Where can we get a criminal defense attorney? 65 Answers as of July 25, 2013

Underage son has been charged with drunken driving and possession of narcotics. Never been in trouble before. Never dealt with law enforcement or lawyers. How do we choose the best attorney for the price? What kind of punishments is he looking at? Any way we can keep this off his adult record?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Night Life Lawyers
Night Life Lawyers | Joshua Aldabbagh
You should take the time to schedule consultations with several different criminal defense lawyers. After your consultations, pick the one you feel most comfortable with and go forward from there. You can find attorneys everywhere, i.e. yellow pages, the internet, referrals from friends, etc. Punishments can range anywhere from outright dismissal of the charges to convictions of a first offense misdemeanor DUI (record can be sealed after 7 years) and misdemeanor possession charge. An attorney would have to assess the evidence the state has against your son before an accurate opinion can be given. Feel free to call my office to schedule a consultation.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/8/2011
Lowenstein Law Office
Lowenstein Law Office | Anthony Lowenstein
It depends on several factors.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/4/2011
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
You look for someone who knows what they are talking about, is honest with you, and is willing to fight.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/29/2011
The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones
The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones | B. Elaine Jones
Dear Sir/Madam - You can find a criminal defense attorney by searching online, telephone books etc. I am a criminal defense attorney and I have represented minors in DUIs before. Its good he has never been in trouble before because that always helps when it comes to the punishment. Deciding who to have represent you is a tough question because there are a lot of criminal defense attorneys out there. If your son's case is in the Tampa Bay area (Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee or Polk County) I represent people in these counties. He probably is going to be looking a probation but it will depend on the facts of the case, such as the amount of narcotics and what they were, where he got the narcotics etc. Please feel free to contact me at my office if you need representation for your son. For a charge like this, I would probably charge $1,500 to represent him. My phone number is 813-681-8383 and my email address is bej@belainejoneslaw.com. Good luck to you and your son.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/29/2011
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
There is a listing of attorneys and their rating in a publication "Martindale-Hubble" that is located in most lab libraries in each county.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 7/28/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    This response is general information only and does not establish an attorney client relationship. However, I would need further details to know what the likely sentence if convicted or if pleads guilty could be. Each County has a Bar association that maintains a referral service to get your son a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    The best way to select a criminal defense law firm is to ask the following questions 1. How many years of experience does the law firm have defending people accused of the crime your son is facing? 2. How often does the law firm depend people in the specific courthouse where your son is going? 3. What is their rating with Martindale Hubbell 4. What is the lawyers rating on AVVO.com 5. Does the law firm have a large number of prior clients who have written testimonials on their website This is a good list to use.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law
    Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law | Eric Mark
    A DWI will always be on the driving record, but criminal dispositions as a juvenile will not be part of an adult record. Finding the best lawyer is a matter of speaking to several lawyers and several people who have used lawyers. You need to find someone you are comfortable with, who is responsive to you, will work hard on the case, and who you can afford. With the nature of the charges you can expect to spend $2500 to $6000 for a lawyer, and the quality of the lawyer will vary greatly.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    The internet is a wonderful resource for looking into Criminal Defense attorneys. There are sites with ratings and reviews. While a DUI cannot be taken off your son's record, it can be if it is reduced to a Reckless Driving. With no prior record, your son may qualify for a Drug Court or a diversion program which can lead to the case being dismissed. I suggest you identify and consult with a local Criminal Defense attorney to discuss the case in greater detail and learn all of your son's rights and options. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    You ask many questions with no back ground facts. In searching for an attorney, you can start by contacting the Washington State Bar Association and asking for the names of attorneys in your area. The Bar Association does not endorse any attorney, but may give you some names. You can also look for attorney names through the internet. The best way, if you can, is by word of mouth referrals from people who have dealt with a particular attorney. I would also advise you to meet with several attorneys before hiring a particular one. Ask questions; ask the attorney lots of questions. You want to be comfortable with the attorney you choose and don't shop for an attorney that simply tells you what you WANT to hear. Be prepared to accept advice that might be contrary to what you want to hear. The price of an attorney will also vary greatly based upon years in practice and area of practice.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    In choosing an attorney you should look for the best in the locality not make a decision based on price. If you have a friend that is a lawyer, clerk, cop ask who they would hire if their son were in trouble. Then talk to that person. Interview the lawyer and make sure they know what they are doing and have common sense. In terms of punishments, if convicted of a DWI under 21 yoa the minimum is a 1 yr loss of license, and $500 fine, plus a 24 hour class before restoration. The possession of narcotic depends on what type and the quantity. It is important to consult with a criminal defense/ dwi lawyer on your son's behalf as the charges are serious and can have a lasting effect on his future. In terms of his adult record the best was to keep these off is to win. So you are correct it is vital that you hire the best lawyer you can who provides you with a chance to win.