5 Amazing Tips to Help You Get the Best DWI Attorney in Houston
Getting a DWI can change the course of your life for quite some time. It's an unfortunate event that alters daily life. A DWI affects your finances in fines, your ability to drive freely, and could mean jail time.
When you get hit with a DUI, be prepared for what is to come when you're getting ready for court. To accurately weigh your options, the first thing you need to do is get a DWI lawyer, but making the right choice can be challenging to do.
Finding the lawyer that will get the job done just got easier. Here are 5 tips to show you how to choose a good DWI lawyer before you have to go to court!
1. Create a List of Possible DWI Lawyers
There are tons of internet resources that will provide you with listing after listing of driving while intoxicated lawyers. To find the right lawyer for you, try searching your State Bar and National Associations. Also, you should ask others around you about their recommendations for lawyers.
The decision you make when choosing an attorney could be the difference between a fine and community service versus serious jail time.
The best way to find a lawyer for your needs could definitely be found through a personal recommendation. Personal recommendations should always come from people that you trust and know to make sound decisions. Not only is a personal recommendation useful, but the person giving the recommendation can also give you some insight as to how the lawyer operates.
They will let you know about things like the lawyer's business practices, terms, and conditions of their client/attorney contracts. As well as what the outcome of their case was and whether or not the attorney was helpful.
Your reference will also let you know about the attorney prices. However, take into account that not every DWI case is the same, and every case won't have the same outcome.
You may want to check with an attorney you used in a prior legal case. Your past representation provides you with a reliable reference when it comes to choosing a proper lawyer.
Lawyers have a huge network when it comes to knowing other lawyers with different specializations. Your previous attorney could point you in the direction of someone that specializes in DWI defense.
Their references could be other lawyers they know from law school or colleagues that they have met within the workplace. Either way, they will be able to give you a reference that knows what they're doing.
National Bar Association
If you're having difficulty finding an attorney via personal or previous legal recommendations, you can always use the National Bar Association for references. They provide you with company references depending on your state and city.
They also provide the company emails and phone numbers to get in contact with them.
National College of DWI Defense Lawyers
Provides a comprehensive list of all of the current lawyers practicing DWI Defense law.
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Provides a national directory that lists all of the attorneys currently practicing criminal defense. You can find the lawyer for you based on your city, state, and their location.
If these don't prove to be helpful, there are general lawyer search engines that have ’find my attorney’ searches. Once you've put together a list, you can then begin contacting each attorney to find out more.
2. Can the Lawyer Handle Your Case?
Once you've compiled a list of possible attorneys, the next thing to consider is whether or know the DWI court process and how to handle your case accordingly. This entails finding out their specialization, where they obtained their degree from, and their current bar standing.
Ensure the Attorney is Licensed
Make sure that the lawyer you choose is licensed if they aren't licensed, then legally; they can't defend you in court. Simply check the State Bar website for your area to make sure they are licensed to practice law. If they aren't licensed don't hire them.
Local Attorney Benefits
Hiring an attorney locally works to your advantage in that they will understand the ins and outs of your local court system. They are also likely to understand the demeanor of the judges and other prosecutors.
Consider Lawyer Ethics
Ethics should be a massive part of your final decision making. This means looking into whether the DWI defense lawyer has had any disciplinary issues or have had disciplinary action taken against them by the state they are practicing in.
The State Bar website will have all of the documented disciplinary issues if the lawyer has any and also provides with their current bar standings.
Hire an Attorney that Specializes in DWI and has Experience
Choose an attorney that has the experience and has been trained in criminal defense law. This way, you get the most accurate representation possible. A lawyer that focused on criminal defense is great. However, a lawyer that concentrates solely on DWI’s is great.
School They Graduated From
The best law schools will be accredited by the American Bar Association. You shouldn't necessarily focus on school notoriety when it comes to choosing your lawyer.
There are smaller law schools that train some of the best lawyers as well. The biggest thing to focus on is their success rate when it comes to defending similar cases to yours. As long as the school that they attended has it's an accreditation, that's all that should matter for schooling.
Now that you have done all of these things or is finally time to schedule a consultation in-person. Check what is needed for the consultation because some firms require a small fee for the consultation while others offer the consult for free.
