If you’ve been arrested and charged with driving under the influence, one of the first things you should do is contact an attorney. You’ve probably seen many DUI lawyers inviting accused people to schedule a consultation. You may be tempted to just call or show up at the arranged time without doing any “homework”. While this is an option, you’ll get more out of the meeting if you know what to expect and you prepare accordingly.
The initial consultation is designed to help both the prospective client and the attorney determine if they want to work together. You’ll probably be nervous, especially if it’s your first time meeting with a criminal defense lawyer. However, if you take the time to get ready, you’ll be more at ease and you’ll help both you and your lawyer. In this article, we’ll share some helpful tips. For more details be sure to contact our Portland DUI lawyers.
Gather All the Relevant Information
You’re likely to forget some of the details surrounding your case. Before your meeting, make a note of the date and location of your arrest and gather any tickets or citations the police issued. If you know the names of the arresting officer and anyone else who was present, you should also have this information at hand. Try to write down everything you remember about your interactions with the police as well as your court case number. All this information will help your attorney to decide whether there are grounds for fighting the charge. It also ensures you can provide key information when the lawyer asks for it.
Provide as Many Details as You Can Remember
With DUI cases, even details that seem minor to a client can be significant to an attorney. The consultation gives you an opportunity to paint a full picture that includes the traffic stop, field sobriety tests, chemical tests, and your arrest. Relay the questions the police asked you and what you said in return. The Portland DUI lawyer will guide you and ask follow-up questions so they get a clear understanding of what happened.
Be Honest About What Happened
You may be embarrassed about some details surrounding your situation or you may not want to display vulnerability in front of a stranger. However, you should not lie or withhold information. Your lawyer won’t be able to effectively help you if you don’t assist them in understanding your situation. Remember, preliminary consultations are usually subject to attorney-client privilege even if you don’t go on to hire the attorney. If you are unsure about if the conversation is privileged, ask for confirmation before you say anything you wouldn’t otherwise reveal.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
You’re likely to have lots of questions about your options or what will happen next. Now is the time to get them answered. You shouldn’t rely on the Internet or well-meaning friends and family to give you accurate information about such a serious matter. You may also want to ask the attorney if they’ve handled cases like yours and what was the outcome. Make sure you get a clear picture of how they would approach your case and if they anticipate any problems. You should take note of how the attorney responds. If they seem dismissive or impatient, they may not be the lawyer for you.
Be Clear About How Much You Would Have to Pay
Many people are uncomfortable talking about money. However, it’s best to know how much a lawyer charges, how they bill, and how you can make payments. You don’t want to get a nasty surprise in the middle of your court matter. The attorney should explain all this to you but if you’re unclear, make sure you ask. You should also ask about the other fees associated with a DUI matter.
Read Everything Carefully Before Signing It
You’re not mandated to hire an attorney after you discuss your case with them. You have the right to do whatever you think is best and no attorney should pressure you to hire them. If you decide to go ahead with them, read through any documents they provide and ask questions if you’re unsure.
Contact The Trilogy Law Group Today to Get the Help You Need
DUI charges are serious and you need to ensure you have a competent, experienced attorney representing you. When you contact the Portland DUI attorneys at the Trilogy Law Group, you’ll get personalized support. We’ll put you at ease and give you undivided attention not just during the first consultation but all subsequent interactions. Book a case review today and learn how we can help you.