Are you facing a DWI? If Yes, You must be looking for the best DWI lawyer around.
A DWI arrest can be one of the most traumatizing thing that can happen to anybody. Everyone immediately goes searching for the top DWI lawyer to help them beat the DWI.
But, how do we shortlist the most-suitable DWI lawyer?
Can you imagine? 80% of people hire the FIRST DWI lawyer that they speak to.
Drunk-Driving puts so many lives at risk, All states consider it a very serious crime and it results in some really serious consequences:
- You may be jailed for months, if not years.
- DWI lawyers’ fees and the court fines may burn your years’ savings or/and put you into huge debts.
- You lose the liberty to drive. The driving license may get suspended for up to one year.
- Puts your career/job at risk.
- In addition, there’re social and family issues that you may have to deal with.
Feeling scared and concerned, we tend to lose our judgmental ability and make the emotional search for a DWI lawyer.
REMEMBER. Lawyers are very cunning people. All lawyers are good at talking, after-all, they are paid for talking only. They immediately sense our vulnerability, and tell us only what we want to hear, and you end-up hiring him/her in the first meeting itself. We don’t even care to explore more options.
Read our other short article on how to shortlist the DWI Lawyer.
Don’t make these costly mistakes when hiring a DWI Lawyer:
1. The DWI Lawyer should have at-least 30 successful DWIs in your state.
This is one check-point we always suggest. It’s always better to hire a local DWI lawyer, who should have fought at-least 30 successful DWIs, and should be expert of your own state laws.
DWI laws differ state to state. A very successful lawyer in other state may not be equally good in your state.
If you hire a DWI lawyer, who has been very successful in some other state, he might not even be registered at your state’s bar association. He may also not have a license to practice in your state. He would still not decline your case, and would take the help of some junior local lawyer of your state to fight your DWI. You can understand that he will not be able to do justice to your DWI case.
At the same time, it’s equally important that the local DWI lawyer that you are choosing has enough experience to call himself a DWI expert.
Law education, unlike other degrees, does not have any specializations in their academics. A divorce lawyer and a felony lawyer might be classmates, who studied the exact same subjects. So, it’s pretty much possible that a criminal lawyer who has practiced for 20 years, has hardly dealt with 2-3 DWI cases.
Hence, we have this 30 DWIs parameter in place. A DWI lawyer who’s had 30 DWI cases in just 5 year career is way better that a criminal lawyer who has had 5 DWI cases in his 20 year long career.
2. Your DWI Lawyer should know about the field tests better than the officer who tested you.
Many DWI lawyers want their clients to plead guilty straightaway, basis the breath-analyzer report, blood-alcohol report or field-sobriety test results.
The fact is, all these tests can be flawed, and can be challenged successfully in the court.
Breath Analyzer test is done on Intoxilyzer 5000 machine.
It considers your body temperature to be normal. In case of fever, every single degree increase in body temperature will rise the alcohol level to up-to 7% on the machine.
It assumes a partition ration of 1:2100. It means for every particle of alcohol in lungs, 2100 particles are present in your blood. But, in reality, the partition ratio varies from 1:1500 to 1:3400.
It considers that your alcohol levels have already peaked, and are on the decrease now. But in reality, it may take up to 30 minutes on an empty stomach, and 2 hours on full stomach for alcohol levels to peak. The breath shows up to 50% more alcohol levels before the peak.
Blood Alcohol Tests can be flawed too. These tests can be partial to women. If a man and a woman of about the same body type, consume the same amount of alcohol, at the same time, the woman may test up to 50% higher blood alcohol levels.
And, people with more body fat will test higher alcohol than a muscular man. Fat holds less water, thus burns less alcohol from the body.
Field Sobriety tests can never be reliable, and don’t stand in courts. The most common sobriety tests are: Eye-Jerking tests, 9 Step walk & turn and one-leg stand. As per a study, 10% of people who had no alcohol history at all also failed these tests.
3. Your DWI Lawyer should know about the procedures better than the officer who arrested you.
In all the states, there are certain rules of procedures that your arresting officer must follow. Your DWI lawyer must have in-depth practical knowledge of these procedural rules. If he does, he will, more often than not, be able to find some faults in the ways the arrest and the tests have been administered.
Even a smallest of the faults in the procedures can make the arrest and the tests doubtful. A good DWI lawyer maneuvers through the processes to find these faults and then builds your DWI case around it. We have experienced many a times that the courts have trashed away all the test results, just because the policeman made a small procedural mistake.
