If you are charged with DWI or driving whilst impaired/intoxicated, then finding a good DWI lawyer should be your first priority. But for many, the main issue with hiring a private lawyer is the cost. Private legal counsel can be expensive, but in cases such as DWI not hiring a lawyer can be even more costly and not just in financial terms.
The penalties for being charged and convicted with DWI range from fines to probation, community service orders to mandatory jail terms. Add to this a suspended driving license, increased insurance premiums, loss of earnings and even job, and possible social stigma from your local community. Even after the court hearing the costs can still increase as you will need to pay legal fees, courts costs and possible costs from civil cases as a result of your offense. And whilst an experienced DWI lawyer cannot prevent further financial costs further down the line, they can help you to defend your case and to obtain a lesser penalty in the first place.
Most lawyers will charge fees billed on an hourly basis or a fixed fee determined by the type of case. The cost of these fees will vary according to the experience and qualifications of the lawyer, the length of the case, the type of case and the strength of the evidence against you. There may also be additional charges for extra costs, disbursements and other fees incurred. When you first meet with a lawyer to discuss your case you should also raise the question of fees and how they are to be paid. Many lawyers may be happy to negotiate a fee with you which you can afford.Get additional information at DWI Houston Legal Services.
If you really cannot afford to hire a DWI lawyer then you are entitled to receive a court-appointed lawyer who is paid for by the state. Often you will need to submit financial statements showing that you truly cannot afford a private lawyer of your own. If approved then the judge presiding over your case will appoint someone as soon as possible. You cannot change this lawyer further down the line unless you can prove serious misdemeanor or malpractice on their part to the judge, however you can hire a private lawyer later on if you are able to do so.
When looking for a lawyer it is important to remember that you need to hire a lawyer who practices within the state in which the offense occurred even if this is not your local area. This is because each state sets their own laws with regard to DWI offenses and so only a local DWI lawyer will have the expert knowledge of the law and legal system in that state required to defend your case.