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Attorneys have a pretty bad rep when it comes to alcoholism and substance abuse. Maybe you have a serious problem, or maybe just one night you had a few too many and made the wrong decision to get in your car. But now you find yourself arrested for driving while intoxicated (or under the influence, depending on where you live).
Now what? You have a few options: Represent yourself, get a buddy to help you, or find a great DUI lawyer. Which one do you think is the way to go?
As a lawyer, you may find yourself doing your own legal research -- at least to start your case off. You know FindLaw has an extensive online resource devoted entirely to DUI* laws. The guide is also split up by state, so you can hone in on the laws that are applicable to you, and even lets you compare state DUI laws, and state-by-state DUI penalties. But the bottom line here: While you can do your own research to know what you are up against, you should not represent yourself. You know the adage: "A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client."
Friends Don't Represent Friends
Just like the ad campaign from the 1980s, friends don't let friends drive drunk, and they shouldn't represent them either. As a lawyer, you have an extensive legal network, so it would come as no surprise if you were to reach into your network and ask a buddy for some help in this time of crisis.
Avoid that impulse. You already made a bad decision to drive while drunk, don't compound that bad decision with another one. Think about this one like a lawyer. Will a friend be objective? Will a friend force you into mandated substance abuse classes if you need them? Will a friend give your case the priority of a "paying" client? Don't mix driving and drinking and don't mix friendship and business.
The Resolution: Find Good DUI Representation
So if not you, if not your friends, who will represent you?
Not only a resource on DUI Laws, FindLaw is also a great resource for finding DUI representation. The FindLaw DUI Attorney Directory is a useful list of attorneys who specifically deal with DUI cases and you can search for an attorney based on your state, county, city, or metropolitan area. Then, take a look at their profiles. You might know the firm, the people, or even find an old classmate. Not a friend, but a connection -- that maybe just the help you need.
The professional and personal fallout from being arrested on DUI-related charges can be mitigated by finding the right representation. The FindLaw Legal Directory has been helping people find attorneys for over ten years, and was and still is, the industry leader. Don't make a bad situation worse by choosing the wrong way to get you through your DUI.
*The term DUI is used in this article, and for these purposes includes DWI and OUI