Anyone facing a DWI charge is likely experiencing extreme stress and uncertainty about what will happen. Jail time, probation, frequent drug testing and loss of driving privileges are all possible punishments that greatly impact a person’s freedom and ability to run his/her daily life. One of the first things an individual in this situation needs to do is find an effective DWI defense attorney that is on board with the accused’s goals and needs. Finding the right attorney requires more than just picking a name out of a phone book, and involves understanding some key points before the first meeting so the right fit is found. This could mean meeting with more than one attorney to assess how compatible and comfortable a person is with a particular lawyer, but the possible consequences are worth the extra effort. The initial consultation should be viewed as a mutual interview between the attorney and potential client related to how well the two individuals would work together, and ascertaining if the attorney can provide the services and outcome the client wants. A discussion of what to look for when choosing a DWI attorney, and questions to ask to help decide if the attorney is a good match, will follow below.
The optimal goal for anyone facing DWI charges is seeing the charges dismissed, or at least reduced to the lowest possible offense. Consequently, the most important features an attorney should have to best serve a client charged with a DWI offense is expertise in this area, commitment to providing personal representation, and experience in the applicable court. Specifically, a qualified DWI attorney will focus on cases of this type, as opposed to handling a variety of legal matters. Further, it is important the attorney who actually does the work is the attorney a client meets. Otherwise, the individual may have legitimate concerns about the outcome. Finally, the attorney should have experience in the area where the arrest occurred, so he/she is knowledgeable about how judges and prosecutors handle these matters, i.e., willingness to reduce charges or minimize sentences.
Knowing what information one needs, and how to obtain it are two different matters that require asking the right questions.
- Specialized training
Breathalyzers and field tests are frequently the basis for arresting an individual and filing charges. Thus, asking whether an attorney has specialized knowledge or training on these measures is helpful for knowing if he/she can effectively defend against the charges.
Additionally, communication is central to remaining satisfied with legal representation, so understanding how an attorney communicates, and when he/she is most likely to be available, is tied to keeping up with case developments and addressing concerns or questions within an acceptable time frame.
An issue that is important for anyone seeking the services of a lawyer is cost, and while an attorney cannot give an exact number, he/she should be able to give a range, which can be further refined depending upon whether the accused wants to fight it out, plead guilty or seek a deal.
Finally, the biggest question everyone has in this situation is what the likely outcome will be. A DWI attorney should be able to give an idea of what to expect, but the client does have to be honest, and also realize that until the attorney views all supporting documentation, any prediction is general and limited.
Hire a DWI Attorney
The long-term effects of a criminal conviction cannot be overstated, so charges need to be aggressively defended to mitigate or eliminate this possibility. Hollingshead & Dudley offer dedicated attention and cutting-edge defense strategies to get their clients the best possible outcome. Contact the Kansas City law firm for a free consultation.