Looking for the Best DUI Attorney in Tampa, FL?
There is no doubt that a criminal conviction of a drunk driving charge is severe. Even for a first time offense, the penalties can be serious, with potential jail time ranging up to six months, fines topping out at $1,000 and driver's license suspension ranging from six months to a year.
That is nothing to take lightly. As tempting as it may be to sweep the consequences under the rug to avoid them, the truth is that you need to be proactive. You need to be aggressive. You need to do everything that you can to protect your future.
So where do you start?
The best thing that you can do for yourself is to get the help of the best attorney. Having experienced and knowledgeable legal representation on your side can mean the difference between getting your charges dismissed and penalties reduced or being slapped with the maximum consequences under the law. Who you choose to represent you is one of the most important decisions you will make in your DUI case. It is therefore important that you take the time to ensure you're making a well-educated decision. To ensure you are indeed working with the best.
How a Good DUI Lawyer Can Make All of the Difference
To illustrate our point, we are going to put together a hypothetical situation. Say that John came home from a holiday party on Thanksgiving and was tired; he was driving at inconsistent speeds and even swerved once. Local police noticed and decided to pull him over. John was nervous so he botched the
field sobriety tests. He also happens to suffer from diabetes, which caused the
breath test to give a faulty reading. For all intents and purposes, he looked like he had been driving drunk so the police officers arrested and booked him.
Now John is facing a first time DUI offense and is looking for legal help. Instead of taking the time to do his research and talk to the law firms in the area, he picked the first attorney that he came across. After a brief, ten minute consultation, John decided to hire them. The attorney he chose, however, wasn't really interested in looking out for John's interests - they were only looking for a paycheck.
So instead of looking into the case, pulling together the evidence and investing the time and energy into protecting John's rights, they took on the case and pressured him to just plead guilty. Now, John has been convicted for drunk driving, even though he had done nothing wrong...all because of the attorney that he decided to work with. Had he done his research, he might have found a more qualified lawyer who truly cared about him. Someone who, with the right amount of effort, could have defended the case and allowed him to walk away with a clear criminal record.
So how do I find the best Tampa attorney for me?
When you are looking for the best DUI attorney, the single most important thing that you can do is take your time to do your research. Don't just accept attorney advertising at face value. Every lawyer out there is trying to get your business and they are doing it through pretty promises. You need to get past this to the real facts. There are several different things that you can do to help narrow your search and to help you make your decision. Some of the best things to do when looking for an attorney include talking to friends and family - someone that you respect. They may have dealt with a similar issue in the past and will be able to recommend some trustworthy attorneys in the area.
If they don't have anyone to help you with, it is a good idea to turn to online reviews. While you cannot testify to the character of the reviewer, it is a good way to get a feel for the lawyers. Are all of their reviews negative? Is there a common thread of complaints? You can also look to see if the lawyers have had any disciplinary action taken against them. If they have, it may be indicative of them delaying, neglecting or misrepresenting clients - all things that you want to stay away from. Finally, the best thing that you can do is to set up actual interviews with law firms in your area. The attorneys who are worth your time won't mind scheduling this and answering honestly all questions that you may have.
Some questions to ask an attorney during an interview:
- How many years of actual legal experience do you have?
- How many DUI cases have you handled before? Can you give examples?
- Briefly, can you explain how you would handle my case?
- How will I be involved during the proceedings?
- What will you do to keep me informed and involved?
- What will our fee arrangement be? How much can I expect to pay?
After interviewing several firms, looking into their background and learning as much as you can about them, you should also go with your gut feeling. Ask yourself if you are comfortable working with the lawyer. Do you feel confident that they will be the best fit for you? Are you uncomfortable with any fact about them? If so, it may be a sign that you should make a different decision or find another attorney.
Learn About the Thomas & Paulk Difference
If you have been arrested for an alcohol-offense, we encourage you to get the involvement of our legal team at Thomas & Paulk to learn how we can fight for you.
Our attorneys have both handled over 3,500 criminal cases each, providing them with an in-depth understanding of criminal law rooted in experience instead of book learning. Beyond this, both attorneys bring
two decades of combined attorney experience. We are well-known throughout the area for our experience in this area of the law; in fact, we have even been sought by media outlets and
featured on Fox 13 and ABC News discussing relevant topics, such as the
No Refusal Program.
We are tough advocates for the rights of our clients and will go above and beyond in our efforts to help them seek the best future that they deserve. You, however, don't have to take our word for it. Just read through our case results to see the countless victories that we have obtained over the years. To learn more about our firm, feel free to read our
firm overview or our
individual attorney bios. You can also
ask us questions directly or watch our
informative attorney videos to see us discuss pertinent topics and how they can affect you. If you would like to meet with our firm to discuss your case, just contact us today by calling or taking advantage of our
online case evaluation form.
Contact a Tampa DUI lawyer from our firm to learn more!