DWI Lawyers Can Help Protect Your Life From Jeopardy
DWI lawyers, commonly referred to as driving under the influence (DUI) lawyers or driving while intoxicated lawyers serve a unique niche in the legal system. While driving under the influence seems to be a petty crime in the eyes of many, it can lead to a lot of trouble by the law. Since there is a general consensus between all states that DUI is a crime, the federal law applies to all states. However, each state has its own DUI law that has various penalties according to the severity of the crime.
DWI law is applicable in every state and has punishments that can be detrimental to your social record. After you are convicted by the police or any other law enforcement organization such as the DEA, you will be charged with a criminal sentence.
Criminal sentences include a wide range of legal scrutiny such as community service, your driver’s license being revoked, or even jail time if your blood-alcohol concentration was substantially higher than the normal felony charge.
The above-mentioned was not intended to scare you. They are mere warnings, the ground reality.
This is where DWI lawyers come in. Efficient DWI lawyers have the necessary skillset and know-how to reduce your sentences. They convincingly negotiate for more favorable sentences, and they often have the case dismissed as well.
In simpler words, when you have been ignorant of the legal issues about DWI, hiring a good DWI lawyer is the best card you can draw.
Now, let’s look at the whole DUI environment in America. Also, addressing DUI laws is significant for your understanding of this crucial issue, and preparing you for being more careful because a lot is at stake here.
DUI Law in America
The United States witnessed a rapid revolution against drunk driving from the 70s till the 90s. This was due to several influential groups, such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Students Against Destructive Decisions.
Due to their diligence, drunk-driving was severely criminalized back in the day, and its criminalization has been growing since then.
In the United States, it is strictly illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 or 8%. This is applicable in all states. DUI cases can still be penalized and deemed as a felony if the driver had an alcohol concentration below 0.08.
All states have varying DUI laws because the illegal limits are different.
For commercial drivers, the federal law dictates that their blood-alcohol level should be below 0.04. For pilots, it is not permissible for them to fly until 8 hours pass by from the time they consumed any intoxicating substance, such as Alcohol.
Now, it is important to brief you on certain crucial terms about DUI law.
Key Terms You Should Know
For your guidance, these terms will educate you about important DUI aspects which are not known by many individuals, making them more susceptible to getting penalized.
- DUI roadblocks: If you are under the influence, and you see a police roadblock, chances are that you will start getting paranoid to a great extent. Drivers are checked randomly, hence knowing this should make you warier of DUI.
- Drug detectors: The police, and the DEA, has specialized training programs on detecting individuals under the influence. This specially trained personnel are equipped with all the necessary skills to detect the slightest signs of intoxication.
Other than officers, the police and the DEA also use canines’ sense of smell. Canines are known for their ability to sniff from miles away and are often solely responsible for searching vehicles that are doubtful.
It is safe to say, the police are fully equipped.
- Mandatory consent: Every state requires motorists to submit a blood-alcohol level test before they can be issued a driver’s license.
Now that you are well aware of DUI laws, and some important terms, let’s turn our focus on DWI lawyers.
How to Find Expert DWI Lawyers Near Me
This is probably the most important segment of this reading. Once you have been penalized by the law, and are in detention, you must make a sound decision while choosing from a long list of DWI lawyers.
You can easily find DWI lawyers through the internet. Just by typing ‘DWI lawyers in my area’, you will come across a multitude of options. It is a good practice to go for websites that are more professional in their appearance compared to the others.
Most importantly, it is of paramount importance to go through reviews. The best thing about selecting lawyers off the internet is that you can window shop with all the ease in the world, and you have access to reviews.
However, if you are picky, and prefer the tangible process of acquiring someone’s services, we have thorough suggestions regarding this as well.
- Pick an attorney through the suggestions of other DWI lawyers in your area. This is a highly effective practice when it comes to shortlisting a lawyer. The DWI lawyers in your area will certainly provide you with resolute recommendations.
- Your selected attorney should also possess an impeccable reputation.
- It is also highly recommended to opt for attorneys who are solely committed to defending DUI cases, holding a strong command over this particular legal niche. Those who simply dabble with DWI law, part-time, are never a wise option because they do not possess the required expertise or the experience to provide you with the best possible representation.
- The general vibe should be right. If you do not feel a mutual connection with your attorney, and you find it difficult to trust him or her, it is highly advised to back off. Trust is an important factor when it comes to hiring attorneys because you discuss plentiful sensitive details with your attorney.
