Find a Highly Qualified DUI Attorney or Consultant
DUI defense is highly specialized area of criminal law. A competent DUI attorney needs to know police procedures, including NHTSA training regarding detection of intoxication and the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs). Sobriety tests are used to help establish probable cause to arrest and to demand a breath test. If a breath test is refused, the SFSTs may be important evidence used to prove intoxication. Ideally, a DUI defense attorney will have advanced training in the SFSTs, including both NHTSA training and FSA Certification. They should also obtain in-depth training on the breathalyzer used in their state. A few will have earned board certification from the National College for Drunk Driving Defense, and even fewer FSA Certification. To find one, click here.
Beware of DWI/DUI referral websites that don't say how their lawyers are qualified. Often, attorneys simply pay a fee to be listed on the website and do not have to demonstrate any proficiency or knowledge. Some attorneys plead out nearly all their cases, essentially offering no defense.
Some questions you might pose, before hiring a DWI lawyer:
- Is your law license in good standing? Do you have any complaints on file with the bar?
- What percentage of your practice is DUI defense? (Higher is better!)
- How many DUI cases have you taken to trial? What percentage do you win?
- What are my options in handling my case?
- Have you completed the NHTSA Student and/or Instructor Standardized Field Sobriety Test courses? The Drug Recognition Expert course?
- What training have you had on the breathalyzer used in this jurisdiction?
- Do you participate in any DUI-specific list servs? (List servs may connect hundreds of members, who share their experiences, materials, and expertise. It is a tremendous asset.)
- Are you board certified in DUI defense?
- Are you certified by Forensic Sobriety Assessment?
Click on your state to see if there is an FSA Certified attorney or consultant in your area. If there isn't one in your state, you might try the National College of DUI Defense.