Being arrested for a DWI is a scary experience. It’s important to recognize that once you are stopped by the police and charged with driving while intoxicated, you are already in hot water. Based on the charge and previous criminal history, your situation could only get worse without the right DWI lawyers on your side.
Some of the more serious consequences of a DWI include hefty fines to pay, losing your license completely, as well as serving serious jail time. This is why choosing the best DWI lawyer for you case is imperative, so don’t rush into your decision.
Just because a criminal lawyer has passed the bar, doesn’t always mean they should be your first choice. Here’s what to consider when choosing who defends your case.
DWI Lawyers: How to Choose the Best Professional for Your Case
Criminal lawyers are a dime-a-dozen in any major cities across the U.S. But what’s important to consider is that not all of them specialize in DWI or have the trial expertise you may need.
Choosing the wrong criminal law lawyer is one of the primary reasons many defendants are served with harsh or unexpected outcomes because of a DWI case. If you don’t want this to happen to you, here’s how to choose the right criminal or DWI lawyer:
1. Consider Their Experience in DWI Cases
A criminal lawyer may have tried a myriad of cases, but this doesn’t always mean they have experience in trying or winning DWI cases. Choosing a lawyer with relevant experience in this field is an absolute necessity if you want the best outcome for your case.
All crimes are treated and tried differently, and the same goes for different court systems and the charges they hand down. Make sure your lawyer also has local experience, specific to the court where your case will be tried.
2. Take Into Account the Size and Reputation of the Firm
Why is size so important when choosing a lawyer’s firm? The larger the firm, the more your case could be side-lined. This is not always a guarantee, but larger firms tend to be busier, and your case may not receive the close attention you’re looking for.
Generally, smaller firms may have more time to dedicate to your particular case, but bear in mind that experience is also important. Ultimately, you’ll need to choose a firm size that you’re comfortable with, where their attention is guaranteed.
3. Make Sure Your Lawyer Offers a Free Consultation
This is a very important factor to consider. A free consultation gives you the chance to assess the experience, style, and overall personality of the lawyer you choose.
Most firms should offer this service, and if not, it may be worthwhile looking elsewhere. You want to get a feel for the lawyer you’ll be working with first. They should be able to give you an honest assessment of the options you have before you make your decision.
4. Will You Be Able to Work Closely With Your Lawyer?
This is something that gives you, the client, peace-of-mind. You should be offered direct access to your lawyer, whenever you need it. This includes a one-on-one service as well as their direct phone number for all of your questions and concerns.
Some lawyers palm-off the majority of the casework to a paralegal or even non-legal personnel in the office. This can be exceptionally frustrating from the client’s end, especially if you are unfamiliar with how the legal system operates. So, when you choose a lawyer, make sure you have the direct support you need.
5. How Affordable Are Their Rates?
Obviously this a major factor to consider if you’re going to hire an experienced lawyer to handle your case. But remember, price is not always the most important consideration. But, it’s still wise to find out whether you can afford their rates or have access to a payment plan.
It doesn’t hurt to do your own research and get a few quotes on local criminal lawyer rates so that you can compare prices. The cheapest rate is not always best, in fact, it rarely is. Think about whether you’d rather risk your freedom over saving a few extra dollars!
6. How Much Trial Experience Does Your Lawyer Have?
If your case goes to trial, you want to make sure that your lawyer knows what they’re doing in a court-of-law. But you should also be wary of a criminal lawyer who is a little too friendly with other prosecutors or judges.
A friendly relationship could mean that your lawyer will be reluctant to fight in an aggressive manner if needs be. They may wary of causing a rift in their relationship between these key players in the court system. But this is unfair to you.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their experience when going to trial and how they would tackle your case. You want a lawyer that will fight tooth-and-nail to ensure you receive a fair and just outcome. Keep in mind, however, that DWI cases don’t always go to trial.
7. Ask For References and Do Your Research
If you have any doubts in your mind, the best way to put them to rest is by asking your lawyer for references. By talking to previous clients they have worked with, you can get a better idea of how they handle themselves and cases like yours.
If you receive honest and positive feedback, this is a good sign that your chosen DWI lawyer is legitimate.
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Weighing up your options when it comes to DWI lawyers is all about doing the homework, but also going with a gut feeling. Ultimately, you’ll know who’s right for you if you have taken the time to carefully consider all of the above factors.
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