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    I get this question quite often. The answer depends on the city you are in, the budget you have, and the language you speak. You should retain my firm if you are in Buffalo or the New York City area as I believe we are the most experienced and most affordable criminal lawyers in Buffalo and New York City. I can recommend a good criminal attorney if you call me and let me know what town or city your son was charged in. You never want to hire an out-of-town lawyer as he will have to charge twice as much to travel and he will not be as familiar with the prosecutors and judges in that city or town.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    You should call and speak to local attorneys in your area. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation. Determine which attorneys you think you will work well with and also perform some internet research on those attorneys.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    You should make phone calls to different attorneys or ask someone for a referral. In the end, you must discover someone whom you feel will help you deal with the charges in a manner you feel comfortable with. The cost is also a concern but the old adage still prevails...you get what you pay for. A cheap lawyer may give you cheap results, whereas a reasonably priced attorney will usually give acceptable results. Just go with someone you believe has your best interests in mind. Juvenile punishments are different that adult punishments for the same offense. Penalties depend upon the exact charge, and the prior record of the defendant. The Judge who imposed punishment can also be a factor in the type of penalty given.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Robert Mortland
    Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
    You can find attorneys in several ways. I would recommend calling the local bar association. You can find their number by googling your county and adding "bar association" after.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    Price is important but do not go strictly on price. I know some very fine lawyers that are not the cheapest nor the lowest, I know a couple lawyers that are notorious for being extremely expensive who in my opinion are no where near as good as others that charge a lot less. Then there are the lowest cost attorneys, occasionally you will find a great lawyer that either just under-estimates the time required to complete the tasks or who is looking to get a case that you fit and will work for less on that one case. All this to say, you have to trust the lawyer you hire. Set an appointment with one, go talk to him or her, ask questions and see if you have the feel good. Then ask the price and make your hiring decision accordingly.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Osterman Law LLC
    Osterman Law LLC | Mark D. Osterman
    I would consider going to the public defender agency. The PD's are good attorneys that do this kind of work because they enjoy iteven though they may complain. But you need to remember, any lawyer appointed or paid for is obligated only to your son and not to you. There are a lot of factors that limit the kind of questions you are asking. That includes previous run-in's with the law. The grades your son has in school and how well he has socialized. Obviously, and this is a hard statement to make an even harder for you to accept, someone at home has not been paying attention. It depends on how long no one has been paying attention establishes how quickly your son may overcome some of these problems. But he obviously has a substance issue whether it is alcohol or drugs and the fact that it is both I believe means a deeper problem than just a single incident. You need to make an appointment with an attorney to go over the possible consequences and the likelihood of the deal with the Prosecuting Attorney and the juvenile authorities. Good luck
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Jardine Law Offices
    Jardine Law Offices | Joseph Jardine
    The only way to get the best attorney for your situation is to do your research. Take a look at their website, review any advertising they may offer, and narrow your list to 2 or 3 attorneys. The next step is to either call them on the phone or meet with them in their office. When you are there ask them about the other attorneys on your list. Ask them about their experience in the type of case you are facing. See if they give you any guarantees. Their responses will be enlightening with respect to the other attorneys, but more importantly, it will tell you what you need to know about themselves. By the way, if an attorney guarantees a result, run - no one can guarantee anything in the legal business. Finally, choosing attorneys is not an apples to apples comparison. It is impossible to compare value, ie. price. Choose the attorney that will best serve your needs, and then pay what he or she asks. Sometimes great attorneys charge small fees, and sometimes small attorneys charge great fees. My point is, price should be the last thing you consider. Consider the person, know the person, hire the person. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    You should interview attorneys, look at their website and compare experience to price. It is too early to tell about punishments, etc, until discussing the matter in detail.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    The best way to find a good attorney is by referral from a former client or an attorney with whom you have worked. If you do not have such a referral contact several State Bar certified criminal law specialists for appointments to determine who you feel most comfortable with.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