- If you are experiencing negative energies from your attorney, you should reconsider. These negative energies include your attorney rushing through the process by not valuing your current situation, your attorney showing no signs of commiseration or respect, et cetera.
- You have to agree to a final, and solid financial agreement in the very beginning so that there is no room for future confusion.
Question Your Shortlisted DWI Lawyers
Through questioning your shortlisted DWI lawyers thoroughly, you are doing yourself a huge favor. We recommend you go through a rigorous questioning session with your prospective attorney. It is always good to be on the safe side, and have awareness in abundance.
Here are a few questions which you can ask:
What Experience do They Have?
Choosing an attorney with relevant experience in the field that is relevant to you assures you of a high probability of a successful outcome. DWI cases are said to be one of the most highly complicated cases when it comes to legality, especially in the United States. Hence, it is common sense to choose an attorney who possesses the required experience to effectively tackle the situation in your favor.
Are They a Member of The National College of DUI Defence?
The National College of DUI Defence is a remarkable non-profit institution that aims to, and has, provided superior knowledge on DUI litigation to several DWI lawyers enrolled in their programs.
Through this institution, a vast array of tactical defense education is provided to aspiring, and already occupied, DWI lawyers.
If your potential hire is a graduate of this prestigious college, it is safe to say that you are in able and competent hands.
Do You Incorporate Constant Evolution?
This type of legal litigation is dynamic, evolving every year. It is a principle quality of all efficient DWI lawyers to stay aware of all current happenings.
Do You Focus On Other Law Practices as well?
We recommend you hire an attorney who primarily focuses on DUI law and litigation. On several occasions, attorneys practice in various fields at once. This is never good for the client because it means he or she will get an attorney with limited experience, not up to par knowledge of all the ins and outs.
DWI lawyers not only have to be fully aware of all things legal regarding DWI law litigation, but they also have to possess knowledge on various frequently consumed substances such as alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, and more.
Other than knowledge on substances, they should be substantially aware of criminology about DUI cases and criminology in general. They also should be aware of everything there is to know about clinical testing of the defendant’s blood to discover his or her blood-alcohol level.
Traits Competent DWI Lawyers Possess
A capable DWI attorney will possess certain qualities which make him stand out from the rest. If you want to end the legal ordeal you face after being convicted through DUI law, you need to play your part by choosing the best attorney in your respective budget.
Here are some qualities of proficient DWI lawyers.
Outstanding Communication Skills
Superior communication skills and attorneys go hand-in-hand. How gasoline drives a vehicle, good communication skills drive an attorney to success.
During a DWI defense case, it is vital for DWI lawyers to communicate efficiently; at an optimal level where not too much or too little is said. This is because DWI cases are unique. The defendant has already been proven guilty on the spot through enough evidence.
Now, it is all up to DIW lawyers to work their tongue’s magic and provide relief to the defendant, their client. If the attorney has authoritative communication skills, he or she will do wonders for the defendant by reducing the sentence, or even dismissing the case.
If your DWI lawyer embodies confidence, you feel at ease. Feeling at ease as much as possible during a trial is of paramount importance. If you are not optimistic and calm, you will drown in your own paranoia.
The right state of mind during a courtroom hearing is crucial because you are being watched from every direction.
But, keep in mind, an overconfident attorney can drown you in the blink of an eye. One of the gravest mistakes made by DWI lawyers is when they get too carried away. This can prove to be detrimental for your case as the opposition will pounce on anything said that is out of context.
You must hire a DWI lawyer that you can afford. Although this is obvious, it is not as simple as it looks. A few DWI lawyers take advantage of a client’s highly culpable scenario by charging them exorbitant rates.
It is important to understand that paying high amounts of money to DWI lawyers in hopes of getting better representation is a flawed approach when it comes to choosing DWI lawyers.
You should weigh your options based on a variety of factors, especially the ones which have been mentioned previously.
Since there are no fixed rates when it comes to hiring lawyers, it is a good practice on the lawyer’s end if they explain all their charges to their client properly and thoroughly.
An Impeccable Ethical Record
A ‘clean’ attorney should always be hired. This is where you are charged with the duty of doing relevant background checks. If a dainty attorney is working with you, you can say goodbye to your chances of winning the case.
Judges have always been wary of such DWI lawyers, and they never do them any favors. If you hire a lawyer who possesses an unethical background or is known for malpractice, it is the biggest mistake you can make in the process of choosing a lawyer.
You will likely lose your case before it even begins.
