How do you find an experienced DWI attorney? If you or someone you love has been charged with driving while intoxicated or DWI, it’s vital to your case that you work with an experienced DWI attorney who can represent your interests and fight to protect your rights as they relate to the charges you’re facing. Working with an attorney can help ensure the best possible outcome in your case; however, there are many factors to consider when choosing which lawyer to hire. Here’s how to locate a qualifiedand seasoned DWI defense attorney who can help protect your future.
Where to start
Don’t drive drunk—contact an experienced DWI attorney immediately you get charged! Talk to friends or family members who have had their fair share of similar legal problems; ask them for recommendations. You may also want to ask your insurance company or look in your local yellow pages. However you find them, once you’ve found at least one potential candidate, it’s time to schedule a consultation appointment.
Prepare for your first meeting
Your initial meeting with your attorney should be free of charge. During that meeting, discuss all aspects of your case and decide whether you feel comfortable working together. If so, sign a contract agreeing on terms such as retainer fees (the amount you pay upfront), hourly rates (the amount per hour that will be billed for legal services), and other costs associated with representation. You’ll want to ensure there are no hidden charges or clauses before signing anything.
Decide whether you want a private or public defender
You may be assigned a public defender if you’re facing a misdemeanor DWI charge. These public defenders are underpaid, overworked, and less experienced than private attorneys, so it might be better to ask for private counsel for your case. Private attorneys typically charge $200-300 per hour—which isn’t cheap but is still worth it if they have experience with winning cases like yours. It’s best to consult with both types of lawyers before deciding onyour representation.
Costs vary based on the location and reputation of the firm
Costs range from $2,000-$30,000. The best way to determine how much a DWI case will cost is by obtaining quotes from multiple firms. Although getting quotes from multiple firms can be overwhelming, your first instinct should be that price is not a sole indicator of quality; costs will depend on many factors, including experience and reputation.
Choose your DWI attorney wisely
The best way to find out if a particular attorney is experienced is by looking at their past case files, which can give you some insight into how they handled situations similar to yours. If possible, try scheduling consultations with several different attorneys on one day so that you can compare notes afterward.
Remember that just because someone has been practicing law for many years doesn’t mean they will be able to help you beat your case. Many inexperiencedpublic defense lawyers are more likely to recommend a plea bargain than risk losing in court.