Getting a DWI is a serious charge. Many people facing this situation think it’s easier just to plead guilty to the charges, but this isn’t necessarily the best choice.
It’s a good idea to consult with a DWI attorney whether you are innocent or guilty of the charges.
A DWI attorney can help you understand the strength of the of the case against you. Although the majority of DWI cases are settled, you could end up facing a trial.
DWI cases can be complex. And your attorney should have trial experience and be knowledgeable in the scientific evidence used in DWI cases.
If you are thinking of hiring a DWI attorney, it’s critical to ask the right questions. Let’s take a look at 7 questions you should ask a DWI attorney.
How Long Have You Been Practicing Law?
It’s a good idea to hire an attorney who has some level of experience in a courtroom. A new attorney who has just passed the bar may charge a lower fee, but they may not be experienced with the complexities involved in handling DWI cases.
If you don’t ask the question, you may hire the wrong attorney. You want attorney who is not only experienced but also has represented previous clients successfully.
Do You Have Experience with DWI Cases?
Before you hire an attorney, you want to make sure they have experience handling DWI cases. Many attorneys handle multiple types of cases rather than specializing in only one area of law.
If they have adequate experience with these types of cases, they could do a good job of representing you. However, many people prefer to hire an attorney who handles DWI cases exclusively.
It’s important for you to be certain that your attorney can handle your particular case before hiring him or her.
What Specialized Training Do You Have?
DWI attorneys should be knowledgeable in the scientific evidence the prosecution could use against you. This evidence could include Standardized Field Sobriety Testing procedures, blood test analysis, and other scientific tests or equipment that could be used.
Some DWI attorneys are even licensed to administer breathalyzer test. This is helpful because the more knowledge an attorney has regarding these tests, the better he can dispute the results if mistakes were made.
What Can You Do to Help Me?
A good attorney will be upfront and honest with you about their ability to effectively represent you. Obviously, they can’t give you a guarantee, but based on previous experience, they can offer a prediction of the probable outcome of your case.
Any attorney who says he can win your case with 100% certainty is not being truthful and is one to avoid.
Will You Handle My Case?
Make sure you know who will be handling your case and who will be representing you if it goes to trial. It’s common for larger firms to offer a consultation with a seasoned attorney and then have a young or less experienced attorney take the case.
This is something you should know. A DWI is serious and can affect your life in numerous ways, so don’t hesitate to ask questions.
What Fees Will Be Involved?
When you need a good attorney, bargain shopping may not be the best idea. You do, however, want an attorney who offers a free consultation.
This is a great opportunity for you to ask all of your important questions to ensure you are hiring the best DWI attorney for you.
DWI attorneys do not work on a contingency basis like some other types of attorneys do but instead charge a flat fee. This amount can vary widely, so be sure to ask.
And be sure to ask if you will be charged any additional fees on top of the flat fee. Some attorneys charge for copies, subpoenas, phone calls, and other services.
Most DWI attorneys want their fee paid upfront and will not accept monthly payments. But if you are in a situation where you can’t pay, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Is IT Possible to Have My DWI Expunged?
It is possible to have your DWI expunged if you are convicted or settle with a plea deal. That means the DWI will essentially disappear from your record.
That can be a real benefit especially when you are applying for a job. But if you are arrested for another DWI offense, your previous conviction can be used by the prosecution.
There are states where your DWI can be expunged only if you are not convicted. And some states allow expungement if you are convicted, but only after your probation is completed.
Hiring a DWI Attorney
Being charged with DWI is unsettling and can negatively affect your life, family, and employment. That’s why having an experienced DWI attorney is necessary. You want to give yourself every opportunity to walk away from this experience with a favorable outcome.
So be sure to ask the right questions and find the right attorney to handle your case.