    If your son is 17 and under the juvenile court system will handle the case. If he is a first offender that help on the UPCS DUI's are the problem in Tennsessee.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    A person is considered an adult in the eyes of the criminal law at the age of 17. If your son is 17, he will be charged as an adult and if convicted will have an adult record. If he is 16 or younger, he will most likely be charged in juvenile court and from that, while there would be a juvenile record, it is not an adult record. To select a lawyer, you can seek advise of recommendations from friends. Also, try to determine who has experience in criminal law. That might be the person who routinely handles the high profile cases. When interviewing an attorney, it is somewhat like hiring an employee. You have to feel comfortable with the attorney and should ask about their experience in criminal law, how many cases they have handled, how many cases they have taken to trial and how many they have pled. A good criminal defense attorney is also one that has considerable courtroom experience.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    Start with a google search for a criminal defense lawyer in the town or county where he was arrested. The outcome depends on the specifics of the case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    Since you son has not been in trouble before, he is entitled to protection under the Youthful Offender Act which if granted would seal the record on this incident. You need to find an experienced criminal attorney who practices regularly in the Court in which he is charged. I would suggest starting with the local bar association.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
    Everything else being equal you should look for an experienced attorney and you should speak with a prospective attorney to make sure his personality and demeanor convey the type of person you want defending your son.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    This website is a good place to start! Also, the city you live in will have a lawyer referral service. These are nice as you know the lawyers have been pre-approved. At the very least, always check a lawyer out on the state bar website to make sure s/he has no disciplinary actions and is active. Prices can vary wildly and are always negotiable; some lawyers quote a flat fee, others charge by the hour. Be sure you feel comfortable with the attorney and that you feel like the price is fair. Your son really needs an attorney. The DUI and possession charges are serious but do not have to ruin his life if handled well. The punishment need not be too onerous depending on the facts of the case. The good news is that a juvenile record is sealed for most purposes. Please feel free to contact me if you'd like to discuss the details of his case. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Crippen & Cline, LC
    Crippen & Cline, LC | Stephen Howard
    Selecting a defense attorney can be a daunting task. If possible, I suggest getting a referral from someone you trust. But, since you are asking this question on the internet, it is probably safe to assume that you don't know anyone who knows a good attorney. If you can't find a personal referral, I would suggest meeting personally with any attorney you are considering. Since you are the parents looking for an attorney for your son, you are probably concerned not just with the outcome in the legal case, but also with making sure that any substance abuse or addiction issues are handled appropriately. I would suggest looking for an attorney who has experience dealing with drug cases, but also one who has a solid understanding of addiction and how it relates to the legal system. Most narcotics cases in Utah are charged on a felony level, so the potential consequences can include prison time (although that is not likely on a first offense). Even though a first-time DUI is "just" a misdemeanor, the consequences for a DUI can also be serious. Additionally, DUI's are enhanceable. So the consequences for any subsequent DUI charges become even more serious. Often, the only way to keep a DUI off your record is to fight it and win. But any honest attorney will have to admit that beating a DUI is not always possible. (Oddly, it is often easier to keep the felony narcotics charge off your record.) Your son needs an attorney who is able to assess the police reports and help him determine the best way to deal with the case. Best of luck
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    Possession of Narcotics is a felony which entitles him to court appointed counsel if he cannot afford an attorney. Keep in mind that these are serious charges and lawyers do cost money. You wouldn't want to choose a brain surgeon solely based on who was the cheapest. That being said, I can fully understand and appreciate your concern about lawyers and finances. What do you mean by underage? Do you mean under the legal age of drinking of 21 or under the age of majority of 18? That will make a difference between him being charged as an adult or a juvenile. If tried as a juvenile, any conviction would be considered an "adjudication" and would not appear on his public record. If tried as an adult, he could be facing prison time with a narcotics charge. However, if between the ages of 17 and 21 he may be eligible for HYTA which means if he successfully completes probation the charges would not appear on his public record. There is also 7411 status which is similar but only applies to drug charges. A good, experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to help you with these resolves after he looks at your son's complete case file. Look for an attorney with experience in these cases, one that is close to the area that your son is being charged in. You can always ask around to see who has a good reputation, look at attorney referral sites, particularly the ones at the state and local bar associations. If you know any court clerks or court reporters, ask them who is good as they see defense attorneys all the time. Best of everything to you and your son.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, PC
    Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, PC | Jeffery A. Cojocar
    Call my office if in the metro Detroit area and I will gladly help out.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    If your son is under 18 years of age then this will not go on his adult record. If he is 18 or over there are ways to keep this off his record. Talk to attorneys in your area. Get the free consultation and go with the one you fee best about. Your sons attorney should be someone he can trust and feels good to work with.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    You're asking about more than I can really go into in this format. He's in big trouble. But he may get youthful offender treatment which would help ALOT. Look for a lawyer online, yellow pages, etc. Interview them and then make a decision.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Bird & Van Dyke, Inc.
