It can be a scary experience to be asked by a traffic enforcer to pull over especially if you know you might be driving under the influence. More so, if you’re not guilty of anything and is accused of driving while intoxicated or DWI. But you don’t have to carry all the heavy baggage in a DWI case because finding the right DWI lawyer can help you avoid losing your license or spending time in jail or at least lessen the fees or punishment for a guilty plea.
Take a look at the following tips so you can find a dependable DWI lawyer to handle your DWI case.
1. Come Up With Potential DWI Lawyers List
You cannot just hire the first lawyer whom you saw online. Recommendations from relatives, friends, and colleagues are helpful so you can choose the best DWI attorney to represent your case. If you know a non-DWI lawyer, you can ask him to refer someone who is specialized in handling DWI cases. View more information here to find out how you can find the best DWI lawyers who can manage your case.
2. Hire A Local DWI Lawyer
If it is your first time working with a DWI attorney, it is important to check if the lawyer is licensed in your state. Consider hiring a co-counsel if the DWI lawyer is not licensed in your state. But, it’s more convenient to hire a local lawyer who is more familiar with your state laws.
Here are the advantages of hiring a local DWI lawyer:
- More familiarity with DWI cases in your area
- More familiarity with prosecutors and judges in your locality
- Easily approach the attorney as needed
3. Check The DWI Lawyer’s Ethical Record
It would help to check the DWI lawyer’s ethical record to avoid getting associated with a malicious attorney who has been disbarred, which can affect your case’s standing. Verify where the lawyer went to school and experience as a defense attorney. It is also a good idea to visit the lawyer’s office, so you can assess his communication skills, your level of comfort talking with him, and his confidence.
4. Choose An Experienced DWI Lawyer
Your prospective DWI lawyer is a criminal lawyer who probably has tried handling a myriad of cases. However, it doesn’t mean that the lawyer has plenty of experience in handling and winning DWI cases. That is why you have to choose a DWI attorney with relevant experience if you want the best result for your case. Choose someone who has local experience in the court where your DWI case will be tried.
Take a look at the advantages of hiring an experienced DWI lawyer:
- Knows the ins and outs of a DWI case
- Provides you more legal options
- Has more profound communication, negotiation, and problem-solving skills
5. Ask For Character References
Whether you’re guilty of distracted driving or drunk driving, facing a DWI case can be a time-consuming and tedious process. But it doesn’t mean you have to be in a hurry hiring a lawyer. You have to choose the right lawyer very carefully to ensure a good outcome.
One of the best ways to narrow down your options when hiring a DWI lawyer is to ask for references. Talk to the DWI lawyer’s previous clients he has worked with to get a better insight into how the lawyer handle cases like yours. Positive feedback from previous clients is a good sign that your prospective DWI attorney is legitimate.
Check the following advantages of asking character references when hiring a DWI lawyer:
- Peace of mind
- Increase the likelihood of winning the case
- Assess the lawyer’s expertise and reputation
6. Determine How A Lawyer Charges Fees
Drunk driving continues to be a common occurrence in the United States. The billing method of a DWI lawyer can influence your decision as to who will handle your case. You might want to determine if your prospective lawyer charges a flat fee or an hourly rate for his legal services. Here are the details of the two billing methods DWI lawyers use to charge their clients:
- Hourly Rate: The lawyer will be paid for the number of hours he spends working on your case. So, the longer your DWI case takes, the more money you will need to pay.
- Flat Fee: This billing method is considered one, fixed price for the lawyer’s time, regardless of the time he spends in wrapping up your DWI case. But the lawyer may also charge another fee if you agree to a plea agreement or plead guilty, and another fee if ever you decide to take your DWI case to court.
When finding a DWI lawyer, it is important to choose one who is licensed in your state. Also, choose one who has a good ethical record and impressive feedback from previous clients. Ask for character references to assess the lawyer’s reputation and skills. It is also important to determine how an attorney charges fees so you can prepare your budget.