be your spokesperson in court, you want someone that is well-spoken and can present your case with confidence and a clear objective)
If you ask and answers these questions in a manner that make you feel confident they are going to do everything to fight for you and reduce the consequences of the DUI, then you may have found the right DUI lawyer for you.
Find a Maryland DUI Lawyer Now!
Look no further! Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, who has been defending Maryland DUI clients since 2009. With many years of litigation experience, Attorney Randolph Rice isn’t afraid to take your case to trial and win. With a skilled DUI lawyer, you increase your chances of a better outcome. Keep your privilege to drive and avoid jail time with a DUI lawyer by your side in court.