- How To Pick a DWI Attorney
Once you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI), the clock is ticking as far as getting your defense together. The complexities surrounding this type of arrest should be left to a professional attorney who has the skill to fight on your behalf to get the charges lessened or even dismissed. Most times people make the mistake of choosing their representation based on price, then still have to deal with jail time and severe fines in addition to the loss of their license. There is a process you should understand for how to pick a DWI attorney, one that could not only eliminate any jail time, but reduce those fines and possibly have your license reinstated.
Here is a simple step-by-step how to pick a DWI attorney in your area:
1. Always Do Your Homework
Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense, you should never hire the first DWI attorney that you speak to. Talk to family and friends and see if anyone has had recent dealing with a local lawyer concerning this issue. Be sure that you interview at least 3 different attorney’s before you make this important decision. The key is finding a lawyer you are comfortable around and one who has the past experience to get you the end result you desire. Visit the law firms website or social media pages to get a feel for how they interact and respond with past and current clients. There is a lot to learn just from seeing how other clients respond to their dealings with this particular law firm.
2. Start Asking Intelligent Questions
If you can ask better questions before you choose your DWI attorney, you put yourself in the best position to hire one that will get you the best results. Your goal here is to make certain to keep this DWI charge off your record, so be sure you inquire with the lawyer how they will proceed in getting this done. If they don’t have a solid strategy for keeping your record clean, consider talking to another attorney on your list. Be sure to inquire about the amount of different DWI cases they have taken on and how many of these cases they have successfully won for clients. Discuss with the DWI attorney different ways they’ve defended these types of cases and ask the percentage of the workload is related to DWI cases.
3. Listen Carefully to Your Lawyer
One of the best ways to understand how to pick a DWI attorney, pay close attention to how they answer your questions. If you are having difficulty understanding their answers, imagine how the judge or jury will be when they try to make sense of what the lawyer is saying. Being able to successfully defend your DWI case is telling the entire court room a story. When your lawyer is taking and you are getting lost in his words, it might be troublesome for a jury to listen to and then side with your lawyer in the end. Communication is key when it comes to winning a DWI case, so listen carefully to how the lawyer talks to you and you will be in a better position to decide if they should be representing you in that court.
4. Recognize False Promises Quickly
While you are asking your DWI attorney questions, pay close attention to the types of responses you get. While past results, excellent communication, and years of experience are important, some lawyers fluff up their responses in hopes of just getting a new client. Here are a few responses you should be concerned about. If your lawyer keeps saying he knows the judge or personally knows the prosecutor, don’t be impressed. These professionals will not risk careers by helping out a friend. Guaranteeing you a dismissal or telling you they have won every DWI case they every defended is a sign that you should then look for a different law firm. Comments about having connections, being a former judge, or promising you a certain result is highly unethical. These responses are not professional, and are signs you need to find a different DWI attorney.
5. Ask For Everything in Writing
Understanding what your DWI attorney is going to charge and getting it in writing are two different things. This is basically an employment contract, so any discussions about additional costs to take the case to trial or fees associated with bringing in experts, all must be in writing so you are not surprised as the case progresses. Your DWI attorney should be willing to provide everything in writing from the beginning. This will allow you to see all fees associated with different aspects of your case, including jury trial or other contingencies. Getting everything in writing up front also allows you to plan your strategy better, making arrangements to find funds early in the event that the case must go to a jury trial.
6. Fighting For Your Case
When sitting down and talking with a DWI attorney, it will become clear early in the conversation how bad this particular lawyer is interested in defending your case. If the lawyer is hungry and only has a few years experience, they might fight more aggressively for you compared to an expensive lawyer who has a huge case load and simply is pushing your case to a team member in the firm. You should be able to tell when talking with the attorney in person how hungry they are and how committed they are to fighting on your behalf. This why it is so important to visit the attorney in person during that initial consultation. Talking over the phone with a lawyer isn’t the same, you want to see how the lawyer responds to your questions, because remember, it’s your life that we are talking about!
While there might be several qualified DWI attorney’s in your town, sitting down and carefully talking with each one will put you in the best position to find the perfect representation for your unique case. Just remember that each DWI case is winnable, it all comes down to picking the right lawyer to help you get there.