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Essential Questions to Ask Before Hiring A DWI Lawyer


What started as a night of fun could have ended in serious trouble with the law. Being arrested for a DWI charge can upend your life in many ways. That is why it is crucial to get that matter resolved as quickly as possible. You will need to engage the services of an experienced DWI lawyer to facilitate that resolution. That begins with interviewing those lawyers. DWI lawyers know you have many questions, and they will be happy to provide you with the vital answers that you are seeking.

The Initial Consultation

The hiring process for a DWI lawyer will begin with the initial consultation. Depending on the size of the law firm and your appointment date, you might meet with an associate versus the lawyer who will be directly handling your case. You will still be able to get your questions answered and discuss the options for moving forward. It will help if you bring any of the court records, police reports, or bail paperwork with you to this first meeting.

That initial consultation can begin with you, asking about the lawyer’s experience. You should ask:

• When did they graduate from law school?
• How long have they been representing clients who have been charged with a DWI?
• Do they handle any other type of criminal charges?
• How many cases go to trial versus entering a plea arrangement?
• How familiar are they with the prosecutors who will be involved?

Those background questions should provide you with a general sense of how experienced the attorney will be regarding DWI cases. Those answers can also generate confidence that this attorney is someone who understands the nature of the crime and how the court system operates.

Discuss Possible Outcomes

An experienced DWI lawyer should be able to assess any case based on the information you provide them about the incident and the supporting documentation. That will allow them to provide answers about possible outcomes for your case to these questions:

• Should we go to trial or request a plea arrangement?
• Are there any mitigating circumstances that would be in my favor?
• What is the most damaging aspect of my arrest?
• How long will it take to resolve the matter?
• What are the next steps?

Setting Up Case Management

Your interview should also include what setting up the case management will look like. That begins with understanding the fees that will be requested by the attorney. You might need to provide a retainer upfront.

• What happens when the retainer funds are exhausted?
• How do they bill for phone calls, emails, and court appearances?
• What is the best way to contact them with questions?
• Will there be additional costs for evidence gathering?

Add It All Up

After you’ve had your consultation and been presented with the potential options and costs, it will be up to you do decide on which attorney do you think will be most supportive. It might help to get some references from the attorney to help you make that final decision. Those former clients are in the best position to describe what it was like working with the attorney and how successful they were with bringing a resolution to the matter.

Understand that with a DWI arrest, the “clock is ticking.” The sooner you can get the matter adjudicated, the sooner you will be able to make any restitution. Once you have fulfilled the obligations of the court, you might want to discuss having that arrest and conviction expunged from your record. Expungement can help with future background checks, which many employers perform before hiring people. One mistake doesn’t have to ruin the rest of your life. The right attorney can help with that goal.