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What to Look for in a New Jersey DWI Attorney

Choosing AttorneyFor most people hiring someone to defend themselves against a drunk driving charge, it’s their first time hiring a lawyer of any kind. That can make the process more nerve-wracking. After all, the lawyer’s role is an incredibly important job! How well this person performs the task can be the difference between facing consequences for years to come and keeping your record clean.

Does a higher fee mean that you will get better representation?

No. Just because someone is charging more money doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get better service or that they know more about DUI law. In fact, sometimes a very high priced lawyer won’t offer you hands-on attention. They may actually hand your case off to a less experienced attorney or even have multiple attorneys handle your case. That means one attorney will not handle your case from start to finish. The best lawyers will know every single part of their client’s case. This is very difficult to do if the lawyer has not been handling the case from start to finish.

So does that mean you want to look for the lowest fee?

Again, the answer is “No.” This may mean that the attorney does not focus on DWI law. So, he or she will not understand the ins and outs of the system or the scientific side of this very complicated area of law. In many cases, the attorney will handle different types of law, like criminal cases, real estate law, or family and divorce law. This may result in you not getting the best defense possible.

Lower fees may also mean that the attorney handles a large volume of clients, which again means less attention to your case. In fact, they may more often than not “plead out” cases since it is faster, instead of preparing a strong defense and fighting it out in court if needed.

If you’re looking for a bargain, the old adage is often true: you get what you paid for. And when your livelihood, your driver’s license, your future employment, and your criminal record on the line, that’s not a risk you should take.

Should I look for an attorney that will guarantee an outcome for my case?

No. If an attorney is guaranteeing you a certain outcome for your case, walk the other way! There’s no way for anyone to be able to promise you what will happen with your DUI charge. Instead, you want to find someone who will take the time to listen to your case, advise you on all possible outcomes, and to provide you with advice on the best course of action for you. The best outcomes most often come from attorneys with experience who also provide attention to each case.

Is it possible to beat a DUI or DWI case – even if I have a failed breath or blood test?

Yes! Even with a high BAC from testing, there are many ways that your DUI attorney can fight your case. This can mean either getting the charges reduced, having your case thrown out, or to get you a verdict of not guilty. The only way you are guaranteed to have a guilty charge is if you don’t pursue a defense!

What should I look for in a DUI / DWI lawyer?

Here are a few questions that you can ask when considering candidates for the job:

  • Do you have training in how DUI is detected?
  • Do you have knowledge about breath testing devices as well as blood and urine testing processes?
  •  Are you familiar with headspace gas chromatography, gas chromatography, and mass spectrometry?
  • Did you complete programs related to headspace gas chromatography, gas chromatography, and mass spectrometry, and do you have a certificate of completion?
  • What knowledge do you have about field sobriety tests?
  • Are you certified to perform standardized field sobriety testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration?
  • What kind of knowledge do you have about tactics for drug recognition used by law enforcement?
  • What education have you received about how drugs impair the ability to drive?
  • Are you a member of the National College for DUI Defense? Or are you a member of any other attorney groups that focus on DUI and DWI law?
  • What is your experience with DUI and DWI cases? How many have you handled? How many have gone to trial?
  • For your cases, do you call on the help of expert witness? Can you give me examples of how they’ve helped in the areas of standardized field sobriety tests, breath testing, blood tests, and urine tests?
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