Raleigh has its share of very good DWI lawyers. It also has its share of lawyers who put forward minimal effort. A DWI is not complicated, but it does require work and it does require effort on the part of the attorney to actually give a client the option to fight the case.
How can I find a good DWI lawyer?
The internet has various check lists and questionnaires that you can quiz a lawyer over. These are mostly ineffective. The key question is whether the DWI lawyer you are considering actually tries DWI cases.
There are DWI lawyers in Raleigh who have effective websites that draw in clients, but who send junior lawyers to court to handle the actual case. You will rarely see these lawyers in court. Instead, they will send lawyers with a year or less of experience into the courtroom to handle the DWI case on the firm’s behalf.
So find out, before you hire, whether the person you are talking to and the person who represents himself with high Avvo ratings.
Next, you can check reviews and BBB ratings. While these won’t tell you whether the lawyer can win given your specific facts, these reviews and feedback can give you a sense of whether the lawyer and his firm are well regarded and reputable.
What should I ask a Raleigh DWI Lawyer?
The first conversation is really an interview. If you’ve talked to a legal assistant, you probably want to talk to the actual lawyer before hiring. You can do so over the phone or in person.
Is the lawyer smart? Does the lawyer fully answer your questions? Does the lawyer promise you things? A lawyer is ethically prohibited from promising or guaranteeing results. Make sure the lawyer doesn’t over-promise or make things seems less serious than they are. A DWI is a serious matter. A lawyer who tells you not to worry is not doing his or her job.
You should be worrying. It’s ok to worry, even if you have an excellent case.
Ultimately, you want a lawyer to fight for you either in sentencing, or in trial. If you’re talking to a lawyer who rarely or never tries a case, find someone else. Find someone who routinely litigates issues.
Legal issues aren’t always apparent from the first conversation.
I’ve had cases that initially looked terrible, and I told my clients so. But I promised them I would work hard to try to find any avenue for success. And sometimes that works, resulting in not guilty outcomes.
What does a DWI Lawyer cost?
In Raleigh, there is a range. Some lawyers charge by the court appearance. This is a terrible way to pay for a lawyer. A good DWI lawyer is going to cost between $2,000 and $4,000 for District Court. The range depends on the lawyer’s availability and the facts of the case.