When You Should Hire a DWI Lawyer


A DUI/DWI is a serious criminal offense. If you are leveled with a DUI/DWI charge, you need to talk to a lawyer or a public defender for guidance and advice.

Different Types of Legal Representation

In every state across the USA, DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) is considered a serious crime. The DWI cases are handled only in criminal courts. As a DWI defendant, you are entitled to be represented by a court-appointed public prosecutor or hire a private Rochester DWI lawyer.

This write-up familiarizes you with some of the important factors that you should consider before deciding the type of legal representation that best suits your case.

It’s Important to Know What a Lawyer Thinks about Your Case

Anyone, who is not a practicing DUI/DWI lawyer, will not be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Such cases are very complicated and DUI/DWI laws keep changing from time to time. Adding to the puzzling scenario is the uniqueness of every case. Therefore, it’s really important to talk to a good DWI attorney to know the professional’s opinion about your case.

Most DWI lawyers charge nothing for consultation. Bring all the police reports and other important documents for the lawyer’s consideration. You should also prepare a list of queries to ask your lawyer.

It’s not necessary to hire a lawyer just because you consulted with him. Meeting a lawyer in person is a good idea to guess if things would go the right way with the lawyer you intend to hire.

It’s Not Always Necessary to Hire a Lawyer

Prosecutors offer every DWI defendant a standard first-offense plea. It is at the lowest end of the permissible first DWI sentence. A ‘standard first DWI’ refers to a case where the offender has no previous record of DWI convictions and no aggravating factors such as injuries, accidents or a high BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) are involved.

Theoretically, a standard offer remains the same irrespective of if a private attorney, public prosecutor or no one represents the defendant. In first-offense DWI cases, hiring a DWI lawyer might not be worth it. The standard offer is, in practice, only a starting point.

Experienced DWI lawyers can often lessen the standard offer by highlighting the weak points in the prosecution’s case or drawing the prosecutor’s attention to the mitigating factors.  A lawyer’s knowledge about the local practices as well as familiarity with the judge and district attorney can offer help with these kinds of negotiations.

You Need an Attorney If the DUI Case Proceeds to Trial

If you have decided in favor of self-representation for a DWI trial, it is a bad decision. One needs to have a wealth of knowledge and experience for DWI trial practices. Lacking in knowledge or skill will cost you dearly in court. A judge does not have much patience for those who represent themselves in the trials as these defendants are not aware of the court rules.

Bottom Line

The Bottom Line is very clear – in some cases, you can defend a DWI charge without a lawyer but self-representation in DWI trials will be just like committing suicide.