What Are The Chances An Attorney Could Get DUI Fines Reduced?
It would be difficult to have charges reduced because it is a statutory strict liability, so the person would either be guilty of DUI or not. The attorney would be able to try to put things into a certain perspective, and in certain cases we are even able to actually have the client exonerated or we are able to show that the state was not able to meet its necessary burden of proof so we manage to get charges dismissed.
For other cases, the attorney would be able to mitigate some of the damage by utilizing any small wiggle room the judge does have. In New Jersey, the judge now has the discretion of imposing an ignition interlock device for anything above a 0.10 whereas it would be mandatory for a 0.15 and up, so depending on how we presented the case and how the person presented themselves, the judge may or may not impose that ignition interlock device which would come with its own costs.
It would be a $300 installation fee plus some monthly monitoring fee, so generally when we go into court, we are able to walk out having been able to help the client in some fashion, whether it was by getting the low end of fines, getting a complete dismissal or some form of mitigation of the damages, because we are almost always successful in that regard.
What Credentials Should One Look For In An Attorney, And What Are Some Warning Signs?
The credentials that a client should be looking for are a little hard to come by. We do not really have anybody in New Jersey who has legal profession specializations, so any attorney would be able to represent anybody anywhere. It is very rare for attorneys to have certain types of certifications and the certifications they can get would not really apply to this area of law. A new municipal court certification is coming out, but very few people have gotten it and it is still not 100% clear if it is something that people would be doing or if it would become something popular that would stay.
The person would be able to check the credentials they were looking for when talking to the attorneys, and they should try to see what kind of presence the attorney has on the internet and what people are saying about them. One or two negative comments would be fine, although it would be unusual if there were no negative comments because anyone in a service profession would always have somebody who was upset about something, especially with people being able to post things anonymously on the internet.
The client should try to ask the attorney how long they had been practicing for, whether they handled trials often, and what was their experience with this particular court. They would be able to judge a lot just by talking to the attorney directly and they would be able to get a pretty good feel for whether or not the attorney had a solid understanding of this area of law.
For example, if the client was asking questions about tax or immigration, then I do not even know the vocabulary and I do not know the first thing about bankruptcy so I would not know which form to fill out, which is why I do not deal with these things. If a client asks or if they come to me for that then I refer those cases out or I refer those cases out to colleagues who can handle it.
When the client speaks to an attorney about any matter, they should make sure the attorney seems to know what they are talking about regarding that particular area of law. One of the things clients should watch out for are people who are very quick to make a sale and also where something seems too good to be true. If it seems too good to be true, either in terms of what the promises are regarding what can be accomplished or even in terms of the fees, then that would be something the client should be very careful about.
People should be very careful when attorneys tell them they would do a DWI case for $100. DWI cases are intricate and they take a significant amount of time if done properly. The client should really make sure the attorney they were dealing with was not giving them something that was too good to be true.
Would Hiring An Attorney Cost Less In Terms Of The Charges In The Long Run?
Yes. I think what often happens is that people call in and a lot of times the attorney would promise a lot of different things and sometimes it is just too much and it is too good to be true. The person would end up paying fines anyway, so if they did not have the money to afford an attorney, then obviously they would not have the money, but if they did have the money or if they could work out a way to do it, then they should make sure their money was being put to good use.
In other words, the person should make sure they were not hiring somebody who was not competent to handle their case, because then they would be wasting more money in addition to the money they would be spending in fines, insurance and everything else along those lines so it would all just be a waste. The notion that the person could not possibly afford an attorney is also not necessarily true.
Many attorneys are willing to work out payment plans or work something out with the client, so that is something clients should look at but they should not immediately assume they would not be able to afford a good attorney. People should not assume they would not be able to afford a top rate attorney just because of things they have heard or because of what people have told them.
One of the judges who I am very fond of has a saying that when someone gets charged with anything, everybody will give them pieces of free legal advice, but none of them would take the suspension, pay the fines or sit in jail in their place. It is really up to each and every individual person to go and look into these things himself rather than rely on what we refer to legally as “hearsay”, which are things that someone heard secondhand from somebody else who could tell the person that their cousin’s friend’s neighbor’s dog groomer’s nephew had a problem and this is what they thought from that.
For more information on Hiring an Attorney for a DUI, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (201) 692-0073 today.