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Be Careful What You Agree to in a DWI Trial

The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski

Whether you’re guilty or innocent, the State would often rather you take a plea bargain than go to court. If you’re facing DWI charges, the odds are good you’re going to get an offer of some kind. So what should you do?

You have to be careful what you agree to before and during a DWI trial. We’ll discuss why that is today and hopefully convince you to always listen to a lawyer (and to get one the moment you expect legal trouble).

Never Go Without a Lawyer

There’s a saying that a person who represents themselves has a fool for a client. While there is some debate about whether lawyers can represent themselves without issue, the odds are good that debate isn’t relevant to you.

You have the right to a lawyer and one can be provided to you if you cannot afford one. Even an overworked public defendant, while not as good as a paid lawyer specializing in cases like yours, is better than nothing.

You can choose not to have legal representation, technically speaking. However, there is almost zero logical reason to do so, especially for something serious like DWI charges.

Never represent yourself and be careful agreeing to use a public defendant. While they’re trained, they are overworked and can’t focus on any one case they’ve been given, yours included.

Ideally, you will want a DWI attorney who has experience working cases like the one you’re facing. Remember, this may be your first DWI trial but a good lawyer has faced dozens or more.

Understanding Plea Bargains

To understand some of the pitfalls awaiting you if you face DWI charges, you should also understand what a plea bargain is. This what most people mean when they talk about “making a deal” with the prosecution.

Plea bargaining is essentially agreeing to admit your guilt in exchange for a lesser sentence. It is a controversial element of our legal system but one that comes up quite often.

Most cases never go to trial. The prosecution would (in most cases) prefer to save time and have a defendant admit their guilt. Defendants (in most cases) don’t want to risk a harsh sentence if a fair offer is on the table.

A DWI in Texas is a serious crime. For defendants without many resources, admitting guilt could do serious damage to your livelihood via fines, a revocation of your license, and more.

You should never attempt to make a plea bargain without a lawyer present. You aren’t a legal expert and don’t know what a “good” deal looks like or if a better one might still be possible.

Talk Only When Your Lawyer Says So

Many defendants chose to talk before trial, even before charges are leveled against them. Some allow themselves to be put on the stand, even when there is little to be gained. The question is why?

Your “trial” begins the moment the police decide to talk to you. However, the good news is that you often are legally obligated to say either nothing or close to nothing.

This may sound strange since one might imagine this would raise suspicion on the part of the police. However, when police start questioning you, they’re already suspicious. What they want is evidence.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have alcohol in your system. As any DWI attorney will tell you, or attorney in general, nothing good comes from talking to the police.

At trial, there is some more nuance to whether you should take the stand. While you don’t have to, at that point, there can be some advantages depending on your particular legal situation.

This is again why having a lawyer is so critical. They can discuss with you whether there is any reason to risk a fumble during questioning. In some cases, there might be but there often isn’t.

Be Wary of Libel and Perjury

One of the reasons legal experts are so cautious about letting their clients speak is that it can often make things worse if they’re found guilty.

If you make claims that are not true in certain contexts, you can be prosecuted not only for your original crime (in this case a DWI) but also lying either verbally (perjury) or in writing (libel).

On some level, whether a person is charged with these crimes depends on how vindictive the powers that be are feeling. However, these charges can and do come up.

A person must be very careful what they say, including what stories they agree to happen, at every step of the legal process. Silence is rarely prosecutable in the United States; lying is.

What’s worse, even someone innocent could be accused of lying if the trial doesn’t go their way. If the police or a witness misremember something (or lie), it may be your word that comes under doubt.

In short, it is better to be silent than speak something that is not true. Moreover, as we already discussed, it is often better to be silent even if what you intend to say would be true and should exonerate you.

A lawyer makes a good filter for what you do and do not say throughout the legal process. They can help you avoid saying anything that might do you harm while also helping you convey information that might help your case.

DWI Charges Are Serious

If you face DWI charges, you need a lawyer. It may seem like a marketing gimmick but it’s far from it. The reality of the American legal system is you’re at a massive disadvantage without a legal expert on your side.

Rather than just a quick search for “DWI attorneys near me,” we hope you’ll consider the Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski for your representation. Contact us with details about your case and we can talk about how our firm can help you confront your legal trouble.

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8505 Technology Forest Pl #104

The Woodlands, TX 77381

Phone: 832-381-3430

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