Choosing A DWI Attorney
There are several factors that will go into your decision of who to hire to represent you in your DWI case. Here are a few things that you should look for and avoid when making this important decision.
DWIs are a very complex area of the law, and a general practice attorney most likely will not have the expertise required to get you the best possible outcome. Attorneys who focus their practice on DWIs have extensive training and experience so that they know each and every little nuance that can make or break a DWI case. Do not make the mistake of hiring the family attorney or an old friend who doesn't devote a majority of their practice to DWI cases.
Trust and Respect
When you speak with potential lawyers, follow your gut. Does your attorney treat you with respect and seem to care about what happens with your case? Does he/she take the time to speak with you and answer all of your questions? Do you feel like he/she is someone you can trust? If not, why are you even wasting your time? It's important to have an attorney who is assertive, and sometimes the ability to intimidate others can even be a plus, but do you really want someone who doesn't treat you with respect, or doesn't have time for your questions?
Call the Office
Will the attorneys and paralegals talk with you on the phone? How about pricing? Attorneys who routinely deal with DWIs every day can get a real feel over the phone for what your matter entails and offer ball-park pricing. However, be careful about TOO MUCH free advice -- often, "free advice" is worth what you pay for it.
Research and research some more. The internet has done more for the consuming public than nearly any creation in the history of man-kind. Use it! Does the attorney you're talking with have credentials, years on the job, prior related DWI contacts or jobs (judge, prosecutor, administrator) that show heightened knowledge?
Trust Your Gut
You must get along with, trust and respect your attorney. At the end of the day, YOU make the decisions about your case. However, you hire an attorney to distill the processess down so that you make the best informed, cost-effective decions possible. After all, it's your record, job, reputation and so on that is possibly affected here.
As a brief example, assume a city prosecutor wants an alleged offender to install a breathalyzer in his car for six months versus wearing a SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor) bracelet for a month to monitor alcohol intake. The CPA who works from his home may not care about noticeably bending over in his car to blow in a machine every time he gets in the car. But, the soccer coach who takes kids to and from practice might have a different take.