    Bird & Van Dyke, Inc. | Mary Ann Bird
    If your son is under 18, he will qualify for court appointed counsel at his arraignment in juvenile court. You have the option of hiring a private attorney for him. Look for an attorney who has experience in juvenile defense work. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    I can't answer what the potential range of punishment is without knowing the exact charge, as the possible punishments depends upon whether the charge is a misdemeanor or felony and what level of each. The main thing to look for is the experience level of the attorney (consult the attorney's website or get referrals from people you know), the areas the attorney has experience with (that it corresponds to what you are charged with) and then overall how responsive the attorney is to answering questions and the like. Your son 's comfort level with the attorney enough to confide in the attorney is very important. Only by calling and speaking to several attorneys can you determine the various rates charged and whether the price, experience level, and comfort level with a particular attorney will fit your son's needs. You can search on the internet, or contact your local attorney bar association to see if it is connected to a lawyer referral service.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Based upon your text, he is facing misdemeanor DUI and either felony or misdemeanor drug charges. Youll learn the actual charge[s] filed against you when you appear for arraignment at your first court hearing. The prosecutor can amend at any time he feels he can prove additional or different charges. The charges determine how much time would be imposed if convicted. In Superior Court, when charged with a felony, you potentially face one or more years in prison if convicted; on a misdemeanor, you potentially face up to 6-12 months in jail. Reality in this case is probably two misdemeanor counts that can be plea bargained with little or no jail time, but with fines, probation, alcohol and drug programs, etc. Any conviction, whether at trial or plea bargain, creates a permanent record. The only way to avoid a record is dismissal of the charges in some way, or a win at trial. Of course you can fight the charges. When arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a test, search or confession be used against you, and can you be convicted, and what can you do? Raise all possible defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence, facts and sympathies are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or at trial. Effective plea-bargaining, using those defenses, could possibly keep you out of jail, or at least dramatically reduce it. There is no magic wand to wave and make it all disappear. If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion, reduction, or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate. You can locate an attorney by seeking referral from friends, family, etc., or formal referral through Lawyer Referral Service in your area, or internet research. Youre looking for someone you feel comfortable with, who will educate you about realistic expectations instead of wishful thinking, who is experienced in criminal defense, who you can afford.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    The arrest will appear on his adult record if he is over 17 years old. IF he gets a conviction on the case, the conviction will follow him for the remainder of his life. Therefore, you should choose the right criminal defense attorney. In terms of punishment, he is looking at a term of probation, suspension of license, community service and other conditions. I don't suspect that he is looking at a great deal of jail time. The problem is, if he has a "boys will be boys" attitude, or thinks this is no big deal, this may be the first of many DUIs. I would encourage you to contact my office for a consult. So, we can at least outline what you should be looking for in an attorney. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein | Neal L. Weinstein
    Yes, if he is a juvenile, it will only be on his juvenile record. T
    Answer Applies to: Maine
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    The best thing you can really do is a little research and then talk to a few lawyers by telephone until you speak with one that you feel comfortable with.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    A first DUI conviction usually results in 3 years probation, a 3, 6, or 9 month alcohol program, IID installation depending on the county arrested, fines around $1800, a license suspension of up to 10 months, and of course, a criminal record (and no, he cannot keep it off his record if he is over 18). Ask yourself 3 questions when trying to find the right DUI lawyer: 1) Will this lawyer personally represent you from start to finish? Or will he simply pass your case down to someone else, and have a different lawyer go to court each time, and each time you call you're speaking to someone different, depending on who's available? 2) Does this lawyer take whatever walks in the door? Or does this lawyer specialize in DUI and only DUI? 3) Does this lawyer lure you in on a low initial fee, only to send you more and more bills down the road? S
