Specialist in DUI / OVWI Law?

Almost every day, Attorney Marc Lopez has to field the question, “Are you an attorney that specializes in DUI cases?” Or maybe it’s phrased, “Are DUIs your specialty? I only want to hire the best.”

Attorney Lopez preparing to use gas chromatography to determine a sample’s blood alcohol content

The long answer is that Attorney Lopez has had specialized training in drunk driving defense through the National College for DUI Defense, an organization he also serves as the Indiana State Representative. He’s also attended various science-based seminars that address strategies for attacking blood and breath evidence in DUI / OVWI cases. In addition, Attorney Lopez has tried countless DUI / OVWI cases before both judges and juries. In spite of his credentials, however, Attorney Lopez does not claim to be a DUI / OVWI specialist.  Why?

Legally speaking, there are no DUI / OVWI specialists in the State of Indiana. Calling yourself one is not allowed. Indiana has Rules of Professional Conduct that attorneys are required to follow. One of these rules states that no attorney can call herself a specialist unless she’s been certified by an independent organization that’s accredited and approved in Indiana.

Attorney Lopez preparing samples to be later analyzed by mass spectrometry.

Right now, the State only recognizes the following specialties, which it refers to as certifications—bankruptcy, trial advocacy, elder law, family law, and trusts and estates. Indiana has no DUI / OVWI certification, which means Indiana officially has no DUI / OVWI specialists.

Some people push back against this, arguing: “That can’t be true—I just went to an attorney’s website, and he claims to be a DUI Specialist.” Attorney Marc Lopez’s response is always the same: “If an attorney doesn’t have the sense to learn or follow the rules that allow them to be an attorney, they might not be the best choice for you.”

Being charged with a DUI / OVWI can be a stressful experience. Your ability to drive will be affected, without a doubt. You could be facing jail time, and your job—especially if you have a professional license—might be at risk. While no attorney in the State of Indiana can call themselves a “specialist,” some are clearly better qualified than others to handle DUI / OVWI cases. Attorney Marc Lopez has a great deal of experience with DUI / OVWI cases, but he knows better than to tell you he specializes. If you’d like to discuss your DUI / OVWI case, feel free to call 317.632.3642 or send us an email.