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Questions To Ask Your DUI Lawyer

The court system takes driving under the influence (DUI) charges seriously. This is true whether you were driving with a high blood alcohol content (BAC) or arrested for being too impaired by prescription drugs to operate a motor vehicle safely. Penalties are often both criminal and administrative. You'll often lose your driver's license, pay fines, and possibly serve jail time.

You don't have to go through the process alone. A good DUI lawyer will help you understand the law, the facts of your case, and any potential defenses that may be available to you following a DUI arrest. Many experienced DUI attorneys will offer a free case evaluation. You should bring copies of any police reports and results from Breathalyzer or blood tests to your consultation.

This article discusses questions for a prospective defense attorney at your first meeting. Questions fall into the background, special training, fees, and outcome categories.


One of the most important questions to ask your potential lawyer is their background, including the types of cases they've handled. For example, is this their first drunk driving case, or are they a DUI veteran?

The more experienced the defense lawyer, the greater the chance for the best possible outcome. Below are important questions to address with a potential DUI defense attorney:

  • How long have they been representing DUI clients? How many DUI cases do they handle in a year?
  • Are they a former DUI prosecutor? (Many times, former prosecutors open their own criminal defense practices.)
  • What percentage of their caseload goes to DUIs?
  • How often do they take cases to trial?
  • Are they familiar with the prosecutor in your case? Do they usually practice in your county?
  • How many cases have they been able to successfully plea bargain down to a “wet reckless" or outright dismissal? What's their track record?
  • What is their defense strategy?

Special Training

A DUI attorney often has specialized training or an advanced certification in DUI law. You might ask:

  • Have they ever been on a DUI ride-along with a police officer?
  • Are they certified by DUI organizations such as The National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) or a similar state bar organization? Some states, such as Arizona, have a program where attorneys can get certified as a "DUI specialist" if they pass certain tests
  • Have they completed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) Student or Instructor Standardized Field Sobriety Test courses?


You'll also want to know how your criminal defense attorney will bill you. Now is the time to ask about payment options, including payment plans. You should also ask how often and under what circumstances they will bill you.

Most DUI lawyers offer a free initial consultation. Be sure to clarify payment terms before your first meeting. You may also want to ask the following:

  • Are there any extra fees your lawyer will expect you to pay, such as expert witness fees or blood sample re-testing?
  • What forms of payment do they accept? Some lawyers offer peer-to-peer payment services like PayPal, Google Wallet, Venmo, or Square Cash.


A DUI lawyer can't guarantee the outcome of your case. But they can predict possibilities based on the unique facts of your case and their training and experience with DUI law. Be sure to ask your DUI lawyer these questions:

  • Is a plea agreement a possibility? How about any motions, such as a pre-trial motion to suppress evidence?
  • Which factors work in your favor, and which work against you?
  • Should you go to trial?

Get Legal Help with Your DUI Case

Facing a DUI charge is a very unsettling experience, regardless of whether it's your first offense. Knowing which questions to ask a DUI lawyer will help you decide which legal professional to hire. Has someone charged you with a DUI? Are you facing a DUI conviction? Contact an experienced DUI lawyer today for legal advice and possible legal representation.

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Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • Complex DUI situations usually require a lawyer
  • DUI defense attorneys can challenge Breathalyzer/Intoxilyzer or blood test results
  • A lawyer can seek to reduce or eliminate DUI penalties
  • A lawyer can help get your license back

Get tailored advice and ask your legal questions. Many attorneys offer free consultations.


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