When you are looking to hire a DUI lawyer, which is more important? The price the lawyer charges, or the experience and reputation the lawyer brings to the table?

There is an ongoing debate in legal circles as to how lawyers should charge. On one side is the old-school hourly billing crowd, who believe lawyers should charge by the hour. On the other side, is a new group who believes a lawyer should charge based on his/her knowledge and experience.

With the experience I’ve gained during my years of practice, I do see the benefit in charging based on knowledge, which can be illustrated by a recent case. Throughout my 32 years of practice I have accumulated a vast amount of knowledge on matters involving not only the law, but also about certain courts, police departments, prosecutors, and judges. That knowledge and the relationships derived from practicing for 32 years is in many ways invaluable.

My client was charged with a DUI, and registered a .17 on the State breath test. At first glance most lawyers would assume that it would be impossible to win a DUI case like this one. After looking at the video, however, I found that there were some issues in the case involving not only probable cause for the arrest, but whether the test should be excluded from evidence because of the way the officer read the Implied Consent warning.

I first approached the officer and told him, in a nice way, of my concerns about the breath test; after hearing me out, he agreed, and he went to bat for my client in talking to the prosecutor about reducing the charges. Then I talked to the prosecutor, whom I have known for over 25 years and eventually he agreed with me and reduced the charges.

Without the relationships I have developed with the officer and prosecutor and the reputation I maintain, I would have struggled more to have the charges reduced. In my opinion, experience, knowledge, and relationships are invaluable when it comes to DUI defense.