If you have been charged with any type of drink driving offences, it is a wise option to consult with an experienced driving offence lawyer. Using the services of a professional lawyer can assist that your rights and interests are protected to the greatest extent feasible while your drink driving charge(s) are being processed through the court system.
For most, meeting with a lawyer for the first time may be a nerve-racking experience. So, to help ease the nerves, this article gives an outline of everything a driving offence lawyer will ask you to bring to your first consultation, as well as the topics that are likely to be covered.
Do Some Legal Research Beforehand
Doing a good amount of research on your drink driving offences may help you spend less time with your lawyer. It can also assist you in understanding the advice your driving offence lawyer will provide and directing you to ask specific questions, saving you time and money.
You can begin your investigation by looking at online legal resources specific to your legal issues, as every state and territory in Australia has different laws and regulations for drink driving offences.
Make Arrangements for an Interpreter if You Require
If you require an interpreter, you should arrange one before meeting with your driving offence lawyer.
If you meet with a lawyer at Legal Aid NSW or a Community Legal Centre (CLC), they will arrange for a free interpreter. You must, however, notify them in advance of your appointment. Make sure you give them plenty of notice so that they can arrange for an interpreter for your appointment.
If you meet with a private lawyer, you may have to arrange and pay for your own interpreter. But you should enquire with your driving offence lawyer first since they may be able to arrange an interpreter for you.
Collect Your Evidence
You must collect as much evidence as possible to support your side of the story. Keep all your documents together once you’ve gathered all of your proof. You’ll need them to prepare for a hearing, and you could also need them for settlement talks or mediation.
Examples of evidence you can bring to your first driving offence lawyer appointment:
- Bills or receipts diaries,
- Calendars, or appointment books,
- Emails, notes, or faxes,
- Contracts or quotations,
If you are unsure whether or not to bring a specific document, bring it, nonetheless. You must provide your lawyer with as much information as possible. This will assist your lawyer in providing you with accurate advice and assessing your prospects of winning your case or settling your situation in your favour.
You will be able to find your documents more readily when chatting with the lawyer if you organise them before your meeting. So, ensure you sort the papers into chronological order from oldest to most recent.
Create a Chronology of Your Drink Driving Offences
A ‘chronology’ is a chronological listing of occurrences. When drafting your chronology, you should aim to be as precise as possible. Your chronology should include the pertinent dates of any necessary acts or circumstances, a brief summary of what occurred on each date, the names of all people involved, any papers related to that date, and the names of any witnesses.
Preparing a chronology of all the events pertinent to your drink driving offences case can assist your driving offence lawyer to understand your issue rapidly. Allowing your lawyer to spend more time discussing other concerns and will also assist you in refreshing your memory.
Keep Track of Crucial Dates
When your case begins, it is critical to maintain a note of key dates in your case, such as when you:
- received a court document.
- Handed or sent a court document to the other party.
- Filed a document in court,
- visited court,
- spoke on the phone with the other party or their lawyer.
- Had a phone call with the court registry or the police.
- Wrote a letter, fax, or email to the other party or their lawyer got a letter, fax, or email from the other party or their lawyer.
- Made or received any settlement proposals from the other party or their lawyer.
It is also critical that you record everything the court orders you to do and the deadline by which you must complete it. Keeping a detailed record of all relevant dates in your case might aid in settlement negotiations and prepare you for any questions the magistrate may ask you in court.
Make Duplicates of Everything!
Letters might go missing, and goods can get lost, so it is critical to maintain copies of all letters and papers sent by mail and any faxes. Make sure to keep the originals safe where they won’t be misplaced.
Confirm the Price of Your Lawyer
If you meet a private driving offence lawyer, you should ask them: How much they will charge you for their services if your initial consultation is free (while some lawyers will offer the first visit free, others will not).
How long will the appointment last? If your appointment is for a specific period of time, such as one hour, you should enquire how much you will be charged if you arrive late.
After you and your lawyer have discussed the matter, you should agree on how much it will cost for the lawyer to act on your behalf after the appointment. You should have your lawyer write the arrangement, known as a ‘costs agreement.’ This helps you prevent a subsequent conflict with your driving offense lawyer over their cost and might assist you in determining if you can afford a lawyer.
At the Appointment
Make sure you arrive on time for your meeting with your lawyer. You should also bring a pen and a notebook with you so that you may jot down whatever you and your lawyer discuss.
Take the time to listen to your lawyer and inform them if you don’t understand what they’re saying. Tell your lawyer what conclusion you desire.
Your lawyer may not always offer you the advice you want to hear. You are not required to take their counsel. However, when considering what to do about your legal matter, keep in mind that attorneys are professionals in their industry and have your best interests at heart.
To get the most out of the meeting, you should ask questions. This will help you understand what you need to do next. Legal jargon can be tough to grasp. Your lawyer may use legal terms without realizing you don’t comprehend them. If you don’t understand what your lawyer says, ask them to explain it to you.
After the appointment
Following your consultation with your lawyer, you may decide to:
- Take no further actions,
- Resolve the issue yourself,
- Want the lawyer to represent you,
- Represent yourself,
- Seek a second opinion from a different counsel.
If you decide to hire a driving offence lawyer, you should ask them the following questions: What steps will be done next, whether you need to schedule a follow-up visit or if they will call you?