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Choosing the Best DUI Lawyer for Your Case in Napa

Choosing the Best DUI Lawyer for your Napa County Case

How to Find a Skilled Napa County Drunk Driving Defense Attorney

Being arrested for drunk driving in Napa Valley is a traumatic experience. What may have started as a casual day visiting some local wineries suddenly turns into a nightmare. You have likely already spent some time in jail, had your car towed, and if you are an out-of-state resident, missed your flight back home. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning. The Napa County District Attorney aggressively prosecutes DUI defendants, and if you have an inexperienced lawyer representing you, the situation is likely to get much worse.

Choosing the best DUI lawyer for your case can be a very confusing and frustrating process. Your drunk driving arrest becomes part of the public record, and your mailbox will soon be flooded with letters and glossy magazine-type advertisements from marketers. The reality is that many of the attorneys engaging in these solicitation practices never go to Court and simply hand cases off to inexperienced lawyers who will do very little to help you.

Many websites contain meaningless "pay to play" badges and certificates that embellish a lawyer's credentials. A popular scam is the claim to have been recognized as a "Top 1 Percent" trial attorney and similar boasts (there is no valid basis for these claims). One of the most egregious is the claim that they have a "high success rate" or they get "thousands of cases dismissed" each year. The truth is that in most cases, a defendant is charged with two offenses; driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or above and driving under the influence. One of these two charges is almost always dismissed if you plead guilty to the other charge, but that does nothing to help you avoid the strict penalties for a DUI conviction.

How Do I Find the Right DUI Attorney for My Case?

DUI defense is a highly technical field, and you must ensure that you are working with an attorney with strong credentials, in-depth knowledge and extensive experience in this area of the law.

There are several questions you should ask of attorneys you are considering for your case. These include:

1. Are you Board-Certified by the National College of DUI Defense, as approved by the American Bar Association?

There are only five lawyers in the entire state of California who are Board-Certified by the National College of DUI Defense as approved by the American Bar Association. This is the highest recognition a DUI attorney can receive, and it means the attorney has demonstrated an exceptional level of knowledge, skill, and experience.

2. What is your rating with the Martindale-Hubbell™?

The highest rating a lawyer can obtain is A-V, which indicates a very high preeminent level of competence and ethical practice.

3. How long have you been practicing in the Napa court system?

You do not want an attorney who is straight out of law school. Ideally, they should have practiced in this area for at least ten years, giving them an in-depth understanding of local court process and the best legal defenses to secure a favorable outcome.

4. How many cases have you taken to trial?

Your DUI defense attorney should have a successful track record taking cases to trial. This puts you in a stronger negotiating position, because the prosecutor knows that you have a good chance to prevail at trial if they do not agree to a deal that is favorable to you.

5. Do you handle each case personally?

As mentioned previously, some firms hand off their DUI cases to inexperienced associates. Though they may claim strong credentials, this does not help you personally if they are not willing to give you experienced representation.

Speak with an Experienced Napa County DUI Defense Lawyer

Attorney Paul Burglin has successfully represented DUI defendants in Napa County since 1985. Attorney Burglin is not only Board-Certified by the National College of DUI Defense, he is also a Regent for the College and editor-in-chief of its national journal. Since 2004, Mr. Burglin has co-authored California Drunk Driving Law, a two-volume legal guide that contains hundreds of authoritative case interpretations, innovative and decision-based DUI defenses, and answers to most questions regarding drunk driving defense. Because of his experience, depth of knowledge, and successful track record, he is frequently called on by prosecutors, judges, and DMV hearing officers when someone close to them winds up in legal trouble for DUI.

For a discreet and confidential consultation with attorney Paul Burglin, contact us by calling 707-320-4007 right now. He serves clients throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Napa County, including Napa, American Canyon, St. Helena, Calistoga, Yountville, Rutherford, Pope Valley, Deer Park, Oakville, Angwin, and surrounding Napa Valley communities.

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