After being arrested for DUI, a million questions run through your head: What penalties am I facing? Will I lose my driver license? Am I going to go to jail? After pondering these confusing and stressful questions, almost everyone inevitably asks "Who is the best DUI lawyer in Tampa?"
This isn't an easy question to answer. Almost every lawyer has his or her own unique skills that are brought to the table. We recently sat down with DUI lawyer and Former State Prosecutor for Hillsborough County, Tav Gomez, to discuss the characteristics that you should look for in your attorney.
"First," Mr. Gomez says, "you should focus on experience. It is important to hire an attorney who knows the law as well as the criminal justice system. An experienced DUI defense lawyer will know the Judges and Prosecutors as well as his way around the courthouse. This will be extremely helpful in helping to fight your case, including negotiations with the state attorney's office and trial preparation if necessary." It is also important that your attorney knows and understands the law. "Our system of justice is built upon statutes and precedent - what has happened in similar cases before. It is important that you hire an experienced Tampa DUI lawyer who is up to date on changes in the law. An experienced Tampa DUI attorney will have handled hundreds or thousands of DUI cases and will be able to compare and contrast your particular case to holdings of similar cases in your jurisdiction."
How to Choose a Lawyer for Your DUI
Mr. Gomez stresses that it is also important to hire an attorney with a good reputation. "Look online to find reviews of the lawyer you are thinking of hiring. There are many sites out there that review law firms and lawyers. Additionally, sites like Google and Yelp allow users to review law firms and leave comments. You should look to these reviews for guidance." Furthermore, that reputation will follow your lawyer into the courtroom. "Judges, prosecutors, and lawyers in the community know each other. It is important to hire an attorney with a good reputation with both clients and the legal community."
Finally, Mr. Gomez says, when looking for the best DUI attorney you should take time and weigh your options. "Finding the best Tampa DUI lawyer is going to take time and patience. You should call several firms and view their websites and reviews. Take your time and ask the questions that matter to you. How would the attorney fight your case given the facts? What is the process the lawyer takes when fighting your case? Don't be afraid to ask questions."
Mr. Gomez stresses that many law firms offer free consultations. "At my firm, a consultation with an experienced lawyer is always free. Call us today if you have been arrested for DUI - 813-281-2897. My firm has three former state prosecutors on the staff and has been in the private criminal defense business for 20 years. We would be happy to discuss your case today at no charge."
Choosing the right lawyer is a stressful time. It can often times make a big difference in your case. Take time and look for an experienced lawyer who has a positive reputation in the community.