BIM: Now, you mentioned earlier that you’re a specialist in DUI cases. Can any type of lawyer defend a DUI case?
Jim Yeargan: Unfortunately, any type of lawyer can, and a lot of lawyers will take a DUI case. To be honest, there’s a lot of money in it. So a lot of these guys will charge a lot of money and not do anything for you. DUI has actually been declared, by the American Bar Association, to be a subspecialty. So that’s why when you hire a DUI lawyer, you need to ask, you know, not only about their experience but if they have certain certifications, like if they’re certified in field sobriety testing. Are they certified as a student, or are they certified as an instructor? Have they taken the classes and are certified on the breath testing machines? Have they taken the drug recognition evaluator classes? Have they taken other drugs that impair driving classes, things like that? There are many, many classes and certifications that real DUI lawyers, people that actually do this all the time, have; that lawyers who are just trying to get money and flip the cases with pleas will not have.
BIM: Now, I mean, you say it’s a lucrative business, which is great if you’re really in the business of helping people to restore their lives. But you know, what does that look like for the client? How much does a DUI case tend to cost?
Jim Yeargan: It varies quite a bit from lawyer to lawyer. But for good, solid representation, it’s going to run you anywhere from a starting point of $5,000, depending on your record and other factors, up to $10,000 or $15,000.
BIM: And that especially makes sense if, you know, some of the examples that you used, like a pilot, or lawyers, you know, somebody that has a lot to lose, like you said up front. What holds people back from not getting the right help, though?
Jim Yeargan: I think it’s they don’t understand. They will talk to a bunch of lawyers, and they’ll get the $5,000 or $10,000 quotes. Then they’ll talk to other lawyers and get the $1,500, or the $2,000 quote, or even lower. And I don’t think they really understand what all goes into fighting one of these cases. In Georgia, a DUI case is actually the hardest case to try because of the science, the ever-changing law. There’s so much involved in it. It’s not just something you can pick up and do. So I don’t think they really understand that specialized lawyers are needed in this case.
Jim Yeargan: Also, people ask for recommendations. And they get lots of recommendations from this friend, or this person knows someone who helped someone else. And of course, they don’t know who that person is, or what their case was, or what the lawyer did. But it’s not like a credential. So they go and talk to this person, and they just don’t realize that the lawyer they’re talking to is not in the best position to help them with their particular set of facts.
BIM: Now, you said up front that you didn’t necessarily plan on becoming a DUI lawyer. But that’s what you are now, and you’re good at it. What is it about this industry that you really liked? And why do you continue to be in this area of defense?
Jim Yeargan: It’s really a fascinating area, but the main thing is, I get to work with so many interesting people, and just really good people from all different walks of life. You know, you do some areas of criminal defense, and honestly, you’re just dealing with people who just aren’t good people. But with DUIs, it’s professionals and people who just made a mistake, or didn’t realize maybe they had one too many. And in some cases, they’re going to pick someone else up who was too drunk to drive, so they think they’re doing the right thing. So you get to work with really good people who just made not the best decision one night. And they’re very scared, and you get to help them put their lives back together and get back on track.
BIM: Well, like I said, it’s a very scary moment in your life to be charged with a DUI, or get pulled over, and have to have all these emotions going through your head. You certainly want the best representation. So Jim, what is the best way for people to contact you if they want your help to represent them?
BIM: DuiJim.com. Well Jim, it has been very interesting talking to you today. You know, there’s a lot going on in that industry, and there’s definitely a lot of people that need help, and the right professional help. So I’m sure a lot of these questions that you’ve answered today is really going to help out anybody that is listening. Well Jim Yeargan, thank you very much for being my guest on Expert Profiles Atlanta today.
Jim Yeargan: My pleasure. Thanks, Neil.