If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence in Baton Rouge, you definitely need a good attorney.
Whether you are innocent or not, an experienced DWI attorney can help guide you through the legal process.
Although many DWI cases are settled before going to court, a trial is always a possibility. A DWI case can be complex and involve scientific evidence such as breath, urine, and blood test results.
It’s critical to hire an attorney experienced with evidence and trial law.
How do you choose the right attorney? Asking the right questions is a must. Here are eight questions to ask your DWI attorney.
Ask A DWI Attorney How Long They’ve Practiced Law?
You want to make sure your DWI attorney has some experience practicing law. Although an attorney who has just recently passed the bar may charge significantly less, he or she may lack the expertise you need for a favorable outcome.
That’s why asking the right questions is so important. You want an attorney with courtroom experience who has successfully represented numerous clients in the past.
What Types of Cases Do You Handle?
While an attorney who specializes in a variety of cases is not necessarily a bad choice, you want to make sure they have adequate experience with DWI cases in particular.
DWI is a serious charge and can be tricky depending on the circumstances involved in a case. If your case goes to court, you want your attorney to have the knowledge needed to represent you effectively.
Make sure you are confident in your attorney’s experience and ability to handle your DWI case before hiring him or her.
Will You Be The DWI Attorney Handling My Case?
You want an attorney who is highly respected and very knowledgeable in DWI law.
Large law firms will sometimes offer an initial consultation with a senior attorney and then assign a less experienced attorney to represent you throughout the process.
Don’t hesitate to ask upfront who will be representing you and if this could change at some point. Make sure you are satisfied with the answer and have an agreement before hiring.
What Training Qualifies You For My Case?
DWI prosecutions normally include field sobriety test results.
These scientific tests are used by the court in DWI cases and have been approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission (NHTSA).
Some attorneys have special training and may even be licensed to administer the breathalyzer tests used by police officers. It’s helpful for the attorney to understand these tests because mistakes can occur during breathalyzer tests.
One mistake could affect your future. Your DWI attorney should have in-depth knowledge of how these tests are administered and which tests are approved by the NHTSA.
How Much Will It Cost For You To Represent Me?
Try to find an attorney who offers a free initial consultation. That’s the time to have your list of questions ready. Generally, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. It’s unlikely that you want to hire the cheapest attorney, although you may if they meet all your criteria.
Normally DWI attorneys charge a flat fee between $3,500 and $7,500, but this may not be the case. Find out if this fee is the final charge you will incur or if you will be charged additional fees for other services (i.e. investigator fees, subpoenas, copies, phone calls etc.).
Some attorneys, albeit perhaps not the ones you want, may even be willing to work out a payment plan to fit your budget if you don’t have the money upfront. Ask the attorney if the price differs if you decide to fight the charges, take a plea deal, or plead guilty to the charges.
How Do You See My Case Playing Out?
Your attorney doesn’t have a crystal ball and cannot predict exactly what will happen in your particular case or guarantee a favorable outcome for you. But, based on his or her experience with similar cases, your attorney may be able to tell you the probable outcome you can expect.
Above all, you want to know your attorney will work hard for you and do whatever is necessary to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
Working to reinstate your driving privileges and get you safely back on the road is an important and sometimes difficult task of a DWI attorney.
Being unable to drive can negatively affect your life in so many ways. Be sure to ask the attorney about this process as well.
Have You Been Disciplined By The State Bar?
This may seem like an awkward question, but it’s something important to know and something you should definitely ask. Attorneys can be disciplined by the state bar for a variety of reasons.
This isn’t necessarily a deal breaker.
Make sure to ask questions and find out the reason why they were disciplined if this is indeed the case. You want to be well-informed before making a decision that can affect your future.
How Will We Communicate?
Make sure you have a clear understanding of how your attorney will keep you updated on your case. Attorneys often are very busy and can’t answer or return phone calls right away.
This can be frustrating for a client who is anxious about their case. For many attorneys, email is often the best means of communication. Ask how often you will hear from the attorney.
Find out if and how much you will be charged for phone calls. Make sure you and your DWI attorney agree on the type and frequency of communication needed.
Hiring A Good DWI Attorney
As you can see, there are many things to consider and many questions to ask before deciding on an attorney. Getting a DWI is a serious charge and a reputable DWI attorney is essential in order for you to get the best possible outcome.
We know you want to put this negative experience behind you and look ahead to a better tomorrow.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Baton Rouge and need an attorney, we can help. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the process.
Contact us today.
Get Even! Call Stephen!