We’ve all made a few mistakes, and some of us have even gotten ourselves into a spot of trouble with law enforcement. The most important thing to remember after a run-in with police officers is that the criminal justice system is fair and impartial, and criminal lawyers are here to help you and reduce the impact of your sentence or fine. Here are a few things to look for in a DWI lawyer, should you be forced to search for one:

Experience in DWI Legal Challenges

Lawyers who defend people accused of driving while intoxicated are often specialists — this means that they devote their careers to devising new courtroom strategies and lines of argument to defend their clients. Lawyers who work in DWI law are more knowledgeable about the finer points of the relevant statutes, and have the luxury of drawing from previous experience in order to win the case. Experience rules, particularly in the legal field.

Case History

The case histories for most lawyers are a matter of public record, meaning that you can look them up using various search engines or in person at the courthouse or city hall. Checking a lawyer’s background history is important for the same reasons that checking a car’s history is — you want to make sure that you are paying for quality. If a lawyer talks the talk better than he or she walks the walk, the proof will be in the records. Lawyers may also win awards and receive professional recognition for their efforts and abilities; clients should certainly do research on these accomplishments as well before committing themselves to a particular person.

Honest and Forthright About Payment Procedure

Legal help is not cheap, but just because a lawyer is expensive does not mean that he or she has to lie or engage in dishonest behavior. A trustworthy and experienced lawyer will be upfront about the service cost, and then make themselves available to sit down with the client to devise a payment plan or other arrangement. Excellent lawyers know that they are worth the money, but they also know that their clients are very often unfamiliar with legal pricing schemes and financial lingo.

Respect and Attention

A DWI charge is extremely serious: the fines levied and sentences doled out can be severe, and a conviction could even lead to deportation from certain countries. You need your lawyer to be all in on your case, and he or she should prove it to you. If your lawyer does not engage in respectful conversation with you, refuses to answer your questions, avoids face-to-face contact and leaves preparation and research to subordinates, it may be time to find a new lawyer.