How To Find The Best DUI Lawyer In Pennsylvania

Part One of this blog: Best DUI Lawyer In Pennsylvania

In my previous blog, I discussed the four types of lawyers that defend DUI cases in Pennsylvania. I said that you at least need a lawyer in the third category, but preferably a lawyer in the fourth category. They are out there.

Category three are DUI defense lawyers in Pennsylvania who have specialized training in DUIs. Such as field sobriety testing and blood testing. Category four DUI defense lawyers have training in field sobriety testing and blood testing and who also teach other lawyers both. These are the ones to get.

How can you find these lawyers? One way is Google. Look at the information lawyers provide to you on their websites. How long have they been practicing? There is no substitute for experience. Defending DUI charges in Pennsylvania is something that the more cases a lawyer works on the better they get at it. What training does the lawyer have? Do they say if they have Standardized Field Sobriety Training? Did they attend Standardized Field Sobriety Training School? Do they have training in Drug Recognition Exams, that is the fancy drug DUI training some police officers receive? Does the lawyer have any training in blood testing? Do they have training in the pharmacology of drugs and alcohol? Do they have training in gas chromatography (GC)? GC is the most common method used in forensic labs. If they had had GC training that means they would have experience using the same machines that likely tested your blood.  

Here is the question that separates the good DUI defense lawyers in Pennsylvania from the great ones. Does the lawyer list that he has ever lectured to other lawyers on field sobriety testing, blood testing, or the pharmacology of drugs and alcohol? Those lawyers that have taught other lawyers are who you really want. They are the elite of the elite.

Some other questions to ask lawyers when deciding who you want to represent you for your DUI charges are: How often do, they go to trial? Ask them for case examples of successes in trials and in negotiations. One question to avoid is to ask what is your win rate? Trials are complex and it is not a win or lose proposition. The facts of a case dictate what a win is. Sometimes a win is getting a third offense DUI at the highest tier of punishment down to the second tier of punishment. Sometimes it is getting a drug DUI punished at the highest level changed to a general impairment punished at the lowest level. Sometimes defendants are impaired, you can see that on the police video, but a lawyer goes to trial to challenge the blood test to get a lesser charge. Then there are cases where the defendant looks sober and there are issues with the blood test, so a lawyer goes to trial to beat the whole case. The only honest way to answer the question of what your win rate is is the way I just answered it. If a lawyer says I do very well, or I win X percentage of the time say thank you and walk out.

Ask people you know who they recommend. If you know a lawyer, ask them who they would recommend for a DUI case. Ask people who work at the courthouse. Ask your friends for recommendations. Even after getting these recommendations from friends, this is only a good starting point you still must do your homework.

Lawyers who know what they are doing in DUI defense are out there. It just takes some time to find the right ones. It is also a search that must be done as a person’s freedom and many other collateral consequences are on the line. As I said there is no one best DUI lawyer in Pennsylvania. There is a small group of them. I believe these questions and where to look for them will help you find one of them. Good luck to you.

BRIAN V. MANCHESTER, ESQ.

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