Let’s take an example of a breath-analyzer test. The breath analyzer tests on Intoxilyzer can be declared flawed if:
- The test was done by the person who is not certified for the tests.
- The machine’s certification has expired.
- The machine is not calibrated as per latest standards.
- The mouthpiece needs to be changed for each test. It was not done.
- The administering person has not taken the accurate logs of the machine.
- The officer has to observe you for at least 20 minutes before the test. He didn’t wait, or waited for lesser time.
- The temperature, at the time of the test, was not recorded.
Likewise, there are set of procedures for each test. Your DWI lawyer should know them well to use the procedural error to you advantage.
4. Your DWI Lawyer should have good relationships with local cops, prosecutors and even with judges.
You need to dig deeper when it comes to hiring the best local DWI lawyer for you.
The law profession is highly misperceived profession. Thanks to TV and Movies, we assume law profession is all about court room battles.
Again a fact-check for you. 90% of legal-work happens on calls and emails. All that you might be paying for is, a couple of occasional phone calls by your lawyer to the prosecutor or the cops to get some details on your case.
That’s why we always recommend you to hire the experienced local lawyers. They get to spend so much time with local prosecutors, policemen, investigators and judges that they tend to know each other very well. A lawyer who is not friendly with other lawyers, prosecutors and judges may ruin your chances. At the same time, a DWI lawyer who has friendly relationships with all the parties can extract so much of information for you, which can even help you beat your DWI.
Don’t be surprised, if the prosecutor and the defense attorney who are fighting your case in the courtroom today, may be golfing together tomorrow, and the presiding judge also joins in. Don’t you think you stand better chances with this well-connected DWI lawyer?
5. Even good DWI lawyers negotiate their pricing.
The law profession is highly competitive. All lawyers negotiate their pricing, however good and experienced they may be.
When you call a DWI lawyer, or walk-into a law firm, their only motto is to make you hire them no matter how.
We are not at all saying that you should compromise on the quality of your DWI lawyer. You should never lower your standards (as we have discussed in this article above). At the same time, you don’t want to burn your hard-earned money just because you didn’t negotiate well.
Yes all good things come at a cost. But, there is a scope of negotiations even there.
Just paying high fees, doesn’t guarantee you would get the best DWI lawyer. Likewise, paying a discounted fee to your DWI lawyer doesn’t mean, he will give less attention to your case. Remember, for every good DWI lawyer, his reputation and winning record is very important.
A DWI is a very expensive thing. A DWI lawyer charges you about $1000 to $1500 for your DWI. The lawyers’ charges also depend whether you plead-guilty or if you want to go for the trials. In case of trials, the charges may vary from $3000 to $5000.
Then, it involves other costs too. There are court charges and DWI classes’ fee. You may also have to lose your livelihood for some time.
In these difficult times, it’s very important to save every single penny that you can.
6. Hire a DWI attorney who is “Comfortable to deal with”.
People have often complained that they are not comfortable asking questions to their DWI lawyers.
The last thing that you want is, that your DWI lawyer is constantly nagging you, he is being judgmental about you as a person. He gets irritated when you ask questions, is not co-operative when you need some flexibility, and he is not sharing the progress of the case with you.
Well, you need to prepare for this beforehand. This should be one of your key priorities while hiring the DWI lawyer. If in the first meeting itself, you feel intimidated and uncomfortable. You should drop this DWI lawyer immediately without caring much about how good he is otherwise.
Facing a DWI? You are bound to feel stressed and vulnerable. Better news is about 60% of DWIs get beaten in courts.
The DWI brings with it a lot of heavy consequences. You may be about to lose your years’ saving or incur a huge debt. A jail-term may seem inevitable. You feel sure of losing your driving privileges for a long time. There are social and family pressures that you may have to deal with etc.
In such difficult times, it’s very easy to lose your peace of mind, and you are prone to lose your judgmental abilities as well.
DWI lawyers know your state of mind. They know you are stressed, concerned, scared, emotional and vulnerable. They want to use your vulnerability to their advantage. Their only motto is to prove their worth and make you hire them.
Yes, it seems difficult but you have to be patient and calm. Make a checklist that you definitely want to tick while searching for a potential DWI lawyer.
- You want a lawyer who is a DWI expert and has won at-least 30 DWIs successfully.
- You definitely want a DWI lawyer, who is locally practicing in your state.
- Don’t burn your money thinking that more money will get you a better DWI lawyer.
If you are facing a DUI, you definitely need to go through our DUI FAQs.
You should also check some useful information on Motor Vehicles Department’s website.
Do write your comments or questions below. We promise, you will definitely hear-back from us.