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Choosing the Right DUI Attorney in Oakland

Choosing the Best DUI lawyer for your Oakland Case

How to Select an Alameda County DUI Defense Attorney With the Proper Experience

The police in and around Oakland have a high rate of DUI arrests. Police officers especially target those leaving bars or nightclubs, as well as casino visitors and tourists who are returning to the hotels where they are staying. If you are arrested for driving under the influence in Oakland - whether you live here or were just visiting - it can be a traumatizing experience.

Following an arrest, it is likely that your car was towed, and you may have even failed to catch a flight because you were required to spend time in jail. You were probably given notice from the DMV that your license will be suspended by the California DMV 30 days after your arrest. While you may be able to contest this suspension, you must request a hearing to do so within 10 days. While you may realize that a DUI lawyer may be able to help in this situation, you may not know how to decide which lawyer is the best person to assist you.

What to Look For When Choosing an Attorney

If you are arrested for drunk or intoxicated driving in Oakland, this will create a public record of your arrest. Because of this, you will end up getting mail from lots of smooth-talking marketers. The truth is, most attorneys who do this type of marketing do not even personally handle cases like yours. They usually pass cases off to a lawyer with less experience, which will not help your situation much.

Many different types of badges and certifications are available for attorneys on the internet, but many of these are available for lawyers to purchase without regard for their level of experience, and they are intended to deceive consumers into thinking a lawyer is better than they really are. For instance, you may come across a statement such as "named one of the top 1% trial attorneys." There is often no truth to this sort of assertion.

A common scam among less reputable attorneys is to make a claim such as, "We have charges dismissed for our clients in 99% of cases." However, this means very little in regards to the attorney's track record and their ability to help their client successfully defend the charges they are facing. Typically, a person will face two separate criminal charges related to DUI: driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and operating a vehicle with a BAC over the legal limit of .08 percent. In many cases, a person will plead guilty to one of these charges, and the other charge will typically be dismissed. This means that while the claim that charges are dismissed in a large percentage of cases may be correct in a legal sense, it provides little insight into the lawyer's record and whether they can assist their clients in defending against DUI charges.

Questions for a DUI Defense Attorney

When looking for a DUI lawyer, always consider their reputation and credentials. The following questions can help you vet attorneys and find the right one for your situation:

1. Do you have an A-V rating with Martindale-Hubbell™?

The highest possible rating from Martindale-Hubbell™ a lawyer can have is A-V. This demonstrates extensive legal skill while also showing that they have a record of providing clients with ethical legal services.

2. How much experience do you have in Oakland DUI cases?

You need an attorney who is familiar with the procedures followed in Oakland DUI cases and who knows how to speak with prosecutors confidently. Your lawyer should also understand the different strategies for success when defending against DUI charges. Do not be taken in by a law firm's claims that they have "20 Years of Combined Experience"--find out how long an individual lawyer has been defending clients charged with DUI.

3. Do you have Board Certification from the National College of DUI Defense?

A select number of attorneys in the United States receive NCDD Board Certification (as authorized by the American Bar Association). There are only five lawyers in California who have been recognized with this distinction. Board-Certified attorneys have shown a significant level of knowledge and experience, and they have demonstrated competence when representing clients in DUI cases.

4. Will you work with each client personally, or are cases passed off to other attorneys or associates?

Some law firms assign clients charged with DUI to rookie lawyers who do not have the experience necessary to get clients the best possible outcome. It is important to ensure that the person you communicate with is also the attorney who will be representing you in legal proceedings and at any administrative license suspension hearings. This way, you know your case is in good hands from start to finish.

5. How much trial experience do you have in DUI cases?

Many DUI lawyers have little to no trial experience, which makes it easier for prosecutors to take advantage of them. It is important to choose an attorney with a history of successfully defending clients in the courtroom. With the right representation, you are much more likely to get the best outcome for your situation.

Contact an Oakland DUI Defense Lawyer

Paul Burglin is an experienced DUI attorney who has been representing clients in Alameda County for over 30 years. He is the only Bay Area attorney who has been Board-Certified by the NCCD. He also serves as a Regent for the National College of DUI Defense, and he is the Editor-in-Chief of the organization's National Journal.

Attorney Burglin is the co-author of California Drunk Driving Law, a legal guide that provides extensive information about DUI defenses, as well as answers to frequently asked questions about matters related to drunk driving. When court officials, judges, or prosecutors need help with DUI defense for their loved ones, they frequently seek out Mr. Burglin due to his reputation for successfully representing clients in these matters.

If you are seeking a complimentary consultation following a DUI arrest, please give us a call at 510-250-5629 or contact us online. We proudly serve those who have been arrested in Oakland and other cities and towns throughout Alameda County.

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