Hiring a Tennessee DUI Lawyer
What do I need to know when hiring a Knoxville, Tennessee DUI Lawyer, or TN Criminal Lawyer? Unfortunately most people charged with a Tennessee Driving Under the Influence offense or other criminal offense do not realize that the selection of a TN lawyer can be a life-altering decision. Many people charged with a Tennessee criminal offense, such as a Tennessee DUI, find themselves in the midst of the Tennessee criminal justice system for the first time in their lives and are often both overwhelmed and terrified. The worst thing a person can do is hire a Tennessee lawyer at random to handle a Tennessee criminal, DUI, or traffic case. Mr. Oberman and Ms. Compher-Rice advise potential clients to not rely solely on the biggest yellow page, television, or billboard advertisement. Your decision when hring a Tennessee DUI lawyer should be based upon careful research and reflection.
When hiring a TN DUI lawyer or Knoxville criminal attorney , you should thoroughly research your potential lawyer. Because of the serious consequences associated with a Tennessee DUI conviction or even a simple traffic citation, which Tennessee attorney you hire is one of the most important decisions you will make.
Helpful Considerations When Hiring a TN Attorney
The following are helpful resources to consult and and issues to consider when hiring a Tennessee DUI lawyer:
- Visit the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility (the agency responsible for the licensing of Tennessee attorneys) website to search for the attorney. This website will provide information on whether the attorney is in good standing (able to practice law in Tennessee ) and whether the attorney has ever been disciplined (e.g. suspended from the practice of law, publicly censored, etc.).
- Determine if the Tennessee lawyer or someone in the firm is certified as a specialist in the area of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Defense. This information can be obtained from the website of the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization.
- Determine if the Tennessee lawyer has been rated by Martindale-Hubbell® and if the rating (or that of the firm) is an “AV.” The “AV” rating represents an attorney who has legal abilities that are “very high to preeminent” (A) and whose ethical standards rate “very high” (V).
- Consult Avvo.com for additional information about the attorney. Avvo provides a rating system for lawyers and was designed to assist consumers in selecting a lawyer. The benefit of Avvo is that you can review endorsements of the potential attorney from his or her peers, as well as read reviews from actual prior clients of the Tennessee lawyer. You should also consult other lawyer rating services, such as Super Lawyers® and Best Lawyers in America®.
- Visit the attorney’s website. Review the attorney’s biography and resume, as well as information pertaining to Tennessee laws and the criminal justice system.
- It is important to contact your friends, family, employer, other attorneys who specialize in other areas of law, as well as police officers and court personnel known to you or your friends to obtain a short list of lawyers with excellent reputations.
- You should also ask or consider the following questions when selecting a Tennessee attorney to handle your DUI case or DUI-related case:
- Is the majority of the lawyer’s practice devoted to defending DUI or Driving Under the Influence related cases? If so, for how long has the attorney’s practice focused on this area of law?
- Did the attorney graduate from an ABA accredited law school?
- Is the attorney or another member of the attorney’s firm certified as a DUI Defense Specialist by the National College for DUI Defense and the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education & Specialization?
- What is the lawyer’s Martindale-Hubbell® rating? Is it “AV” (very high to preeminent)?
- Does the Tennessee attorney have a “superb” Avvo.com rating?
- Has the lawyer frequently lectured to his or her peers on topics relating to DUI defense?
- Has the Tennessee lawyer published any books or articles on DUI defense?
- Does the attorney attend seminars devoted to DUI defense to stay up to date on the legal and scientific developments in defending DUI and DUI-related cases?
- Did the lawyer devote 1 1/2 to 2 hours for the initial interview? Did the attorney also explain the court procedures and elements (what the prosecution must prove) of your charge(s), and provide you with detailed information about the penalties associated with your charge(s)?