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
    I can certainly appreciate your concern and given the charges your son is facing, he absolutely needs the help of a good criminal defense attorney. That being said, if you do not have a referral for a criminal defense attorney from a trusted source, then I hope the following tips are helpful in your search. A great criminal defense attorney is all of the following: a good listener and communicator, is knowledgeable about the law which specifically applies to your case, has at least 10 years of experience in 1) DEFENDING people (beware of former prosecutor who has spent majority of career putting people in jail), 2) practice in court in which your son's case is filed and knows the judges and prosecutors involved in that court, is conscious of your concerns and expectations, and is honest about the realities of your son's case. On your end, you need to conduct an interview of the attorney about their knowledge and experience, listen to how they answer your questions and if they explain things in a way that you understand them, beware of any guarantees and settle for nothing less than meeting with the actual lawyer who will be representing you from start to finish. Many law firms will have you meet with either the head lawyer and then reassign your son's case to a much less experienced lawyer after you pay them or they will have you meet with a case manager who is, often times, not an attorney and therefore has no business evaluating your case. As far as money is concerned, it is important to set your budget. Try to have an idea of what you are willing to spend including how much you can pay to get started and how much you can pay on a monthly basis if you think you will need a payment plan. Finally, make sure any attorney you hire has great experience in the juvenile court as this can be an advantage in resolving your son's case successfully and ultimately keeping his record clean. I hope this answer was helpful. If you would like to speak with me in great detail about your son's case, you are welcome to call me anytime. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    Your minor son will face penalties in juvenile court. For a DUI/Possession first time, he can probably get probation and classes. Beware that W&I code 654.1 (DUI diversion) requires reporting to DMV, while a sentence under 654.2 does not require reporting to DMV. The former will result in a suspension, the latter will not. You need to look around, ask some friends if they know any lawyers and kick a lot of tires to find a lawyer who knows what he's doing and whom you and your son can trust. Call me, I represent juveniles accused of DUI in the Los Angeles area.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Vermeulen Law office P.A.
    Vermeulen Law office P.A. | Cynthia J.Vermeulen
    Look in the yellow pages online and contact a number of attorneys to find a good criminal defense attorney. An excellent criminal defense attorney should have several years of trial experience, at a minimum, and be able to explain the court process to you and how he or she will advocate for your son. The attorney will not be able to guarantee the results of the case; be wary of anyone who says they can give you a guarantee. Your son is the client, so do not take offense when the attorney wants to talk with your son alone. The attorney owes a duty of confidentiality and zealous advocacy to your son, and must meet with him in order to better understand his case and to devise the best approach to represent him. As to price, each attorney sets his or her fees based on various factors, including his or her experience and expertise. Be cautious in selecting an attorney based on price, as this is not the best predictor of value. As to your questions about consequences, more facts must be known in order to adequately respond. In general, if your son is 16 years of age or older, the case will be handled in the adult court system. With a drunk driving or DWI charge, if the charge is a misdemeanor, it is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine; if it is a gross misdemeanor, it is punishable by up to 365 days in jail and/or a $3,000 fine. The drug possession charges could range from petty misdemeanor to felony-level, depending on the type and amount of substance, as well as the circumstances. Your son needs competent, experienced legal representation.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Office of Thomas J. Ogas
    Law Office of Thomas J. Ogas | Thomas Ogas
    Look for an attorney who primarily practices in the county where your sons case is. If your son is under 18, look for an attorney who handles Juvenile criminal cases. Furthermore, look for someone who gives a Free Consultation so you can explore these issues with him/her. Avoid the big firms or the big names as they'll charge more, and usually not personally handle your sons case. a
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C.
