Understanding the Criminal and Civil Justice Systems

which one is best for you and your financial situation. If you are not yet clear, look over all your notes, but also consider how the attorney related to you. Some crash victims have strong feelings about hiring an attorney who also does DUI defense. Feel free to make that a criterion in your selection if it’s important to you. However, other victims correctly note that attorneys who have firsthand defense experience may actually have an advantage when it comes to preparing and arguing your case. Only you can decide how comfortable you feel hiring an attorney who also represents substance impaired driving offenders. The Contract Many states require attorneys to provide clients with written contracts unless the client waives the right. We suggest that you don’t waive your right. Take the proposed contract home

and read it carefully to be sure everything in it is the same as what you were told during the interview. Be particularly cautious about expenses. Exactly what will be

A written contract with your attorney will help make

it clear what the expectations are.

charged and when? If the case is charged on a contingency basis, are expenses taken out before or after the attorney receives his percentage? Negotiate with your attorney on anything in the contract that will be difficult for you. For example, if a retainer is required and you have less money now than you will in a couple of months, ask if the retainer fee


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