Bad Practices By Dallas DUI Lawyers
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You’ve been arrested for a DUI and in your anguish you’ve reached out for a Dallas DUI attorney for help. Unfortunately, you quickly realize that you’ve made a mistake in your choice. A dispute arises between you and your attorney while in the middle of the case and now you don’t know what to do. If you feel that your attorney has acted in an unethical manner, the state of Texas has a grievance procedure where you can file a complaint against your Dallas DUI attorney. Once you’ve filed a complaint, the complaint will be investigated.
What Constitutes Bad Practices by a DUI Attorney?
If an attorney signs you up but their caseload is so full that it is difficult for them to handle your case professionally, that is a sign of a bad practice. Rather than providing the kind of representation the firm claims they will provide, they tell you that their emphasis is on settling cases quickly. This is not a good DUI Lawyer. In other instances, some DUI attorneys fail to communicate with the client or neglect to return the client’s documents. Some even add on hundreds and even thousands of dollars in miscellaneous or hidden charges. Others still misrepresent themselves by guaranteeing a result in a case, which is not possible. In fact, telling a client what they want to hear just to make them feel better is non-professional and unethical. A DUI is a serious charge and therefore requires the help of a reputable lawyer who will be upfront and honest with their clients.
Client - Lawyer Privilege
When it comes to a DUI, the lawyer-client privilege is there to protect certain confidential communication made for the purpose of carrying out professional legal services to a client. The DUI Attorney has an ethical obligation to protect his or her client as well as protecting any confidential information shared by the client. There are laws and rules that protect a client’s right and they are there to prevent the disclosure of confidential information. Not honoring these laws is the sign of bad practices on the part of the lawyer. Under the ruling of confidentiality it includes both privileged and unprivileged client information. Privileged information means information that is protected by the Texas Rules of Criminal Evidence, the Texas Rules of Civil Evidence, or the Federal Rules of Evidence. Unprivileged client information refers to information relating to a client or is furnished by the client, other than privileged information, which is acquired by the lawyer during the course of representation.
How A Dallas DUI Attorney Should Handle Your DUI Case
A Dallas DUI attorney must never knowingly reveal confidential information to anyone that the client has instructed the attorney not to reveal it to and that includes employees of the law firm. The DUI Attorney must also never use a client’s confidential information to the disadvantage of the client, except in the event that the client has given the DUI attorney permission. The attorney must also never utilize confidential information of a previous client after representation is finished. The only exceptions to an attorney revealing confidential information includes the following:
- When the client authorizes the disclosure
- If the client consents to the disclosure after consultation
- When the lawyer has reason to believe it is necessary to reveal confidential information in order to comply with a Texas Disciplinary Rule of Professional Conduct or to comply with a court order.
- To establish a defense on behalf of the lawyer in a controversy between the lawyer and the client.
- If the lawyer has reason to believe it is necessary to reveal the information to prevent the client from committing a fraudulent act.
- If the lawyer has reason to believe it is necessary to do so in order to carry out the representation effectively.
To avoid hiring a bad practicing lawyer, when you find yourself in need of an attorney, do some careful assessment before you hire the DUI attorney to represent you. Find out what portion of the attorney’s practice is devoted to defending DUI cases. Ask the attorney how many DUI cases in Dallas he has taken to trial. Find out about recent cases the attorney has tried and won. In addition, be sure to ask whether the DUI attorney you speak with is the one who will personally handle your case. Most important, find out whether the attorney has any ethics violations placed against them. Above all you want an attorney that will treat you without judgment and who will work to help you within the bounds of ethics.