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C. | Michael Morgan
    The answer to your question depends somewhat on where the case is filed/the alleged crime occurred. Your son may qualify for a public defender and some public defenders are very good. A lot of private lawyers, including myself, do free initial consultations which allows someone a chance to evaluate the lawyer before making a hiring decision. I submit there is no substitute for trial experience when picking a criminal defense lawyer. I would look to hire a lawyer with experience trying DUIs and VUCSA (drug) cases.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    House Law Office
    House Law Office | J. Steven House
    I would recommend talking with a few attorneys who specialize in criminal defense in or near the county your son in charged in and hiring an attorney that you feel comfortable with after discussing the case. The only way to keep an OWI offense off of someone's record in Wisconsin is to get the case dismissed. The potential penalty for the narcotics possession charge depends upon the type of narcotics involved, these offenses may be diverted or expunged under certain circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    I am a criminal defense attorney with about 15 years experience defending people with drug crimes and the very specialized DUI crimes. More than 50% of my practice is DUI. I try cases that need it, but I always look for the best possible plea bargain for my clients. I travel anywhere in Colorado, but I have to charge for that. In my mind, you should sit down with an attorney and discuss the case. If you and your son feel comfortable with the person, that is who you should hire. Good attorneys should be very strait forward with their fees.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    Is your son under the age of 18? If so, this should be a juvenile record issue. There are a lot of things to consider when hiring an attorney. The first is, how you feel about the attorney when you speak to or meet with them. It is important get an attorney who focuses their practice in DUI and criminal defense issues. And an attorney that will spend time discussing the case with you, keeping you in the loop, and communicating in a timely fashion.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    Hello- Choose a defense attorney based upon recognition, price, and whether he or she is a good working fit with you and your family. Interview at at least 3 attorneys. A juvenile charge is usually confidential and based upon your description of the case, can be expunged from his record if he completes probation and does not re-offend. The maximum punishment for a juvenile case is 2 years in the custody of the Division of Youth Corrections or an out of home placement. For a first offense, however, probation is usually granted.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law
    Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law | Michael Maltby
    Look for an attorney that practices criminal defense and get an appt. Usually by meeting an attorney you can size the attorney up and get a feel for how they relate to their clients. Ask tough questions. Look for honest, frank and respectful reponses. It is hard to predict an outcome without more facts, but most prosecutors and judges work to minimize the impact of criminal charges on young defendants with no prior record. Good attorneys know how to argue for and plan to minimize present impact as well as future impact on a young persons life. Prices vary but not as much as you would think. I would not go with the lowest bid! Good attorneys are worth their fee and experience almost always makes a difference.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky | Michael Brodsky
    Those are complicated questions and difficult to answer in a short post. A 1st offense DUI usually entails only a 1 or 2 day sentence, around $1,000 in fines and fees along with treatment, license suspension and ignition interlock. There are collateral consequences as well like be unable to travel to Canada for 10 years. But there are lots of issues and variable that can change or reduce these penalties. The possession of narcotics can be much more serious because it is a felony. As for finding a good criminal defense lawyer, that ca be difficult simply because folks don't usually have much experience with them and don't know whom to ask. That said, there are some things you can do to help you make that all important decision about who to trust with your son's case. Ask a non-criminal lawyer, if you know any, who they would recommend. Also, most reputable attorneys offer free consultation, so you should see several attorneys and choose one with whom you are comfortable.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    How underage? Is he under 17, or just under 21? Bear in mind the most websites are not written by the lawyers so do not be overly impressed by a great website filled with lots of information. The lawyer most likely did not do it. Check to see what their Martindale-Hubbell rating is (AV is the best) and you should check AVVO.com for their rating and for comments by other lawyers and clients (because the lawyer themself has zero control over those postings.) Interview 5 to 7 lawyers on the phone and visit in person - with your son - with at least 2 to 3. Personality is a big factor. Don't go for the "used carsalesman" types or those who are too timid. The best lawyers are the ones respected by the prosecutors - who the prosecutors think won't hesitate to go to trial in the right case (and who will not go to trial when the case is better settled with a plea agreement.) Those lawyers tend to get the best deals, too. The price should be high enough to be difficult to pay because this is an expensive proposition. If they are too cheap, then they probably don't have enough business which is an indicator that they are not that great. If they are too expensive then they might be great in a greater case but too much for your son's situation. You really have to kind of judge by the interviews.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law | Edward A. Kroll
    The best advice is to interview several lawyers, and pick the one that you connect best with. Most lawyers try to keep their prices in line with their competitors - be wary of a lawyer who offers you a price that's too good to be true. He or she may not have the experience necessary for your son's case. At the end of the day, this lawyer will play a large role in your son's future, and everyone, including your son, should be comfortable with the lawyer. Many lawyers offer free consultations, so take advantage of that. If you are in the Portland metro area, I would be pleased to meet with you. I am a former prosecutor who was in charge of Portland's DUII desk. I also have extensive experience in narcotics cases. Best of luck.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Laguzzi Law, P.C.
