The roads in Manatee County can be dangerous, with more deaths, particularly among young people in traffic collisions each year. Many of these car accidents get caused by reckless driving. Reckless driving is a person drives a vehicle with a wanton or willful disregard for the safety of others. The punishment for reckless driving can be steep. You can encounter jail sentences and fines. A reckless driving lawyer can help argue on your behalf if you’ve been charged with reckless driving. Your attorney can argue to reduce your sentence or get your charges dropped altogether.
This guide will discuss the top six tips you should consider when hiring a Bradenton reckless driving lawyer.
1. Look for Experience
You want whatever law firm you choose to have extensive experience dealing with reckless driving in Florida. The attorney will be well versed in the state’s laws and know where to argue on your behalf. A reckless driving attorney will also know what a good defense will be.
One route an attorney might take is going after the evidence the prosecutor has related to the “wanton” and “willful” driving behavior. The prosecutor has to do more than show that you were negligently driving your vehicle. They have to illustrate that you had intentional and conscious indifference to driving your car recklessly.
An experienced reckless driving attorney can also find problems that you might not have noticed on your ticket. If there is a mistake, they could potentially get your charges dismissed.
2. Read Testimonials and Reviews
Experience is vital when hiring an attorney. It’s also important to hear from the law firm’s previous clients. You want to know how they handled cases that are similar to yours.
An attorney will likely include positive reviews on their website. You should review those but also explore third-party websites to see unbiased reviews.
You can also ask friends and family for recommendations. While they might not have worked with a reckless driving attorney themselves, they might know someone who has.
3. Don’t Opt for a Public Defender
In many cases, a defendant has the right to have legal representation. If you cannot afford your attorney, the court can provide you with one.
Public defenders don’t cost you any money. They’re familiar with the reckless driving laws in the area and the most common defenses.
A local public defender will also have relationships with the prosecutors and judges in your area. This could work in your favor in the event of a plea bargain.
However, public defenders have a lot of cases to deal with. You might not receive the level of attention you deserve.
You also don’t get to say who you want your public defender to be. They will only help you with your criminal charges. They can’t provide you with guidance on other matters, like how to keep your license.
Hiring a reckless driving attorney is more cost-effective than you might think. Don’t be dissuaded by this option thinking you’ll encounter a hefty bill. If they can get your charges dropped, their fee is well worth the cost.
4. Go to Free Consultations
Many lawyers offer free consultations so they can get to know your case. Use these consultations as an interview process to vet potential law firms. If a law firm doesn’t offer a free consultation, ask them what their fee is.
Each case is unique. You need a qualified attorney to identify both the weakness and strengths in your case.
Phone interviews are a great jumping-off point to get to know an attorney. A good lawyer likely has a full schedule. Don’t be surprised if they have you meet with another team member as you get started.
When you come to your consultation, you should bring all related documents to your case. These documents include:
- Court documents that include your court date and charge information
- Bail papers
- Police report
- Names of witnesses and victims
Your attorney might not be able to find out everything they need to know about your case from these documents. It’s important that you’re honest with them. Answer any questions that they have truthfully so they can get an accurate representation of your case.
5. Ask Them Questions
In addition to answering your lawyer’s questions, you should come prepared with a list of your own. Some examples of questions you can ask include:
- How many reckless driving cases have you successfully defended?
- If you were charged with reckless driving, who would you want to represent you?
- Do you have enough staff members to represent me at all of my court hearings?
- How much of your practice is focused on reckless driving defense?
- Do you have access to investigators and experts in reckless driving cases?
- Are you available to speak with me over the phone or meet in person as needed?
Choosing a reckless driving lawyer is like hiring an employee. You want the best person for the job.
6. Trust Your Gut
First impressions make all the difference when hiring a reckless driving attorney. Was the law firm easy to get ahold of when you tried to make contact the first time? Were they able to schedule a consultation at a time that was convenient to you?
You want an attorney to be respectful and responsive to your needs. A qualified reckless driving lawyer will understand the trials you’re going through. Your initial calls to the law office will be a solid indication of how they generally communicate with their clients.
After you’ve conducted all of your interviews and narrowed down your list, it’s time to pick an attorney. How comfortable you feel with them is key to determining if they’re a right fit for you. You need to find a reckless driving lawyer that is confident about your case.
Partner With an Experienced Reckless Driving Lawyer in Bradenton
If you’ve been charged with reckless driving, you need to seek representation. A qualified reckless driving lawyer in Bradenton can provide you with an adequate defense to help reduce or eliminate your charges.
Contact us to schedule a consultation with a lawyer at Hanlon Law.
1111 3rd Ave W Ste 310
Bradenton, FL 34205