How to Choose a DUI Attorney
There are many lawyers out there, and the stakes are high. If you choose the wrong one, you may not get the strong defense you deserve. You need someone on your side who has the experience and in-depth knowledge necessary to fight for you. Here's what to look for.
Choose a Lawyer Who Specializes in DUI - Not Just Someone Who Dabbles
Does the lawyer handle all types of cases? Or do they focus exclusively on DUI? There's a big difference.
While any lawyer can technically handle a drunk driving case, an attorney who specializes in DUI will know more about drunk driving law. They may be able to spot legal options that other attorneys miss and defend you in ways that other attorneys won't think of.
At the Goodman Law Firm, L.L.C., in Sioux City, Iowa, I focus almost exclusively on drunk driving cases, so you can trust that I know the law extensively. In fact, I often know more about DUI investigations, field sobriety tests, breath and blood tests, and scientific issues than the police officers and prosecutors handling your case.
Look for an Attorney Who Is Serious About the Science and Evidence in Your DUI Case
You need someone who has invested time and energy into learning about the science of breath tests and other chemical tests—someone who cares about the science and evidence involved in your case. I have attended many of the same training courses developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that police officers are required to complete, including:
DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Instructor
The DWI Detection and Standardized Sobriety Testing Instructor course is a 32-hour course recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. I am currently the only attorney in Sioux City, Iowa, area who is a certified DWI Detection and Standardized Sobriety Testing Instructor. As a certified instructor, I can use my in-depth education and experience to evaluate the field sobriety tests administered by arresting officers, identify potential testing errors and bring those errors to light in your defense.
Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE)
This program was developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with input from law enforcement. It is designed for police officers, teaching them to spot the signs of drug or alcohol impairment. By taking this course, I learned what the police are looking for, as well as how they could falsely accuse people of driving under the influence.
24-Hour Overview of the Drug Recognition Expert Course (DRE)
This course made me familiar with the training that officers receive to investigate drug-related OWI/DUI cases.
How This Training Helps Your Case
This extensive training means that I have insights into field sobriety testing, forensic science and DUI trial skills. Very few attorneys have received this training, which can be a major advantage in winning your case.
For example, I can analyze the field sobriety tests that the police gave you to see if they said the proper instructions, performed the test correctly and scored it correctly. If they didn't? As someone highly trained in these situations, I can attack the tests and their reliability in court.
Choose Someone Who Will Be Honest With You
Your lawyer must be honest with you about the charges you face, the obstacles in your case and your chances of success—even when the news may be hard to hear. It does you no good to hear only sunshine and rainbows until you get to the courtroom.
When I represent you, you'll have a clear idea of what you're up against. You'll also know everything I'll do to protect your rights and defend you in Iowa courts. When we talk, you'll get straightforward, honest answers about everything. And if you're going to have a hard time winning your DUI case, I won't hesitate to tell you.