How to Hire a DWI or DUI Attorney

What questions to ask when hiring your drunk driving lawyer

Have you been arrested for DWI/DUI in Arkansas?  For most people, being arrested is a scary, confusing experience.  Then, soon after this experience, you are faced with what can seem like an overwhelming process:  finding a lawyer to represent you in court. This is not something that should be taken lightly, especially when so much is riding on the outcome of your case.  The lawyer you hire has many roles in the handling of your case.  Of course, it is the lawyer’s responsibility to speak for you in court, but he or she also has many other functions throughout the handling of your case.  It is the lawyer who must explain the process to you and answer any questions you may have, making sure that you understand the issues and what to expect.  The lawyer is your connection to the prosecuting attorney and the police officers; the lawyer gathers the information they have and plan to use against you in court.  

You need a lawyer who will be able to get all the evidence available and be savvy enough to know when the evidence, though it may look damaging, can be used favorably for you.  Drunk driving cases are loaded with scientific evidence and rely heavily on the training and education received by the police officers involved.  Therefore, these cases should be handled by attorneys who focus their practice on DWIs; otherwise, the attorney is not likely to keep up to date on the current DWI science, testing, and law, all of which are often quite complicated.  This is precisely why many of our clients, whose cases we took to trial and got not guilty verdicts, were told by other attorneys (attorneys with a more generalized practice) that there was no chance they could win their cases and were encouraged to plead guilty.    

When choosing a lawyer to represent you in your DWI case, consider the following suggestions:

Talk with as many lawyers as possible. When interviewing the attorneys, ask which ones have experience dealing with your type of case.

Here is a List of Questions to Ask your DWI Attorney:


Is your practice devoted primarily to drug and alcohol cases?

What kind of training have you received that is specific to DWIs?

Do you know the agency responsible for standardizing the field tests?

Do you know who is responsible for oversight of the breath tests in Arkansas?

Do you know how the breath, blood and urine results are calculated?

Can you tell me about the dual column gas chromatograph with flame ionization and potential problems with its use?

Do you know the possible and probable problems with the breath, blood, and urine tests?

Do you answer you clients’ calls on the weekends or after hours?

Can your clients have your personal cell phone number in case there is an emergency?

Have you ever been to a police academy or any other law enforcement training?

Have you ever arrested someone?

Have you ever ridden with police officers and seen how they make their arrest decisions?

Have you ever trained police officers on the street in real world situations?

Have you ever investigated a case that resulted in the issuance of a search warrant or arrest warrant?

Have you been trained to perform field sobriety tests?

Have you ever operated a breathalyzer?

Have you ever prosecuted people charged with a crime?

Have you ever trained prosecutors?

Have you ever lectured your peers on topics of DWI, DUI, or other alcohol or drug related offenses?

Have you ever sat as a special judge on criminal cases?

John C. Collins can answer “yes” to each one of these questions. Wouldnt you want a lawyer who can do the same?

When choosing an attorney, price is a concern, but should not be the primary concern. The old adage, “you get what you pay for” is true in life and law. We charge enough to handle the case right, rather than just charging enough to get the client in the door. It is the constant battle of quality versus quantity. We are here to protect your rights. What are your rights worth to you?

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