If you are looking for a DUI attorney and you have started your search on the internet, you can already tell that there are a whole host of lawyers who have a larger than life internet persona and very little courtroom experience to back it up. There are “internet attorneys” who put out more information on their websites than you can imagine. Sam Sliger at McDonald & Cody, LLC has tried 10 cases to jury verdict in his very first year of practice (he is undefeated). To gain your trust or to focus your attention on the lack of trial experience, often times “internet lawyers” pay other lawyers to come in at the last minute to try the actual case. With an “internet lawyer” there is only one problem: many of them rarely, if ever, stand in front of a jury and actually ask them to acquit their clients of a charge. That’s right: they dispense all types of advice about how to defend DUI charges, but they don’t actually do it. Where I am from, people like that have a bad reputation. We say, “They can talk the talk, but they don’t walk the walk.”
The problem with choosing a DUI lawyer on the internet is simple. It is very difficult to tell the fraudsters from the real deal. That being said, I think there are some easy ways to tell which lawyers are the real deal, and I can give you some helpful advice.
1. Most criminal defense lawyers are afraid of (1) being recorded and (2) lying while being recorded. Just use this to your benefit. You don’t need to actually record it. The mere thought that a conversation might be recorded is enough to motivate most of us to be truthful.
2. Ask the DUI lawyer very specific questions. I suggest:
- When is the last time that you tried a DUI case to a verdict in front of a jury?
- How many DUI jury trials have your tried to a verdict?
- How many contested motions hearings have your had in the last year?
- Can I see some documentation of these answers?
I continue to believe that experience is the best teacher of lawyers, and these questions will help you identify experience. Some supposed DUI attorneys might be offended at these questions. If they are offended, move on.