Every year, over 1 million drivers are arrested for driving while intoxicated.
If you've recently been strapped with a DWI charge, you might be feeling scared or overwhelmed.
How do you handle this? Should you hire a lawyer to help you with your case?
Read on to learn more about hiring a DWI lawyer.
You'll also gain some important insight on how to find the best DWI lawyer in Montgomery County, Texas.
Why Hire a DWI Lawyer
If you've been arrested for driving while intoxicated, it's essential that you hire a DWI lawyer. There are lots of reasons to hire such a lawyer, including the following:
They can help you figure out how to plead
They can help with sentence bargaining and may be able to reduce your sentence
They can help you preserve your job
You can also benefit from hiring a lawyer if there are certain factors in your case working against you. For example, if this was your second offense, your DWI involved an accident, or you had a very high blood alcohol level, a lawyer will be an invaluable resource.
How to Find the Best DWI Lawyer
Okay, you're convinced that you probably ought to hire a DWI lawyer. How do you go about choosing the right one, though?
Here are some strategies that will help you hire the best lawyer for the job:
Research Lawyers in Your Area
Start by doing some research online to learn about DWI lawyers in your area. Make a list of all the potential lawyers you could hire. Include their name, contact information, and areas of specialty when writing this list.
Ask for Referrals
You can also ask for referrals from friends or family. If you know someone who has been through a similar situation, ask them which lawyer they worked with and what their experience was like.
Double-Check Each Candidate's Qualifications
Once you've put together a list of candidates, do some additional research to learn about their qualifications.
Where did they go to law school? Are they involved in any committees or professional organizations? Do they specialize in DWI cases?
Make Sure They're in Good Standing
It's also a good idea to make sure your potential lawyer is in good standing with the state bar. You can check your State Bar website to see if they have been subject to disciplinary actions or have a history of malpractice. You can also check to make sure they're licensed to practice law in your state.
Read Their Online Reviews
Online review sites aren't just for restaurants and local businesses. You can also find online reviews for law offices in your area. Do some digging to see what people are saying about a particular lawyer and their experience working with them.
Schedule an In-Person Meeting
Be sure to schedule an in-person meeting before you decide to hire a particular DWI lawyer. This will help you get a better sense of how they communicate and whether or not you get along with them.
Ask the Right Questions
In order to learn as much as you can about your potential lawyer, you need to make sure you're asking the right questions during the in-person meeting.
You can learn a lot about a person by scrolling through their website and reading reviews, but nothing can replace a good old face-to-face conversation.
Here are some questions you should ask each lawyer you meet before making your decision:
How Long Have You Been Practicing?
Generally speaking, it's best to work with an experienced lawyer. Ask them how long they've been practicing and how long they've worked on DWI cases specifically.
In order to help you with your case, they're also going to need a thorough knowledge of areas like constitutional law, sobriety testing, trial skills, the physiology of drugs and alcohol in the body.
How Much of Your Practice is Dedicated to DWI Cases?
How often do they work on DWI cases? Are they a significant part of their practice, or do they spend more time on other types of cases?
Ideally, you'll work with a lawyer who specializes in DWI cases. They may practice other types of criminal defense law, too, but they ought to also have extensive experience with DWIs.
Do You Belong to Any National Organizations?
It can be helpful to work with a lawyer who belongs to national organizations like the National College For DUI Defense or the National Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
This shows their dedications to continuing to learn about new developments in their field and make sure their clients' rights are protected.
What Are Your Fees?
Of course, you'll need to ask about money.
Find out what each lawyer charges as well as how they charge. Do they require a retainer upfront? Do they bill by the hour or charge a flat fee?
Make sure you thoroughly understand each lawyer's fees before you make a decision.
What Is Your Assessment of My Case?
It can be helpful to learn about the lawyer's initial assessment of your case.
Have they worked with clients like you in the past? Do they think you have a good chance of a reduced sentence? Do they think you'll end up going to trial?
Can You Provide Me with References?
Finally, be sure to ask for references. Any good lawyer will have past clients to whom they can refer you.
When you receive these references, reach out to them by phone or by email and ask about their experience working with the lawyer you're considering.
Hire a DWI Lawyer in Montgomery County Today
Now that you know what to look for in a good DWI lawyer, it's time to start searching for the best one for your needs.
If you live in the Montgomery County, Texas area, you don't need to look very far.
At Non Stop Justice, we are experts in criminal defense. We'll help you through every step of your case and do our best to make sure you come out on top.
Contact us today online or over the phone to schedule an appointment to speak with one of our associates.