On paper, an attorney can be magnificent and flawless. Even if he has the highest marks in his or her bar exam, has studied from the best law school in the country, his practical expertise in the courtroom matters a great deal.
A lawyer, through several years’ worth of experience, can be said to achieve considerable practical prowess.
It will not bode well for you if your attorney is not court-ready. Your attorney will most probably collapse under the pressure, jeopardizing your entire case in a matter of seconds.
Moreover, if your attorney has a promising reputation and ethical background, but has been failing the majority of his cases in court, you should seriously reconsider.
Say No to Public Defenders
Public defenders are public attorneys allocated to those individuals who are unable to afford private legal aid.
Although public defenders have substantial experience, possess complete knowledge of criminal law and the justice system, and know specific state laws, they are not a perfect option.
Public defenders will deal with your case with no vigor or determination because they are already sinking in caseloads. They will not offer you advice or give you the proper guidance throughout your litigation period. They will not retrieve your license or your vehicle.
Public defenders only deal with the criminal elements of your case.
Another downside to public defenders is that you can not get to choose who represents you. The state simply attaches you with a random public attorney. Not ideal.
How do DWI Lawyers Help their Clients
After you have been charged with a DUI case, your DUI lawyer will work alongside you in creating a strong defense for you. In the process of doing so, your lawyer will offer you legal advice and options on how to proceed with your case which you can choose from.
There are several reasons in favor of hiring DWI lawyers.
Firstly, DWI lawyers offer you valued advice. This advice is the product of their experience, practice, findings, and studies. This advice, on the majority of occasions, is right.
From the many crucial pieces of advice offered by DWI lawyers, here are some: a sound DWI attorney would assess the situation from all angles and perspectives. Usually, experienced attorneys often advise their clients not to stand in their defense in the courtroom.
You can be scrutinized further through extra intimidation from the judge. This could damage your standing in the case, and you might say certain things under pressure which could be used against you.
Secondly, DWI lawyers, once on your side, equip you with a complete arsenal of legal knowledge and expertise. This expertise can, and will, be used by you and your lawyer in the courtroom.
This feeling of assurity that a client experience after hiring an attorney is good for the client’s mental health. It is critical for a client to not let their emotions get the better of them during their entire litigation process, and having a professional lawyer on board helps with this.
Thirdly, as we had mentioned previously, DWI cases are complex in nature. They require tons of paperwork in the form of legal documents, government IDs, and several other document types. In addition to these documents, there are numerous deadlines to be met as well.
All of this, through the attorney’s experience and expertise, is handled by the attorney. This is a terrible headache, to say the least. Having a DWI lawyer on board can make this process far smoother compared to what it would have been without a lawyer.
The Possibilities are Endless
You should be mindful of the fact that if you are charged with DUI by the police, or any other law enforcement agency, it is your constitutional right to call upon your lawyer. And, more importantly, you can not be proven guilty unless your lawyer does not analyze the whole situation completely.
Therefore, individuals saying: “I want my lawyer” after an arrest has been made on them is a common occurrence. Many individuals do not even speak to the authorities, they completely decline to do so and do not utter a single word. Such is the influence, and benefit, of attorneys.
For you too, it is a good practice to ask for your lawyer immediately after you have been arrested.
Although a conviction is hard to dismiss due to the nature of the crime, it is worth noting that through proper legal representation, you can reduce your DUI indictment.
Your DUI attorney can also help you with the shortening of your sentence, reduction in the hefty fine that you might be asked to pay, and even recovering your driver’s license back from the authorities.
You have all the rights, and you are certainly able to solely represent yourself in your trial and the whole process of litigation inflicted upon you. Through educating yourself on all the ins and outs of the legal system, you can do a great job in battling your defense as well.
However, the question that arises is, does it really matter? Why go through such great lengths, go through such a hassle, when you can easily hire a professional to do all the work for you, and more.
DUI attorneys know everything about DUI cases from the inside out. They know how to deal with the judge, how to handle all of your paperwork, how to carry things forward, and how the legal system works.
Through their immense experience, lawyers know how difficult this whole process can be. Even they find it hard to win cases for their clients, and they often lose in the process several times. The majority of lawyers whom we have personally interviewed, and whom others have interviewed as well, all express how it is simply not worth it to go into this mess all alone.
And to make things even worse for lone defendants in court, since they do not entirely know about the functioning of a courtroom and legal knowledge, they often test the judge’s patience.
What Do They Cost?
