When you’re charged with driving under the influence, it’s serious business. A DUI or DWI conviction can come with extreme penalties—in some cases the suspension or revocation of your license, a big spike in your auto insurance rates, possibly even time spent in jail.
Naturally, you’ll want to fight the charges as vigorously as possible, minimizing your criminal consequences or evading them altogether. The best way to do that is by hiring a DWI defense lawyer.
Not all attorneys are created equal, however, so how do you know when you’ve found the right DUI criminal defense attorney in Austin?
Finding the Right Austin DUI Lawyer
Seek a seasoned DWI defense lawyer. Simply put, you don’t want to hire someone who normally works on banking cases, or copyright law, or contracts. You want a specialist. You want someone who knows the state’s DUI laws and statutes inside and out and know what it takes to mount a vigorous criminal defense. Always make sure you seek an attorney for whom DUI cases are a focus, not a diversion.
Read testimonials. As you look for the right Austin DUI lawyer, it’s important to listen to the voices of clients who’ve been in your shoes before. Online reviews can be invaluable. Also ask for referrals. Get a feel for what the experience is like working with the law firm in question.
Ask about relationships with prosecutors. A good Austin DWI attorney will know how to navigate the court system and yield positive outcomes, something that requires having strong professional relationships with prosecutors. You don’t want to hire a lawyer who is held in low regard by other people at the courthouse. Ask the attorney to describe their relationships with local prosecution.
Consider the size of the firm. A smaller firm will probably be able to provide you with more one-on-one attention. Working with a larger firm, you may not feel like you’re “seen” quite as much, but there may be more time and resources devoted to your case. There’s no one right answer here; just pick the firm size that works best for you.
Ask about fees. Seek an Austin DWI attorney who will be up front with you about pricing and answer your cost-related questions as straightforwardly as possible.
Get a case assessment. It’s also recommended that you ask your Austin DUI lawyer to provide a basic assessment of your case before you hire them—letting you know, in broad strokes, what kind of outcomes you might expect, how they might mount your defense, etc. This is a good way to get a sense of the attorney’s thoughtfulness, professionalism, and communication style.
Trust your gut. At the end of the day, you don’t want to pick a DUI attorney with whom you don’t feel comfortable or don’t get along. If you find a lawyer to be needlessly adversarial or if you simply don’t gel with their communication style, that’s reason enough to look elsewhere.
Find the Austin DUI Lawyer You Need
There are a lot of factors to juggle here, and the decision you make could ultimately have big implications for your life – so by all means, do your due diligence and make an informed choice.