You’re looking for the best DWI lawyer for the job. Do you know the right questions to ask?
Hiring the best lawyer is all about knowing what to look for. Many people will say they can do the job. However, you need to know what to ask to make sure they can really get it done.
Don’t waste your time and money on a subpar lawyer. If you ask these 6 questions, you’ll get the best DWI lawyer. Read on to learn what you need to ask.
When to Hire a DWI Lawyer
You might not be sure if you need to hire a DWI lawyer in the first place. Do you really need to look for the best DWI lawyer, or will a public defender be able to cut it?
Hiring a DWI lawyer might even feel like a waste of money if it seems like the facts of your case are clear-cut. However, each case is different, and DWI laws can be complex. If you don’t have professional legal training, you may not know if you have a defense or a chance at getting minimal punishment.
If there’s an oversight or mistake in your case, the consequences can be serious for you. Hiring a professional with specific experience in DWI cases is your best bet at getting your case resolved in a way that you’ll be comfortable with.
You should always have a lawyer, no matter what – never try to represent yourself. Let’s take a look at why you should seek a DWI lawyer, not a public defender.
DWI Lawyers vs. Public Defenders
People who don’t have the money for an attorney get a public defender or a public lawyer appointed by the court.
A common complaint from the people they defend is that they don’t get enough time with the public defender to make their case. Public defenders are generally extremely busy, with many cases at a time. You won’t get much one-on-one conversation with a public defender.
With DWI cases, there’s another particular issue with having a public defender. In DWI arrests, there tend to be two separate proceedings. First, there is the criminal court case. But there is also the license suspension, done by the local DMV.
Your public defender will be in charge of the court case, but they won’t handle the DMV side. However, if you hire a private DWI lawyer, they can help you with both of these aspects of the case.
So, you’ve probably decided by now that hiring the best DWI lawyer is a good idea. What should you ask them before you decide which one will represent you? Let’s take a look at the six questions you need to ask.
1. What’s Your Area of Focus?
Some lawyers say they can handle DWI cases, but that’s not actually their area of specialization. You’ll want to be sure that you can get the best for your money, by hiring a lawyer who knows everything about DWI law specifically.
For example, a personal injury lawyer won’t be best able to represent you in a DWI case. Some lawyers might have a certificate from their state for their area of expertise, or work with a specialized law firm. These are all good signs.
When you get a lawyer who works in DWI law specifically, they’ll know all the terms, details, and idiosyncrasies of DWI law. This makes them better suited to getting the results you want.
2. How Will You Manage This Case?
Next, ask the lawyer how they plan on managing your specific case.
Will they handle the case themselves, or will they actually give the case to a different lawyer in the firm?
At some large law firms, you’ll start out talking to an experienced attorney, only to get your case passed off to a newer member of the staff. This question helps make sure that this doesn’t happen.
If you want a particular attorney to handle your case, you need to confirm this before moving forward. If you find out that they won’t actually work on your case in a hands-on way, you might want to take your business elsewhere.
3. How Will You Get Paid?
Next, you’ll need to ask the money question.
Hiring a private attorney for any reason is expensive. But it’s a worthwhile investment: if you don’t hire an attorney, it could cost you your future.
The investment is worth it, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask for an idea of what you’ll need to spend before you get started. After all, you do need to know that you can pay the bill when it comes due.
Some lawyers ask for a retainer fee first, then let you pay for other services along the way. Others will just give you a single bill after the case is finished. If money is tight, look for attorneys who offer a payment plan.
4. Can I Speak to a Former Client?
Ideally, you’ll be able to speak with a former satisfied customer who will give the lawyer or firm a good review. This is one of the best ways to be sure that you’re getting your money’s worth.
Of course, in DWI cases, privacy can be important. If you can’t speak with a former customer, check online for positive reviews or testimonials. Negative reviews or a complete absence of information about the lawyer is not a good sign.
5. How Much Experience Do You Have?
The best DWI lawyer will have plenty of experience in the field. A lawyer who’s just starting out may not be best for your case – although they’ll often be cheaper.
6. What Are the Possible Outcomes?
Although there’s no way to predict exactly how a legal case will pan out, an experienced lawyer will know enough to give you some possibilities as to what might happen with your case.
Do You Need the Best DWI Lawyer?
If you have a DWI charge, don’t struggle through the case with a public defender (or worse, alone).
For the best DWI lawyer in Austin, look no further. Contact us today to get the representation you deserve.