You never realized how many DWI lawyers there were until you saw zillions of them filling up your screen. “If only I had gotten a ride I could have avoided this mess,” you think. As you scroll through the page of DWI lawyer names you wonder, “How do I know any of these names are good? Are there any questions I should ask them?”
If you’ve recently gotten a DWI you no doubt feel stressed about picking the right DWI lawyer. In the blog post below, we’re going to go over questions you should ask a DWI lawyer before hiring them.
Why Are Questions Important?
If you’ve just gotten a DWI you might feel so stressed about the situation that you’re ready to pick any name that sounds good. Picking a DWI lawyer helps you feel more calm about things until you realize you picked the wrong one. That’s why it’s so important to interview all lawyers you’re considering hiring.
Most lawyers will offer a free consultation, which is the perfect time to ask them any questions you may have.
“Okay, so what questions should I ask?”
There are four types of questions you should ask:
- Education and experience
- Case assessment
- Legal fees and payment options
Note: If you don’t see a question you want to ask listed below, ask it anyway. A great lawyer will be willing to answer any question you have and probably has answered it many times before. The only stupid question is one that isn’t asked so if you have an urgent question, ask it. You’ll feel much better in the long run.
Education and Experience
In this section of questions, you’re going to ask about their legal background and the types of cases they typically handle. What you’re looking for is a DWI lawyer who has experience in your case and the legal background to handle it well. Typical questions include:
- Where did you attend law school and when did you graduate?
- Have you always been a lawyer or have you had other jobs within the law field?
- Do you belong to any organizations? If so, which ones?
- How long have you practiced law and have handled DWI cases before?
- How many clients do you represent a year?
- Do you take other types of cases?
- What percentage of your caseload are DWI cases?
- How often do you appear at the courthouse where my case will be heard?
- Have you worked with the prosecutor in my case before?
- Is it your standard practice to negotiate plea agreements?
- How often do you take your DWI cases to trial?
In this section, you’ll get down to the nitty-gritty of your DWI case. You will explain what happened and ask what you should expect with a case like yours. Don’t leave out any details when you talk about what happened. You don’t want a situation where your DWI lawyer is suddenly blindsided by something they have to quickly handle later. By leaving out details you could not only impact the outcome of your case, but also impact how your lawyer can help. Never lie to your DWI lawyer either. That could get you into worse trouble than omitting details. Explain everything now to avoid legal messes later.
Typical questions to ask are:
- Would you recommend a guilty plea? Is a plea agreement a possibility or would it be better to go to trial?
- Is there anything that works in my favor?
- Is there anything that works against me?
- What are the different process stages and what should I expect at each stage?
- What, if anything, could I do to help the case along?
- What, if anything, should I bring to court with me should we go to trial?
It’s important to know how available your DWI lawyer plans to be. Great DWI lawyers are often busy, so don’t feel like you can’t work with one who appears to have a heavy caseload. However, if their caseload is too heavy they might not be able to represent you adequately. If you feel they’re busy, ask if they have time for your case and how many hours they plan to spend on it. Other questions relating to availability are:
- Will you be the only lawyer working on my case?
- Will you be the one representing me in court or will someone else be there? If so, who else will represent me in court and when can I meet them?
- May I call with questions? Who will answer them and how quickly will they be answered?
- How do you prefer to be contacted?
- How often will I receive status updates and what will they include?
Legal Fees and Payment Options
The last and (but not least important) set of questions you should ask has to do with payment. We have a more in-depth article on this, but the basic gist is that your DWI lawyer will bill you in one of two ways. By the hour, or by the case.
By the hour means paying for each hour of work your lawyer completes for your case. By the case means that you pay a lump sum up front for everything your lawyer does relating to your case. There are pluses and minuses to both forms of billing and we recommend reading our more detailed article to figure out what’s best for you.
- Do you bill by the hour or by the case?
- What is included in your rate?
- What kinds of related legal expenses will I have to pay? Can I get an estimate for them?
- What forms of payment do you accept? What payment options do I have?
- If you bill by the case, may I extend my payments past the duration of my case?
- If my case did require much work on your end are you willing to refund part of what I paid?
With these questions answered, you’ll begin to get a sense what your potential DWI lawyer is capable of and if they are the best representation for you. Remember, just because you scheduled a consultation does not mean you have to hire them. A good lawyer will understand that.
Hire the Best DWI Lawyer David Hunter Today!
If you want to know more about a DWI lawyer can do or have gotten a DWI in the past, David Hunter can help. David’s extensive experience as a trial lawyer and Texas Judge have given him a unique perspective on the Texas criminal justice system that allows him to provide a top-notch defense to each and every client. He handles DWI cases regularly and knows exactly what to do so you’ll spend less time in court, and jail.
Call (281) 417-3117 or click below to schedule a free consultation and see how David Hunter could help you with your DUI case today!