    Laguzzi Law, P.C. | Carina Laguzzi
    Call your local bar association and ask for recommendations. Also ask trusted friends, you would be surprised who they know. Be careful with google searches, although it might be a good start you want to ensure you have a good attorney and not someone who spends a lot of money advertising. Meet with a couple of attorneys and ask them about their experience. You will get a feeling and go with who you feel comfortable with. I always tell my prospective clients, "It doesn't matter if you have the 'best' attorney if you don't trust them." Your son will probably be eligible for a first offender program, upon successful completion he should be able to get his record expunged.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    If this is down state feel free to check out my web site and contact me. I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Your questions don't lead to an easy answer. Look for someone knowledgeable about DUI and what can be done to keep matter off his record. I would certainly be happy to speak with you regarding this matter.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Brown Law Offices
    Brown Law Offices | Philip H. Brown
    There are many lawyers who practice criminal law, but very few who practice both adult and juvenile criminal law. It is advisable to retain an attorney who specializes in criminal and juvenile law. In many cases, an attorney can seal juvenile and criminal records. DUI carries very significant penalties including mandatory counseling, community service loss of driving privileges and even jail.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Dichter Law Office, PLLC
    Dichter Law Office, PLLC | Jonathan Dichter
    How underage is he? Feel free to call me for your free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    I am the former President of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (the organization of the best criminal defense lawyers in the state). To answer your question I need to know what city/county he is being prosecuted in. You can call me at the number shown below or call my cell at 510 384 6363. If he has no prior law enforcement problems he will lose his license for a year but probably just get probation on the drugs if they were a personal use amount, especially if it was marijuana. When he turns 18 it will come off his record.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    When choosing a defense attorney, start with a referral from a trusted source if at all possible - either somebody that has personally used that attorney or from another attorney, even if they're in a different field. At least that way, you'll have some basis to start your search. A word of caution about using the same lawyer your buddy used for his DUI - not all defense attorneys are the same. There are attorneys that deal specifically with DUI cases, but they may not do much else. In your son's situation, you need a criminal defense attorney with experience in both DUI as well as drug cases. Preferably, one who has knowledge of the search & seizure (Fourth Amendment) law to be able to spot any search issues, etc. If you don't have a referral, start with the internet. There are several sites that will have attorney listings and reviews. You can narrow your search to get leads on a few local criminal defense attorneys. In this situation, you really want somebody who focuses exclusively on criminal defense, not anything that walks in their door. Look for somebody who routinely practices in the court where your son's case will be heard. They will have the best handle on the local customs, know the prosecutors and judges as well as know what types of options your son may have. Look over your top candidates' websites so you get a feel for their background, experience and communication skills. You can check with your local county bar association's referral line, but those attorneys may pay to advertise on those services and it isn't necessarily a guarantee that they've been pre-screened or have any particular endorsement from the bar association. Finally - don't make yourself crazy trying to interview every lawyer in town. Pre-screen your top candidates and set up consultations. Pay attention to whether they can answer your questions adequately or if it's all a marketing/sales hype. Do they have a plan? Are there any issues with the case they spot right off the bat? What motions may be necessary? Etc. You said your son is "underage", but I don't know if that means under 18 or under 21. That makes a huge difference. If he's under 18, he's headed to juvenile court where the possibility to seal records exists, unlike adult court. If he's under 21, he's facing some fairly harsh consequences with the DMV, but these are all issues to discuss during your consultations and in detail with the attorney you select. Finally - although he probably has some time before his court date, your son only has 10 days from the date of his arrest to request a hearing with the DMV to contest the suspension of his license.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    A first offense DWI with a blood alcohol content below .20 is a misdemeanor offense and carries with it maximum criminal penalties of up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. If convicted any subsequent DWI offense would be much more serious and with four offenses in ten years, you can be charged with a felony. As a result, as strong defense on the first alleged incident can be critical to your future. There is also a civil case that results in the revocation of your son's driver's license. On a first offense while underage, time periods double which means a revocation uf up to 180 days. This is a separate case even though the challenges are largely the same. In order to challenge your license revocation, your son must seek a judicial review by filing a petition within 30 days of the offense. Do not forget this critical time period. All too often people with strong defenses come to me too late to challenge the license revocation. The end result goes well beyond simply having your license revoked. A failure to challenge results in an Implied Consent violation on your record which can also affect employment and may be used to enhance any subsequent DWI offense. There are many challenges to a DWI. Officers must follow very specific steps as part of the arrest. If any one step is missing, the case may be dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C.
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C. | Carlos Gonzalez
    Do some online research and meet some people, usually you can go with your gut as to who you would have a better relationship with in discussing your sons case.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/27/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney