The actions that you take after being arrested for DWI can have a serious impact on your ability to successfully fight the charges. Unfortunately, many people make simple mistakes which negatively affect the outcome of their case and often make matters much worse. Below is a list of the 10 biggest mistakes that people commonly make after a DWI arrest:
1. Not Taking the Matter Seriously
This is a charge that will follow you for the rest of your life, if you are convicted. The additional insurance charges and surcharges alone could cost you more than $10,000.00.
2. Not Hiring a Qualified DWI Attorney
Using your family lawyer, a recommendation of a friend, or whether to hire a local attorney, should be based on whether that lawyer knows DWI law and is respected in the area for DWI defense. The law is complex and you need competent representation. You must raise the right defenses at the right time or you may lose them. Facts will disappear, memories fade and witnesses vanish. A winnable case can quickly become a loser. Inaction is action.
3. Hiring an Attorney Based on the Fee Alone
If your first question is “how much” then you may end up hiring someone less qualified to defend you. Everyone has financial limitations, but you’ve just been arrested and you are seeing many potential consequences flash before you. This is the time to hire the best DWI lawyer you can. The amount of the fee also doesn’t guarantee a particular result. Find out whether the lawyer you are thinking about hiring is a DWI lawyer or just takes DWI cases. Is that lawyer’s fee based on experience, education, and reputation as a DWI attorney?
4. Not Understanding the Consequences
Knowing the consequences of a conviction is critical to planning your defense. These answers may change how you proceed in your defense. How your home state will treat a conviction, how your prior convictions factor in, if you are a commercial driver or what to expect with your job – these and many other issues can be addressed by a lawyer that understands the potential consequences of your particular circumstances.
5. Waiting Too Long to Hire a Lawyer
No one wants to be in this situation, but don’t delay in hiring a competent lawyer to help you immediately. Evidence can be lost the longer you wait to hire.
6. Not Having Competent Representation
If you are not satisfied with how your case is being handled, you are not “married” to the lawyer that you may have hired too fast. You are free to consult with other counsel.
7. Not Taking Full Advantage of Your Constitutional Rights
A lawyer that dabbles in DWI defense may not know nuances that can significantly help your case. There are many constitutional and scientific defenses to DWI that can result in a successful defense.
8. Just Pleading Guilty
Anyone can plead guilty. If you fight the DWI, you can win. If you plead guilty, you can’t. There are constitutional and scientific challenges that result in dismissals of the DWI. You give up your right to raise these issues and make the State prove its case. Make sure your lawyer know how to spot the issues that can result in a successful defense in your specific case.
9. Hiring a Lawyer Who Is Not Suited for the Job
Any lawyer can walk you in and plead you guilty. When you hire a lawyer, determine whether that lawyer has a plan to defend you. Your DWI lawyer must undertake a rigorous investigation and determination of the defenses available in your specific case, and advise you accordingly.
10. Thinking That Talking to Attorneys Will Help You Handle it on Your Own
You need to have an attorney experienced in DWI defense go to Court with you.
To avoid these and other problems, seek the advice of an experienced NJ DWI defense attorney that has experience going to trial in DWI cases and who has a reputation for really defending clients charged with DWI.