Drink driving solicitor near me: looking at your options
If you have never been charged with a motoring offence before, this is probably a very stressful time for you. Most people who want to offer a defence of their actions start with a quick online search for “drink driving solicitors near me”.
The end result of this – as you've probably already seen – is an endless series of options that often don't do much to differentiate themselves from each other.
Here is everything you need to know about your choices when it comes to a drink driving lawyer and how to choose between them:
Choosing between drink driving solicitors near you
Your options when it comes to defending yourself against a drink driving charge are:
1) Use the duty solicitor
The duty solicitor is a position at many magistrates' courts and police stations. They are a kind of default or emergency backup solicitor who can help you with your case. They do so for free and can deal with any case related to an imprisonable offence.
Duty solicitors range from newly qualified practitioners to experienced professionals and cover all kinds of law. However, the kind of help they can provide is limited. A duty solicitor:
- Cannot help you at trial
- Will not provide a long consultation (they have incredibly heavy workloads)
- Can help you work out a mitigation plea or set up a trial if you plead not guilty
2) Talk to a general practice solicitor
Without knowing any better, some people will approach a general practice solicitor. A general practitioner is the kind of solicitor you will find on your local high street. They probably have a few different professionals with expertise in different fields of law.
Those fields are important. Because, broadly speaking, you can have any qualified solicitor defend you against your drink driving charge. Any qualified solicitor has what's called the “Right of Audience” and can represent you in a magistrates' court.
That said, most modern solicitors specialise in a particular field. Your local solicitors may well specialise in conveyancing (helping people move house), family law (divorces and child arrangements), or wills and probate.
Most local high street firms will be very clear about where their areas of expertise lie. This is because, not to put too fine a point on it, their business rests on their great reputation in certain fields of law. They don't want to be in a position where they can't help you.
Your local high street firm will probably be only too happy to recommend a local specialist drink driving solicitor to you if this isn't where their expertise is.
3) Find a specialist drink driving solicitor
This will be your best choice if you want to get the most positive result from your drink driving charge. A professional who specialises in this type of case will be deeply familiar with the laws involved and the potential defences you might be able to offer. They will be able to help you:
- Examine the evidence against you
- Identify potential holes in that evidence
- Advise you as to whether to plead guilty or not guilty
- Determine your best possible defence and help you build it
- Support and advise you throughout the process
Can I represent myself in a drink driving case?
This is certainly possible. But it isn't usually a good idea. You only get one chance at defending yourself in court, after all.
Plus, you may not know whether your best route is to plead guilty or not guilty. You probably won't be familiar with the ways to find weaknesses in evidence or question the assertions of the prosecution.
You should only ever consider representing yourself in court if you:
- Are very confident in public speaking
- Are experienced in dealing with high-pressure situations
- Have some understanding of the legal process (or are able to multi-task getting legal pointers from the in-court legal adviser – note, they won't give you actual legal advice)
Choosing a “drink solicitor near me”
After you understand the many options available to you, it can be a bit easier to choose between drink driving solicitors near you. You can then check for recommendations, explore their online reviews, and reach out to any likely candidates to check their fees and whether you have the rapport you need to be confident as you work together.
Looking for a drink driving solicitor with a proven history of success?
Let's talk. DFR Solicitors are a friendly and approachable team of supportive legal experts.