3. In-person Consultation
The in-person consultation is important because it helps you to get a better feel for your lawyer. It also will help you gauge if you are going to be comfortable with their tactics as it pertains to your case. When you attend your consultation you’ve got to come prepared.
Divulge All Case Facts
The last thing you want to do when speaking to your attorney is leave out facts of your case. In order to defend you well, they will need every case detail large or small a left out detail can break a case.
You provide the attorney with all of the facts and from there they will decide which facts are valuable to winning your case. Left out facts can breach the trust between you and your lawyer.
Have All Documents
Bring all of the documents that were given to you when you were charged with your DWI. Your lawyer will need to review the document in case there is any other valuable pieces of information on the document that they can use.
Don’t for one second think that your lawyer will know every single detail of your case because at the end of the day they are getting the story secondhand. Documentation such as the police report or citation, DMV citations, and any other documents pertaining to your case should be given to your lawyer.
Ask About Experience
It is one thing to read testimonials and other internet documents that give you a rundown on your lawyer's experience. But, it is better to have a conversation during your consultation about the training they’ve had and their experience level.
Your questions should include asking about their case success rate, how many DWI cases they have handled, and how many of these DWI cases they have had dismissed.
A lawyer with a low success rate when it comes to cases similar to yours should be a red flag that they are not the lawyer for you.
Determine Whose Defending You In Court
Meeting with a lawyer doesn’t mean that they will be the specific one attending court with you. The lawyer could hand the case of to one of their partners or younger attorneys in the same company so that they are able to defend you in court. Your initial meeting will be with the head lawyer.
It is crucial to know who will be defending you prior to going to court.
Have A Strategy
When you leave your consultation you should have a clear understanding about your team's plan of attack. Your representation should have given you a clear picture of what you should expect from them when you all attend court. If they have not given you those clear picture then you’ve chosen the wrong lawyer or your consultation isn’t complete.
4. Money, Money, Money
This topic should be self-explanatory, especially since you may have to pay a considerable fine after the judgment in your case has been given. Most lawyers work for an hourly fee, and it's important to ask about the specifics.
You should know the price you will be charged prior to entering a contract with a lawyer as your representation. This will keep you from being shocked when sent the invoice from their practice about the balance that you owe them.
5. Make Your Decision
After you have your consultation with the lawyer and you get home it is officially time to make your decision. There are a few factors to consider when you are making your decision about which lawyer you are going to choose to defend you.
Were You Comfortable
Your lawyer should make you feel comfortable enough to trust them with intimate facts as it pertains to your case. There should be a sense of ease when it comes to talking to them about your case. If you are uptight and scared to divulge information to your lawyer then you should choose another lawyer.
The level of comfort will set the tone for the duration of your case. Nobody wants to sit in a courtroom, unable to communicate back and forth with their lawyer due to being uncomfortable around the lawyer. Not only will you feel the tension, so will others in the courtroom.
You are not a lawyer, therefore you need a lawyer that can clearly articulate legal jargon to you. They need to have expertise with explaining details of the case that may be difficult to understand without confusing you further about what’s going on.
If you find that your not able to understand what your lawyer is saying even after you’ve asked for clarity multiple times then the communication skills are not up to your standard. How your lawyer communicates with you will dictate how they represent you in court.
Confidence & Trust
Your lawyer should be confident in their abilities to defend you. If they are not confident in their skills and experience then they probably need more training and experience. Confidence comes from being sure of their abilities to do their job accurately. Lack of confidence is like blood in the water for hungry sharks.
When it comes to trusting your lawyer you should read reviews and testimonials that give clear insight into clients' interaction with the lawyer. Make sure to read reviews that give the lawyer various ratings so that you have an overall feeling about the lawyer from multiple viewpoints.
Don’t read only the five-star reviews because it is important to understand the strengths and the weaknesses of the lawyer that you will be working with. Lower starred reviews aren’t always negativity towards the business, but you’d rather be safe than sorry with legal matters.
Understandably this decision is a huge decision, take your time to make the right choice. That's why these tips were given to help you make the best choice possible when it comes to choosing your DWI lawyer. The lawyer that represents your case can make the difference between a fine or doing jail time.
The best lawyer for your case is us, we encompass and deliver for our clients. Contact us today so that we can get the ball rolling and get you the results that you're looking for!