Hiring An Attorney

If you have been charged with a criminal offense or a DUI / OVI in Columbus or central Ohio, you are probably in the process of deciding whether you should hire an attorney and which lawyer to hire. Here are some suggestions to help you answer those questions:

Should I Hire an Attorney?

If you needed surgery, would you perform the surgery yourself? The consequences of a conviction can be very serious, including jail sentences, license suspensions, immobilized vehicles, yellow license plates, probation, forfeited property, and a permanent record. A good criminal defense lawyer in Columbus and central Ohio knows how to investigate the relevant facts, research the applicable law, and effectively present your defense to the prosecutor, judge and jury. Effective criminal defense attorneys recognize issues that will help your case and know how to develop those issues into a good defense. Unless you have an education in the law, training in DUI and criminal defense issues, and experience in the courtroom, you should not represent yourself.

Ten Traits to Look for in a Criminal Defense Lawyer
  1. Focus. Choose a lawyer whose practice is focused on criminal defense and DUI / OVI defense. There are hundreds of attorneys who will represent you for a criminal case or DUI / OVI case in Columbus and central Ohio. Most of them, however, also practice other areas of law. If you were having foot surgery, would you hire a family doctor with a general practice or a foot surgeon? If you care about your foot, you would hire a foot surgeon. If you care about the outcome of your DUI / OVI or criminal case, you should hire a lawyer with a practice focused on DUI / OVI defense and criminal defense in Columbus and central Ohio.

  2. Expertise. Select a lawyer with expertise in criminal defense and DUI / OVI defense. Many attorneys know the basics of DUI / OVI defense and criminal defense, but few have a deeper understanding of the issues in these cases. To be effective in these areas, a lawyer must not only know the law (statutes, regulations, and cases) but must also have a firm grasp of other issues such as police procedures, forensics, psychology, sociology, persuasion, and litigation. You should hire an attorney with expertise relevant to your case.

  3. Experience. It’s important to have knowledge and expertise, but it’s also important to have experience. You do not want your doctor’s first surgery to be yours. Likewise, you do not want your case to be the first one in which your attorney argues a motion to suppress evidence or presents a case to a jury. Hire a lawyer with both expertise and experience.

  4. Service. Choose a lawyer who provides good customer service. The number one complaint about attorneys is that they do not communicate well with their clients. Your attorney should keep you updated regarding all developments in your case, provide you with documents related to your case, and answer all of your questions.

  5. Personality. This trait is easily overlooked when seeking professional services. If your attorney’s interaction with you does not give you a good vibe, what kind of vibe is he or she giving while interacting with the prosecuting attorney, the judge, and the jury when advocating for you?

  6. Industry recognition. Select a lawyer who is recognized by his or her peers as a leader in their area of law. Those lawyers are often asked to teach other attorneys at continuing legal education seminars. You can also read peer reviews on Avvo.com.

  7. Appropriate fees. Choose a lawyer who charges appropriate fees. You can find inexpensive representation, but an attorney who charges low fees in DUI /OVI and criminal matters either does not understand the complexity of these cases or does not intend to do all the work necessary to present a good defense.

  8. No guarantees. In nearly all DUI / OVI and criminal cases, it is impossible for an attorney to predict with certainty what will be the outcome of your case. To properly evaluate a case, a lawyer must review all of the evidence, relevant law, and many other factors. All of the evidence in a case will not be known until discovery is exchanged and an investigation is completed. Do not hire a lawyer who guarantees a certain outcome in your initial consultation.

  9. Results. Select a lawyer with a history of obtaining good results for clients. An attorney should be willing to publish, or at least share with you, the results of cases similar to yours. Hire an attorney that has a proven record of results.

  10. Client satisfaction. Choose a lawyer who has satisfied clients. Client testimonials are available on many lawyers’ websites. An even better source, Avvo.com, is an independent third party that collects reviews from clients and rates lawyers. Hire an attorney with high ratings from previous clients.

These suggestions should help you choose a good lawyer.  For more information about Shawn Dominy, feel free to review the other material in this website.  You may want to see what clients say and review his past case results. If you do choose to hire an attorney for your DUI / OVI or criminal case in Columbus or central Ohio, and you would like to discuss your case with Shawn Dominy, please EMAIL THE DOMINY LAW FIRM or call 614-717-1177 for a free consultation.