About 36 people in the US die in drunk-driving accidents each year. Within a single year, 13,384 died in alcohol-impaired driving accidents. If you were recently charged with a DWI, you need an experienced lawyer at your side. However, these common mistakes with hiring DWI lawyers could leave you with someone lacking the experience you need. Use these tips to find a lawyer who is experienced fighting a DWI charge.
With these tips, you can feel confident your lawyer is capable of fighting on your behalf.
1. Not Considering Your Case
Before using the rest of these tips to build a list of options for lawyers, consider the details surrounding your case. For example, perhaps someone died as a result of the accident. If you were charged with a DWI after someone died, you could face wrongful death charges, too.
Review the details of the case and the charges filed against you. When searching for a DWI lawyer, look for someone with experience relevant to your case.
Their previous experience handling cases like yours could give you an advantage. They’ll already know which legal strategies are most likely to produce a positive outcome. They’ll know which mistakes to avoid making when handling your case, too.
Once you understand the details surrounding your case, talk to your inner circle. Ask friends and family members in Austin if they recently hired a lawyer or can recommend a local firm.
Determine if the law firm they hired takes on DWI cases. If you can, find a law firm that specializes in DWI cases.
Learn from each client’s firsthand account. Their experience working with an attorney will help you better manage your expectations. Their advice could help you determine which law firms and lawyers to avoid, too.
2. Never Reading Reviews
Visit your local bar association website to find lawyers who specialize in DWI cases. Explore the Marindale-Hubbell law firm directory to add to your list of lawyers. Once you have options to choose from, learn as much as you can about each attorney on your list.
First, confirm each lawyer is licensed to practice in the state. If they lack the necessary credentials and an active license, remove them from your list.
While online, look into each lawyer’s reputation. Reading online reviews can help you learn from people who were once in your position. Their firsthand accounts will help you determine if a lawyer is trustworthy and capable of handling your case.
Do any of the complaints repeat between clients? For example, some clients might mention that a lawyer was unprofessional or used unethical legal practices. Remove those lawyers from your list of options.
Finding a lawyer who already has a glowing reputation can help you feel more confident in your choice.
3. Neglecting Experience
As you learn more about each lawyer on your list, look into their professional history.
First, determine where they went to school, when they graduated, and how long they’ve practiced law. Note how long they’ve practiced in Austin, too. Laws can vary based on where your DWI charges are filed.
Finding a lawyer with local DWI case experience can benefit your case. These attorneys might also have local contacts they can use to your benefit. For example, they might call a medical expert or private investigator to gather evidence.
Determine how often each attorney accepts DWI cases similar to yours. If they lack relevant experience, remove them from your list.
4. Not Reviewing Case Histories
Learn as much as you can about each attorney’s case history.
First, determine how many DWI cases they handle each year. Determine how many they win or lose each year, too. For each case, consider the outcome (for example, were charges filed, did the client complete community service, etc.).
Learning about each lawyer’s case history can help you determine if they’re capable of winning your case. It can help you manage your expectations about potential outcomes, too.
5. Never Meeting in Person
Schedule an in-person consultation meeting with at least three lawyers on your list.
Meeting them in person will help you determine if they’re the right fit for your case. Prepare a list of questions to ask ahead of time. Bring any documents relevant to your case as well.
Ask what legal strategy they would recommend for your case. Have them explain local DWI laws as well. If they struggle to answer your questions, remove them from your list.
Did the lawyer make you uncomfortable in any way? If so, remove them from your list.
6. Ignoring Their Skill Set
During your consultation appointment, ask each lawyer what skills they can use to improve the outcome of your case. Pay attention to how the attorney speaks and acts.
Look for someone who has strong communication skills. Make sure they sound confident when they speak, too. Otherwise, look for someone with an analytical mindset.
7. Not Comparing Costs
Ask three local attorneys about their fee structure. Some lawyers work on an hourly rate, retainer, or contingency fee basis.
Comparing lawyer fees will help you gain a better understanding of the average cost of legal services in Austin. If one lawyer has extremely higher fees than the rest, question why. For example, perhaps they have a stronger track record than other DWI lawyers in Austin.
Don’t hire the lawyer with the lowest legal fees. Instead, review your notes.
Choose someone who can ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
Avoid These Mistakes With Hiring DWI Lawyers
These common mistakes with hiring DWI lawyers could leave you with someone unequipped to handle your case. Instead, do your due diligence when reviewing your options for lawyers. Look for someone with experience and expertise relevant to your case.
With their help, you can fight the charges and ensure the best possible outcome.
Want to discuss your case with a member of our team? We’re here for you.
Contact us today to get started.