Texas is known for many things, but did you know drunk driving charges are one of them? Believe it or not, Texas ranks as the fourth worst state in the union for DUI convictions, which have devastating impacts on the lives of those convicted. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from the worst-case scenario, and we can help with that! Let’s talk about how to find a DWI Austin attorney to get you the help you need.
Keep reading below to learn more.
1. Look for a DWI Attorney in Austin
If you were arrested and charged with a DWI under any circumstances, then you will need a criminal defense attorney. The penalties are steep and, in Texas, the charge stays on your criminal record permanently.
Upon conviction, you could even lose your job. Missing work because of an arrest, losing your license, or serving a jail sentence are all grounds for losing your job, but that’s not even the worst part.
For this reason, you don’t just want any criminal defense lawyer. When it comes to DWI defense, there is no substitute for a specialist.
Conversely, a specialized attorney will be up-to-date with the latest legal updates regarding your case, they will require the least overhead for research, and they will be in the best possible position to help you win your case.
2. Check Reviews
Online reviews, testimonials, and other samples of previous work are very helpful when it comes to vetting an attorney. The stakes are too high to just pick the first one you see.
To avoid a criminal record and excessive attorney fees, take some time to see what previous clients have to say about your prospective attorney.
Of course, you can skip right over the “stars” that don’t have context. A one-star or five-star review without an explanation is useless. Read through the specific comments from people and get an understanding of previous client satisfaction.
3. Ask Questions
When contemplating questions to ask an attorney, education and experience should come to mind.
You can ask the attorney how they got into practicing law, their educational background, how long they’ve been licensed, and how long they’ve been working with DWI clients.
Assuming they have experience with DWI clients, ask them more about it, as these are the most relevant to your case.
4. Ask for References
You’ve checked their reviews online and you’ve asked them questions directly. The last piece of the puzzle is to ask for references or recommendations, as this will be the easiest to ask the right questions.
Online reviews only offer so much insight into customer satisfaction. However, you can ask a previous client about anything you want to know.
5. Ask About Penalties
A good way to understand a lawyer’s experience on the subject is how well they know the penalties in your state. If they’ve handled similar cases before, they should understand the procedures well.
Penalties for a DWI in Austin include spending a minimum of 3 days in jail for a first offense, along with a maximum of $2,000 fine, community service hours, loss of license for six months, and more.
To clarify, three days is the minimum time served in jail. While it is unlikely without additional charges, a first offense could involve up to 180 days in jail.
Now, if your BAC was above .15, then penalties will continue to increase. If your DWI resulted in property damage, injury, death, or if there was a minor present in your vehicle, then penalties are all likely to increase significantly.
Regardless of your sentence, you will have a permanent criminal record, and your license will be revoked for up to a year. If you drive to work or you are required to keep a clean record, then a conviction could cause serious damage to your life.
Also, if this is your second or third offense, penalties will be substantially higher upon conviction. A third offense is considered a felony in Texas.
6. Be Honest
When communicating with an attorney, offer them every possible detail and try not to hold anything back. Tell them everything you remember from the time of your arrest, your current motor vehicle and criminal history, and any other relevant information.
Remember, you have attorney-client privilege, so your attorney has no legal authority to divulge any information you tell them related to your case. They are there to help you, so be honest.
Also, be sure to let them know about your goals for your case, whether you’re hoping to avoid conviction or expunge your record.
7. Don’t Sacrifice Your Future
You may be tempted to use a public defender or something else because of attorney fees. However, quality doesn’t come for free.
Assess your priorities and determine what’s more valuable to you; a standard attorney fee or your future?
Assuming you chose the latter, don’t get ripped off. Find services that you can afford but that offer the right quality and don’t settle for less!
Remember, conviction alone is going to result in a fine of up to $2,000, and that’s not even mentioning the public transportation fees and missed work if you lose your license or your job.
Get the Help You Need Today
Now that you know why hiring a DUI attorney in Austin, there’s no time to wait.
The sooner you call, the sooner you can get the help you need. Stay up to date with our latest legal news, and feel free to contact us at Deandra Grant Law with any questions!