How do I select the best attorney for my case?


DUI First Offense Page.003Choosing the right attorney to defend your Georgia DUI is critical.  For many people, this is the first time you have ever had to hire a criminal defense attorney.  As you wade through the hundreds of options online, it can start to feel very overwhelming trying to determine which attorney is right for you. There are three critical areas of experience to focus on when choosing your attorney.

The first, is your attorney’s level of skill and knowledge in the field of DUI defense. When you are interviewing attorneys, you want to make sure that the person you are speaking with is  highly skilled in the area of DUI defense.  Ask your attorney what percentage of their practice is devoted to DUI defense.  Inquire as to whether your attorney is a recognized national speaker, who teaches other DUI defense attorneys.  You can’t always know their level of skill and experience until you see them in the courtroom, but asking about their experience teaching other attorneys is a reliable way to objectively measure whether your attorney’s level of skill is as advanced as it may have been advertised.

Second, find out if your attorney regularly practices in your court.  You may be speaking with a highly qualified attorney, but if he does not regularly appear in your court, he may not be able to fight for you as effectively as a qualified attorney who is familiar with that court.  Although the laws are applied similarly throughout Georgia, the personalities that comprise each court system, including the prosecutors, judges and jurors vary  dramatically.  Intimate knowledge of those personalities and court practices will improve the quality of your defense.  Make sure your attorney is a regular practitioner in your court.

Finally, when you meet with attorneys, it is critical that you are evaluating the trustworthiness of the person you are speaking with.  You will have to rely upon the advice of your attorney when making some of the most difficult decisions you have ever had to make in your entire life.  The consequences of your decisions will affect you, your future, and your family.  If you do not trust that your attorney will always have your best interests in mind, then you do not have the right attorney.  As attorneys, we are trained to represent individuals zealously and always put your best interests above all others.  Make sure the attorney you are hiring can and will do just that.

What do I need to bring to my consultation appointment?

leatherAfter a ticket, accident, or arrest in Georgia, you should immediately call a qualified attorney to get advice.

I recommend that you also take the time to sit down and write out a detailed account of the events that occurred at the time of your accident or arrest.  Important facts include:

•   Where you were and who you were with prior to your arrest;
•   Why the police officer stopped you;
•   Any questions you were asked by the police, and your answers ;
•   Any tests you were asked to perform, what the instructions were, and how you think you did;
•   Whether you were asked to blow into a portable breath test, and if you were told the results;
•   Any rights you read at any time before, during, or after your arrest for DUI;
•   Any discussion that took place about breath or blood testing;
•   Any conversation that took place on the way to the jail or police station; and
•   Whether you took the test or refused it at the jail or police station.

It may also be helpful for you to write down any questions you want to ask at your initial meeting with your attorney.

How do I retrieve my car from impound after being arrested in Atlanta?

slides for web - FTA.015In order to obtain a release of an impounded vehicle, frequently the owner must present a current tag registration or title.

A bill of Sale less than twenty-one days will often be accepted in lieu of the title. If the Bill of Sale is more than twenty-one days old transfer of ownership will likely have to be completed prior to releasing.

The owner of an impounded vehicle can authorize another person to secure a release on an impounded vehicle. The owner must complete a Letter of Authorization including a notarized signature. The letter of authorization should include the owner’s name, address and phone number,  a description of the vehicle, tag number and V.I.N. and the person designated to secure a release.

The person authorized to obtain the release must present a current tag registration or title showing the owner as listed on the letter has a legal right to the vehicle.

When can I get my bond money back after being arrested in Atlanta?

slides for web - FTA.005The cash bond will be refunded in full to the person who posted the bond by the City Bond Administrator approximately 30 days after the case has been settled.

You should be eligible to receive your bond money immediately after the case is dismissed or a plea is entered.  You do not have to complete probation prior to receiving your bond money.