Attorneys specialize in different areas of the law and each charges different rates for services. While some lawyers charge enough to bankrupt their clients, others do not charge a penny unless they win the case (and some never charge a cent). Are “pro bono” lawyers available to DUI offenders and if so, how can they be found?
The term “pro bono” is short for “pro bono publico,” which means “for the public good.” This Latin phrase is used to refer to voluntarily professional work undertaken at little or no charge. Pro bono work is considered a public service and is commonly performed in the legal profession. In the United States, the American Bar Association recommends that lawyers contribute 50 or more hours of services pro bono annually.
A public defender is assigned to an individual based on financial need and can be used to defend a DUI charge. Services provided by this attorney are paid for in full or mostly by the state. However, public defenders are typically overloaded with work, causing them to miss important evidence, rush through cases, and fail to act in the best interests of their clients.
Private Attorneys and Pro Bono Work
Private attorneys who specialize in DUI cases do not usually accept cases on a pro bono basis. However, there are some reasons to do so. One is if the lawyer identifies enough evidence to file a civil suit against the state. This is most likely to happen if there is irrefutable evidence of mistreatment by the arresting officer. If an aspect of the case could lead to changes in the law or resolve a “gray area” of law, a DUI lawyer may also take it pro bono.
The easiest way to find out whether a case qualifies for pro bono work is to present it to a lawyer who offers a free initial consultation. After reviewing the case, the attorney will issue a verdict. If the case does not meet the pro bono criteria, the attorney will present a flat or hourly fee schedule and estimated total costs.
A lawyer who focuses on DUI cases and is licensed to practice in the state of residence is the best choice. To find one of these DUI attorneys, complete the free DUI arrest evaluation request form on DUIRights.com. Once our legal advocates find the best local DUI attorney for the case, that lawyer will be in touch to offer information and guidance.