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Updated by Donald Barrett on Nov 13, 2018
Headline for 5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring A Key West DUI Lawyer
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5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring A Key West DUI Lawyer

You are on vacation in the Florida Keys and after a night on the town, while driving your rental car back to the hotel, your rearview mirror is suddenly illuminated with a kaleidoscope of blue and red flashing lights. Your vacation comes to an end as your worst nightmare comes true. You are being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. You are going to need a good lawyer. Here are 5 important questions you should ask before hiring a Key West DUI lawyer.


How long have you practiced DUI defense law in Florida?

This is not the time to start giving chances to a rookie. You need someone who knows the ins and outs of Florida law and has the experience to prove it. Look for someone who has at least 10 years of criminal law practice experience under their belt and who regularly handles DUI cases.


How familiar are you with the criminal law community in Key West, including the prosecutors and judges?

There is no substitute for an attorney who knows the lay of the land in the jurisdiction where you are facing criminal law charges. If you can find a criminal defense attorney who has actually served as a former prosecutor in that jurisdiction, all the better.


How many criminal trials have you had in your career?

Many criminal defense attorneys are not as experience in actually going to trial as you might think. Plea bargaining is ingrained in our criminal justice system. And while you certainly want to work with someone who understands how to leverage every opportunity available to you as a defendant, you also want someone who isn’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and be an aggressive advocate at trial. Information on the number of trials an attorney has had can give you a pretty good feel for whether this particular Key West DUI lawyer is willing to take your case to trial.


Will you be the attorney who actually handles my case?

You have a right to know who your advocate is. Sometimes, in large firms, the attorney you interview is part of a defense team and may not end up being the attorney who actually handles your case on a day-to-day basis. Make sure you know who you can rely on to have your best interests in mind in providing your defense.


What will your representation cost me?

Is the attorney charging you a flat fee? And if so, how much will you be charged? As a client you have the right to know what your attorney will be charging you before you hire him or her as your defense counsel.

Hiring an attorney when you are in a legal jam is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. If you are charged with driving under the influence in Monroe County, Florida, you need to contact an experienced Key West DUI lawyer as soon as possible.