Beware the cheap DWI lawyer!
I just got arrested for DWI. What should I do?
How does a DWI investigation work?
The breath test said I had a blood alcohol content over the legal limit. Do I have a defense?
What is a partition ratio and how does it affect a breath test?
What do I need to worry about concerning my driver's license?
I cannot afford to have my license suspended or revoked. Is there anything I can do?
Beware the cheap lawyer!
There are attorneys who will charge you a couple hundred dollars to handle your DWI case. These attorneys will have you plead guilty to DWI and will just negotiate the terms of your guilty plea.
If you pay a lawyer $600 and the lawyer’s hourly fee is $150 (which is a very cheap rate), then the lawyer has only been paid for four hours of work. This is not enough time to scrutinize the officer’s report and video evidence and prepare for a deposition with the officer’s training materials, let alone prepare for trial.
Officers know how to write reports that make drivers look guilty. They know how to ask the questions which will lead to a conviction and how to avoid evidence of sobriety. Without any push back, the officer’s report will secure a conviction.
A cheap DWI lawyer simply has not been paid enough to test the officer’s report and investigation. It takes time to scrutinize the report in light of the officer’s training materials and prepare for an examination of the officer under oath.
If a lawyer offers to handle your DWI for less than $1,500, ask him the following questions:
“Can you explain to me the DWI detection process the officer was supposed to follow?” An overview is here.
“Does this include a deposition of the officer?” A deposition is an examination of the officer under oath and is required for a successful defense.
“Do you have a copy of the current NHTSA [pronounced nih-tsa] manuals?” These are the training manuals which teach police how to investigate drivers for DWIs and are published by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
These are the minimal requirements for defending a simple DWI. Of course, there are numerous potential defenses which depending on the unique circumstances of your case. You need to make sure you hire an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in handling DWI cases.
Of course, if you just want to plead guilty and not fight the case, a cheap DWI attorney may be the way to go.