The Expertise of DWI and DUI Attorneys
If you or someone you know has been charged with driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (also known as a DUI or DWI), you need to be searching for an exceptional DWI Attorney in Houston. Although technically any attorney could represent you in this case, an experienced Houston DWI attorney will have the skills and expertise necessary to handle the complexities of your case.
If you’re convicted, driving under the influence can result in loss of your license, jail time, and substantial fines. You may also find your ability to qualify for jobs and educational opportunities limited by a DUI or DWI conviction. However, a good attorney can help alleviate or eliminate these consequences. Here are some of the ways an experienced Houston criminal defense lawyer can help you.
First, you want to hire a DUI attorney with the right educational background. Although there are many criminal defense attorneys in Houston, TX, you should consider hiring a lawyer that specializes in DUI cases. To become a DUI lawyer, an attorney needs to have a bachelor’s degree, a juris doctorate degree, and needs to have passed the bar examination and be licensed in the state in which they’re practicing.
Unlike doctors, there’s really no specializing that attorneys undertake during law school, however, good DUI attorneys start their careers by performing a student internship with a law firm that specializes in these cases. There are also many DUI attorneys that work as public defenders after they graduate. Public defenders are state-assigned attorneys that handle thousands of cases, and most of these cases are DUI or drug cases. Competent DUI attorneys stay up to date with the advancements and changes in the laws in your area, and participate in DUI specific continuing education classes each year. When interviewing an attorney to see if they’re a good fit for you, don’t be afraid to ask about prior DUI experience, and be sure to find out whether your attorney is taking continuing education classes that focus on this area.
Specific Skills Necessary
Second, you want to make sure the attorney you hire has the skills needed to assist you. A DUI or DWI attorney is there to help explain your charges (and potential consequences to you) in a straightforward way. You should consider hiring different counsel if your prospective attorney promises to “make the charges go away” or win at trial. DUI cases are very complex, and often the best course of action is to minimize consequences after pleading to a lesser offense.
You want an attorney that will honestly recommend the best course of action based on your current situation. A skilled attorney will work hard to negotiate with the prosecuting attorneys to get many of your charges lessened or dropped early in the process. This can be done behind the scenes or in a hearing where your attorney will cross examine the officers who arrested you.
Once your initial pretrial hearing has been completed, your attorney may recommend entering a plea agreement or a sentencing agreement. This can help reduce fines, eliminate the possibility of a jail sentence, and in some jurisdictions, help keep the charge off your permanent record if you successfully complete specific court ordered monitoring requirements. If your attorney recommends taking your case to trial, he or she will handle all aspects of the trial, from jury selection to closing arguments. It’s important to hire an attorney you trust to navigate you through this complicated process.