In all states, DWI and DUI are considered serious crimes, that’s why you should immediately seek legal help if you’re charged with either one. While these two terms are used interchangeably, the difference is that driving while intoxicated of alcohol or DWI has a blood alcohol content (BAC) beyond the legal limit (0.08), and DUI means driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. When hiring a DWI lawyer, it’s crucial to ask the right questions.
Here are important questions to ask when choosing a DWI lawyer:
Are You Specialized in DWI?
Not all lawyers are the same, so you need to choose a DWI specialist. It’s crucial to entrust your case to someone who knows the ins and outs of any DWI or DUI case. A good DUI lawyer can handle all cases related to DWI or DUI, such as underage driving and drinking, refusal to take the BAC test, and injury or death caused by DUI, so click here to find out more.
Here are the credentials you need to look for in a DWI attorney:
- Certificates are given by trusted and reputable organizations, like certification in performing Standardized Field Sobriety Tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Breathalyzer machine training
- Traffic and DUI enforcement training
Have You Handled Similar DWI Cases like Mine?
This question should be asked when you’re hiring a DWI attorney because it reflects the experience and expertise of a lawyer along with the case that you’re currently involved in. You don’t want to take chances if you want to be free from the hassle and stress of a DWI case, so you need a lawyer who regularly handles similar cases and is excellent in representing clients on court trials with an almost 100% DWI-related caseload.
Here are the important things you need to look for to assess the experience and expertise of a DWI lawyer:
- Number of DWI or DUI cases handled every year
- Number of cases the lawyer was able to plea bargain
- Number of cases the attorney was able to dismiss
- Previous experiences, such as a police officer, prosecutor, or a public defender
Are You Acquainted with the Prosecutor?
A good DWI lawyer has a trusted and reputable image, with established connections with the people in the local court system, like the prosecutor who’s possibly handling your case. By hiring a DWI lawyer Rochester NY team, you can have peace of mind because of the legal team’s familiarity with the plea deals that a prosecutor usually offers.
What Do You Think Are the Possible Outcomes?
An experienced DWI lawyer can present to you the possible outcomes or expectations of your case. A DWI case in New York State can result in multiple issues for a charged citizen. Unfortunately, some employers are forced to terminate employees because of drunk driving conviction for insurance requirements.
Here are the possible outcomes of a DWI conviction in New York:
- Jail time
- Suspended driver’s license
- Loss of driving privileges
- Substantial fines
- Ignition interlock device installation
- Higher insurance premiums
- Permanent criminal record
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, the mandatory fine for aggravated driving while intoxicated in New York is $1,000 to $2,500 with a one-year maximum jail term, and at least one year driver’s license revocation. A second offense has a mandatory fine of $1,000 to $5,000, four years maximum jail term, and revoked driver’s license for at least 18 months.
Can You Represent Me in DMV Proceedings, Too?
The Department of Motor Vehicles or DMV automatically suspends your license if you’re arrested for a DWI or DUI with a BAC test result of .08% or more or if you refuse a breath test or blood test. An administrative suspension is triggered by a DUI arrest instead of a conviction, which usually takes effect 30 days after the arrest.
The suspension is put on hold depending on the outcome of the administrative hearing. It can be difficult to represent yourself in a DMV administrative hearing, so you need DWI lawyer who is also willing to represent you in DMV.
What Are the Fees for Your Legal Services?
A flat fee is standard for DWI lawyers, while some charge an hourly rate. Asking for details on how the lawyer will bill you will give you an idea of the expected amount of money you need to prepare. Most of all, knowing the legal fees reflects if the legal services are reasonably priced or worth it based on the reputation and expertise of the DWI lawyer.
Aside from the legal fees, you’ll also spend money on the following:
- Fines or penalty
- Ignition interlock device
- DUI bond
Hiring a good lawyer can make a big difference when you’re facing a DWI or DUI case. By knowing the credentials, experience, specialization or expertise, and connections of a DWI lawyer as well as the possible outcomes of your case, you’ll be able to choose intelligently. Choose the best DWI attorney who can legally represent you before the court with full trust and confidence.