Wondering what questions to ask your DWI attorney?
There are many questions you should ask a DWI attorney before you hire them, especially regarding their background, experience with DWIs, and fees. The DWI defense is a crucial part of minimizing the damage to your criminal record as well as your sentence and fines. So, you want someone who has the experience necessary to fight your case. Check out our guide below to learn the most common questions to ask a DWI attorney before hiring them for your DWI defense.
Most Common Questions
If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence, you’re probably overwhelmed by wondering what the future holds. You may be feeling helpless and wondering what to do next or who can help.
Hiring a DWI defense attorney helps you get the direction and support you need at this crucial time. But you want to make sure you’re hiring the right person to do the job. Here are some common questions you should ask a DWI attorney before you hire them.
1. Is the Consultation Included in Your Fee?
Though most lawyers don’t charge for a consultation, there are some who do. In that case, you’ll have to pay for the meeting even if you don’t hire them for your DWI defense. Make sure you know what you’re getting into by asking if the consultation is included in the fee before you schedule the appointment.
2. Do You Have Specialty Training to Handle My DWI Case?
Specialty training is necessary for an attorney to be able to differentiate between field sobriety tests that have been approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the tests that have not. The DWI prosecution will be taking all tests into consideration when determining your sentence, so you want someone with niche experience in this area.
3. Do You Often Appear in the Court Where I’m Being Charged?
The DWI defense will go much more smoothly if the attorney is familiar with the court where you’ve been charged. Knowing the judges and the policies of the court will work to their advantage and help them fight your case.
4. How Many DWI Cases Have You Worked On?
The more experience a DWI attorney has, the more likely they’ll be able to get you better results in your case. Hire an attorney that has taken on many DWI cases over the years, and you’ll be more likely to get better results. This is your future that is on the line!
5. How Many DWI Cases Have you Won at Trial?
Does the attorney have a record of taking cases to trial and winning them? Ask what types of Driving While Intoxicated cases the attorney has taken to trail and in what Texas counties. Understanding the jury panels in the county where you are charged significantly increases your chances for a favorable result.
6. What Are the Realistic Outcomes I Should Expect?
It’s important to ask a DWI attorney how they think the case might turn out. Their answers will be a good indicator of how much you should trust them as a professional. Ideally, they’ll be honest and upfront about the possible outcomes of your case, both positive and negative. You should be wary of any lawyer who is overly optimistic or over-promises what they can deliver. Any lawyer who promises you a dismissal without even looking at the evidence in your case is probably not a good choice.
7. What is Your Communication Policy With Clients?
While attorneys are busy people, you want to hire someone who has enough time to return your phone calls and respond to emails. Ask the DWI attorney how they handle communication with clients to gauge how much they’ll be available to answer your questions and walk you through the whole process.
8. Will You Be Handling My Case?
You may be under the assumption that the DWI lawyer you meet with will be the one who handles your case. But that doesn’t always happen. Make sure you meet the actual person who will be handling your case before you make a decision about hiring them. You want to know that you will get along with this person and can trust them to handle your case.
9. What Will the Process Be Like with This Case?
If you’ve never hired a DWI attorney or been charged with driving while intoxicated, you may be wondering what to expect from the process. The best lawyers will walk you through everything before you hire them. They should let you know about the arraignment, filing of motions, hearings, trial, administrative license suspension hearing, and more. You might also want to ask their opinion about pleading guilty, going to trial, etc.
10. Will I Have to Pay Any Extra Fees?
Hiring a lawyer can be a nerve-wracking process that leaves you wondering how much you’re going to end up owing them when all is said and done. The best lawyers will be upfront about fees, so don’t be afraid to ask exactly when you’ll need to make payments and how much you’ll be paying.
11. Is the Administrative License Hearing and Occupational License included?
When charged with driving while intoxicated, you are also dealing with a civil administrative driver’s license suspension. Often times attorneys charge extra for representation in this matter or for obtaining an occupational license for you in the event your license is suspended. Make sure the fees for these items are included in the quote for representation.
12. Do You Offer Weekend and Evening Appointments?
If you’re working or going to school, you may need to meet with a DWI lawyer in the evenings or on weekends. Make sure you’re hiring a lawyer who can work around your schedule. You want to be able to meet them face-to-face and talk on the phone during hours that work for your lifestyle.
13. How Do You Think You Can Help Me?
Every lawyer has their own opinion of the best way to proceed with a DWI defense. Ask the lawyer how they can help you and you’ll get a better picture of how they’ll go about handling the case. You want to hire a lawyer who has the same priorities and goals you do.
Can You Beat a DWI without a Lawyer?
While it is technically possible to represent yourself for DWI, most judges won’t allow it. Given current evidence laws and what can be provided directly to criminal defendants, it will be much more difficult than if you have an experienced DWI attorney to help fight your case. A DWI attorney focuses on handling these types of cases and will have the know-how to get you more favorable results. So, if you don’t hire an experienced professional, the chances of getting the case dropped or getting a less serious offense are very slim.
Sometimes a DWI can be beaten because the officer did not have a sound reason (known as reasonable suspicion) for stopping your vehicle. If you were weaving inside of your lane or didn’t signal this might not be a legal reason for you to be pulled over. You might also beat the DWI if field sobriety tests were not properly administered. These are only limited examples of things someone who has experience representing individuals charged with Driving While Intoxicated are trained to recognize.
Contact Us in Texas Today
If you’ve been arrested for a DWI, The Law Office of Eric Harron is ready to help. Eric Harron is an experienced DWI attorney in Austin, TX, with a great reputation among prosecutors and judges in the central Texas area. Take a look at his previous DWI case results and you’ll see the answer is clear. Eric Harron is a great choice when you need a DWI attorney in Austin or surrounding areas. He’ll do everything he can to help you feel comfortable and confident throughout the process of handling your case. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.