Many individuals opt for defending themselves due to their suppositions regarding the cost of legal representation to be extravagantly high. If we talk about bankruptcy lawyers, this thought process would have been more understandable. However, we are not talking about people who are on the verge of bankruptcy.
It is necessary to point out that the cost of hiring a DUI attorney is not fixed by any means. It entirely depends on the severity of the case.
If the case is only limited to a plea, the average price range of DUI attorneys is approximately $600 to $1500.
If the case extends to a trial, you should expect different prices. The prices will certainly increase as the average cost of a lawyer taking a trial case is approximately around $1400 to $4000.
There is always room for outliers. The actual price of hiring an attorney depends upon a vast array of factors, as mentioned previously. If your case extends to more days, you will be looking at a higher bill. But, it can also be finished earlier.
The complexity of your case also is a crucial determining factor.
It is a good practice to forecast all possible monetary issues beforehand so that you and your attorney can focus on what is more important and leave money on the side.
Many lawyers offer free consultation which is great for those individuals who don’t have the financial resources to get legal representation.
Final Tips to Summarise it All
Up till now, you have gone through a tremendous amount of information regarding DWI lawyers. We shall now sum everything for you in the form of a few takeaway, tips.
Start Hunting for Potential Attorneys
After being charged with DUI, you should start searching for a potential attorney as soon as possible because your time is scarce and your court hearing is probably in the coming 10 days or so.
However, do not rush through the process. Make sound decisions through analyzing and evaluating prospective attorneys based on the qualities which we mentioned previously and based on whether you feel comfortable with this particular attorney or not.
Look for personal recommendations from attorneys themselves. If you are looking for an attorney online, make sure you go through the reviews, if there are any.
Be Truthful with Your Attorney
It is difficult to talk about, and explain your moment of weakness, especially when you are charged with a DUI. However, there is no need to fret. Hundreds of thousands of other people go through the same. You should be entirely transparent with your attorney.
This is a decisive aspect of this whole process because through your input the attorney will draft the next plan of action, your defense. If you hide details, are not elaborate enough, you will not get an accurate plan of action from your attorney which will most likely prove to be damaging to your case.
Do Not Shy from Asking Questions
After you have entered final talks with your attorney, or have even hired him, make sure to ask questions and clear all of your doubts. Communication is key if you want to streamline everything with your attorney so that you and your attorney are on the same wavelength.
The questions are mentioned above, for your viewing.
Some more questions which you can ask, and will be helpful for you in bringing more clarity to the table, are:
- How many times have you been successful in defending a DUI jury? This question is to the point, and it allows you to truly understand the performance of your intended attorney.
- Are you capable of representing me in both DMV and DWI sessions? This question allows you to make an initial judgment regarding the availability of this particular attorney. Asking these questions also sends a message out to the attorney that the client has done their research into everything.
- Are you capable of carrying thorough investigation into the happenings which led to my charge? It is an attorney’s job to evaluate every happening which took place at the crime scene. An investigation is part of their job description too. It should be expected of an attorney to undertake all these decisions.
Narrow Down Your List and Do Not Make Impulsive Decisions
After talking to a portfolio full of attorneys, analyzing and evaluating all of their strengths and weaknesses, it is now time to choose the right option. However, do not choose right away. Try thinking about it on your own by giving it a day.
You can use a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis to establish a well-rounded judgment.
Finally, your decision should be primarily based on chemistry. The attorney with whom you have the strongest chemistry is the right one for you. This process is all about teamwork and communication, and you can only achieve these through forming a strong bond with your attorney.
Do Not Represent Yourself
You can represent yourself, and you also can win the judge over to your side by making him drop all charges on you. However, this is a huge rarity. Things do not go well for those who represent themselves as in legal slang, this is synonymous with digging your own grave.
You do not know the legal jargon, every quirk, and feature of legality. Most importantly, it is the experience of these professionals which counts the most when it comes to communication skills, carrying yourself in the courtroom, and doing all the paperwork.
We know that the selection process seems cumbersome at times, but you should know that you can never be too careful. It is always better to be safe than sorry, hence choosing a lawyer should be done the right way, without any rush.
Once you have chosen a suitable lawyer, always make sure that you are in touch with him or her constantly. Communication is the key to your success in your legal troubles.
Having a well-connected DWI lawyer to help you on your DWI case is a great way to remove the charges from your record too. Some lawyers have the right connections to make a solid case for you helping to remove any charges on your record. A tainted record does affect work opportunities, credit availability, and many other facilities across the country. This can have far-reaching implications than one may believe right now, hence getting a resourceful lawyer will help you get out clean.