Teaching Attorneys How to Handle Their First DUI Case: The Initial Client Interview CLE

Information Gathering for South Florida DUI Cases

Before a client comes in to discuss his or her DUI case, you need to obtain information about them first. You should obtain their:

  • Basic contact information (i.e. name, phone number, email address)

  • Brief description of facts

  • Previous criminal history

  • Biggest concerns surrounding the incident

  • Immigration status

  • Probation status

Attorney-Client Privilege

Let the prospective client know that all of the information they share is protected by the attorney-client privilege. Since they are coming to an attorney for legal advice, what is shared is confidential.

Details that Build a Defense

When interviewing a client, be on the lookout for details that can build your defense and point to the client’s innocence. These include but are not limited to:

  • Injuries the client had prior to the incident

  • Physical conditions of the environment where the incident occurred

  • Speech impediments or language barriers the client has

  • Learning disabilities the client has

Providing Education to Clients for South Florida DUI Cases

It is important that the client walks out of his or her initial consultation feeling as if the attorney is an authority on DUI law, case issues, and the court system. This must first take place by creating a mindset within the attorney and second by doing the preparation prior to the consultation to gather the information.

Walkthrough and break down the details of the DUI case

  • Determine what division their case is in

  • Get info on the judge and potential prosecutor(s)

  • Pull the probable cause affidavit, tickets, or anything else related to the case

  • Review the pretrial release or bond paperwork when available

Setting Expectations for South Florida DUI Cases

Keep in mind that the prospective client may not have any working knowledge of the legal system. They may be unaware of timelines, processes, best practices, and common results. Additionally, they may not know how your firm, in particular, handles DUI Cases.

Questions you should answer regarding the DUI case

  • How long will the case take?

  • How long until the firm receives the discovery?

  • When will be the next time the client hears from the attorney?

  • When does the client need to go to court?

Discussing the Florida DMV 10 Day Rule for DUI Cases

During your initial client interview for a DUI case, you will need to advise the client regarding the DMV formal review process.

Related: Click Here to Learn More About the Florida DMV 10 Day Rule for DUI Cases

  • A client can waive the formal review to expedite the process of obtaining a hardship license

  • A client can have the formal review to fight to reinstate driving privileges


Click the image below to see the rest of our lecture series: