Criminal Defense & Social Security Disability Law

Identifying a qualified DUI/DWI defense attorney


Before hiring a DUI/DWI defense attorney in Virginia, a person should evaluate the qualifications to ensure the best possible representation.

A person who is arrested for driving under the influence in Virginia has the right to consult with and hire legal representation. The severity of the penalties for a DUI/DWI conviction make this a choice that should be taken seriously. Hiring the right attorney can make all the difference, but determining which attorney will do the best job, is easier said than done. This can be further complicated for someone who is not familiar with the legal system.

Education notes that as with other graduate level degree programs, a law degree has certain core requirements, as well as electives that allow a student to focus on specific areas of law. An attorney who has a different focus may not have the training that is needed for criminal defense.

While all attorneys must complete a law degree and then pass the bar exam, they must also take part in an approved and certified continuing legal education program. When seeking an attorney, it may be wise to ask about the types of courses the attorney has completed through this program. According to the Commonwealth of Virginia, criminal defense attorneys in the state have options to take courses specifically related to strategies for defending those charged with driving under the influence, gathering evidence and the sentencing process.


It can be difficult to speak to someone who is distracted or seems rushed. When people experience this while discussing a defense case with an attorney, they may not be able to remember important details. Instead, an attorney should provide complete attention and ask the kinds of questions that help a person with recall. This consideration for the thoughts and feelings of the client also nurtures a sense of trust that enables full disclosure. Without this communication, the case outcome can be precarious.


Most people would not hire someone to provide a service without first asking if he or she has experience in the area. This is true for those seeking a hair stylist, a construction worker or a tailor, and it is especially important when it comes to the person who will be defending their rights in court. Anyone who needs to hire a criminal defense attorney in Virginia should ask about the experience the lawyer will be bringing to the case.

Seeking the help of a criminal defense attorney who is skilled in representing DUI cases may make the difference in license suspension, fees and jail time. Lawrence, Smith & Gardner, has the qualifications necessary to provide the best defense for those who have been falsely charged with driving under the influence, as well as first-time and repeat offenders.