In this multi-part article, I want to examine 11 things to consider as you go about hiring a lawyer after being arrested for an OWI offense. A DUI is serious, but rather than adding more academic (boring) or useless (self-promoting) drivel to what’s out there, I thought we could at least make this interesting. To do that, we’ll examine the 11 “R’s” of finding a Michigan DUI lawyer: 1. Relax, 2. Read and learn, 3. Recognize who you are and what kind of lawyer is right for you, 4. Rate those legal skills that are important to your case, 5. Resolve your budget, 6. Reject the meaningless slogans, 7. Resist buying into what you want to hear, 8. Remain skeptical, 9. Realize what’s really “different,” 10. Rank the lawyers by what you need, and, 11. Reach out to those who actually “speak” to you. Although there is an order to how I go over these topics, each section does, for the most part, stand on its own, and can be read individually.
To the extent it’s relevant, I will focus on OWI cases in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne Counties, where I concentrate my practice as a Michigan DUI lawyer. Most of the time, a person arrested for a DUI is held in jail overnight, and then released the next day, often with various papers (these include, among other things, a temporary driving permit, a bond receipt, a property list and a citation, or ticket) and some instruction to either contact the court, or just wait to be contacted. Most people aren’t at their best when all this goes down, and often don’t remember exactly what they were told. If you hire a DUI lawyer, like me, you don’t have to worry about all this stuff, because it will be taken care of for you. Chances are, though, you’re still freaking out a bit.
While you shouldn’t rush into any decisions too quickly, neither should you wait too long to get going on this and at least start looking for a lawyer. Although it’s not important to hire a lawyer immediately, don’t sit on this until the very last minute, either. In the real world, people tend to either rush to hire the nearest lawyer, or else they wait until the 11th hour to start looking. Neither is the best way to go about this, but even if you haven’t taken care of this as timely as you should have, don’t compound your problems by running to the first lawyer who calls you back, or getting desperate enough to call one of those “phones answered 24 hours” operations. The first thing you need to do is relax.