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Driving While Intoxicated: 10 Things You Should Know Before Hiring a DWI Lawyer

The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski

Getting a DWI is no joke. In fact, in Texas, your first offense will bring you a fine of $2,000, jail time, loss of your driver’s license and expensive annual fees. If it’s your second or third offense, things get even worse from there.

If you find yourself in this situation, finding a DWI lawyer you can trust can make a major difference in the outcome of your case. How do you know whether the lawyer you’re considering is a good choice? It starts with asking the right questions!

Here are 10 of the most important things you need to ask before hiring a DWI lawyer.

1. Do You Specialize in DWI Law?

There are approximately 1.35 million lawyers currently practicing in the United States. Some of them are general practice attorneys while others specialize in certain areas, like estate planning, contract law, or real estate. These types of attorneys are not the right choice for handling your DWI case.

This is why one of the first questions you need to ask is whether the attorney you’re considering specializes in DWIs. If not, keep looking.

2. How Long Have You Been Practicing?

While every new lawyer needs to start somewhere, but when you’re facing DWI charges, you don’t want to take your chances with someone who’s new. Look for a lawyer who has been practicing for at least a few years and has plenty of cases like yours under their belt.

3. How Many DWI Cases Have You Defended in the Last Year?

Find out how many cases like yours the lawyer has defended in the past year. Sometimes, an attorney will have more than one specialty. If they’ve been focusing on another part of their practice for a while, their skills and knowledge might not be as sharp as you would like.

4. What Percentage of Your DWI Cases Go to Trial?

It’s also a good idea to ask how many of the cases they defended in the past year were won vs. lost and how many went to trial. Having a good idea of the lawyer’s past track record will help you get an idea of how your case might turn out.

5. Do You Think You Can Help Me?

Once you present the facts of your case, make sure to ask the lawyer whether he or she believes they can help you. If they say no, then this is a clear sign that you need to move on.

6. Who Will Handle My Case?

It’s not always guaranteed that the person you initially meet with is the one who will handle your case. This is an important question to ask. If you’re going to be handed off to another attorney, you’ll want to ask questions about their qualifications as well.

Often, there will also be paralegals and other support staff who may handle parts of your case. Ask what their experience is and who will be your primary point of contact if you have questions or concerns.

7. How Often Will I Receive Updates?

Dealing with a DWI is stressful, and the last thing you want to do is chase your lawyer around trying to get answers. Find out ahead of time how often you can expect to receive updates about your case and who you can expect to hear from.

This will give you an idea of how well the attorney communicates and can help reduce stress once your case gets started.

8. How Much Will You Charge?

DWIs are expensive, but a good lawyer is well worth the money. However, you’ll definitely want to find out exactly how the billing will work before you get started. Some attorneys charge a flat rate while others bill hourly.

Either way, ask for specifics about exactly what is and isn’t included. Don’t forget to ask whether you’ll be billed for things like mileage and travel time. All of these small expenses can add up and you don’t want any unpleasant surprises.

9. When Will I Be Billed?

Since nobody plans to get a DWI, many people don’t have extra cash on hand to pay for one. This is one of the reasons why you’ll want to understand right from the start when your payments are due.

Most attorneys will charge a retainer or a minimum first payment that you must make before they’ll get started with your case. After that, the billing process can vary from firm to firm.

10. Do You Have Testimonials I Can Review?

Most successful attorneys have a list of testimonials and reviews from happy customers on their websites. If they don’t, this could potentially be a red flag.

Even if they do, don’t stop there. These are usually hand-picked by the attorney and will be overwhelmingly positive. It’s a good start, but you’ll also want to do more research.

Check out review sites like Google and Yelp, take a look through the comments and reviews on their social media pages, and sites like and

Need a DWI Lawyer? Contact Us Today!

If you’re facing a DWI, the decisions you make next will impact the rest of your life. One of the most important things you can do is hire a DWI lawyer who will fight hard for you.

Contact us today using our convenient online form or give us a call at 832-381-3430 to speak with one of our associates. We’re happy to review your case and talk to you about your next steps.

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The Woodlands, TX 77381

Phone: 832-381-3430

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What Our Customers Say

"Andrea is a fantastic attorney versed in many fields. I've retained her services for criminal defense, nondisclosure orders, and family law. She has always provided a...

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"Andrea and her staff are definitely one of the greatest of all time. Their professionalism and knowledge of the law and how the system works is unparalleled. I have her...

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“Andrea is the most amazing attorney I have ever had in my corner.” — Vincent, client facing 2nd DWI charge, CASE DISMISSED