If you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas, your initial reaction may be to bury your head in the sand. The process can seem daunting, and dealing with the potential of losing your freedom may scare you. You may not want to face the charges, the prosecutor, or the court, but the reality is the criminal justice system will keep moving whether you are proactive or not. There are legal deadlines that are set shortly after your release that you will need to be prepared for. You can sit around and dwell but that will only hurt you and potentially cause harm to your case. It's important to consult with an attorney today, not tomorrow, due to deadlines that no lawyer can revive once they expire.
If you were arrested for DWI in the Houston area or elsewhere throughout the region, the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. is ready to discuss your case with you. Contact Doug Murphy today to set up your free consultation.
You Get What You Put In - The Importance of Asking Questions at your Initial Consultation
Press clippings and advertisements might be able to paint you a broad picture of an attorney and their approach to defending DWIs in the Houston, Texas area. But your best opportunity for gaining a meaningful understanding of how an attorney will approach your DWI case is by meeting face to face with an attorney and discussing the case and asking questions at your initial consultation.
There is a tremendous amount of information to be learned about a prospective attorney by asking the right questions, and doing so can help make the process of hiring the right DWI defense attorney easier. You can learn quite a bit when trying to find the best DWI lawyer for you.
Five Things You Will Learn at Your Initial DWI Consultation in Houston, TX
When you discuss your case with a potential defense attorney, you can find out a lot of information about the way he or she approaches DWI defense. Here is some critical information you can learn:
1. The Attorney's Experience at Trial
There are countless defense attorneys that have been practicing for years. They will frequently cite having practiced law for many years, but is the experience they bring to the table what you need in a DWI defense attorney? Taking your case to trial before a jury of your peers is often your best bet for a positive outcome.
But many attorneys are happy to take your money and push you towards a quick plea bargain. That makes the trial experience any potential attorney critical. If the attorney has an extensive trial history with plenty of notable jury results, they will be better situated to help you than an attorney who only wants to get a case settled as quickly as possible.
2. The Attorney's Certifications and Accreditation
There are two certifications that are particularly important when you've been charged with a DWI: criminal defense law and DWI defense law. In Texas, an attorney can't simply refer to himself as an expert in any particular area of the law unless they are board certified. The state has set up a process through the Board of Legal Specialization. The Texas Board of Legal Specialization sets forth minimum criteria of experience and before allowing a lawyer to qualify to sit for a day longboard certification examination testing their skill and knowledge. The attorneys who pass the rigorous examination are distinguished from their peers as Board Certified in the respective legal specialization area. The National College of DUI Defense (NCDD)is the only organization, accredited by the American Bar Association and recognized by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, to grant Board Certification in DWI defense as a legal specialization.
Doug Murphy is one of the only two attorneys in the State of Texas that is Board Certified as an expert in both DWI defense and criminal defense, making Doug one of Houston's most decorated DWI defense attorneys.
3. Whether or not the Attorney can Handle a DWI and ALR
If you are arrested for DWI, you must request an ALR hearing within 15 days of your arrest to prevent your license from automatically being suspended. But did you know an attorney can represent you at your ALR hearing? Not only can retaining an attorney for the ALR hearing benefit your driving privileges, but an experienced attorney will know how to use the hearing to benefit your DWI case as well. As such, it is important to determine if an attorney is experienced enough to handle both cases, as not every attorney will.
4. How the Attorney Has Handled Similar DWI Cases in the Past
An experienced DWI attorney likely has a long list of clients he or she has helped in the past. More than likely, the facts in your case are similar to some of those cases. It can be helpful to ask the attorney how he or she has handled them. This will give you an idea of what to expect going forward.
You can also ask about the results of those cases. While past results are not a guarantee of a future outcome in your case, you can at least get an idea of what to anticipate.
5. Whether or Not the Attorney is Trustworthy, Approachable, and Sincere
At the end of the day, it is up to you to select the right DWI defense attorney. Accolades and trial results are important but equally important are your own instincts.
- Is this the lawyer I want presenting my case to a jury?
- Does the lawyer leave you feeling confident that he/she is competent to handle your case?
- Does this attorney seem honest?
- Does he seem to genuinely have your best interests at heart?
- Can he explain complicated subject matter in a way you can easily understand?
- Is he/she receptive to questions?
Though having accolades as proof of skill does matter, it may not matter much to you if you are uncomfortable working with the attorney. You need an attorney like Doug Murphy who has a plethora of former and prior clients who testify to trusting and enjoying working with him.
Two Things You Won't Learn at your Initial Consultation in Houston, TX
At your initial consultation, an attorney will attempt to answer your questions to the best of their ability. But even the most experienced DWI Defense attorneys do not have all the answers because they can't see the future or read your mind. Here are two things you won't find out during your initial consultation.
1. The Outcome of Your Case
An attorney may be able to outline a suggested plan of attack in your case. He may also give you some examples of outcomes from similar cases that he has handled. But know that every situation is different, and an attorney cannot guarantee a specific result.
2. The Answer to Questions You Don't Ask
When you interview a prospective attorney, it is up to you to ask all of the questions you want answers to. The attorney is required to be forthcoming with you, but there are a variety of important topics that might not be discussed unless you ask directly about them.
Four Important Tips for Getting the Most from Your Initial Consultation with a Harris County DWI Defense Attorney
For most people, meeting with an attorney isn't something they do every day. In fact, for most of you, the idea of an attorney consultation can be intimidating. Here are a few tips to make sure you get the most out of the process.
1. Schedule the Consultation Ahead of Time
This may seem obvious, but it is important to schedule the consultation instead of just dropping in. Many defense attorneys make regular court appearances and are only in the office at certain times. By scheduling your appointment ahead of time, both you and the attorney will be prepared and ready for an informative meeting.
2. Bring Your Documents with You
Depending on the circumstances in which you were charged with a DWI, you may not have much paperwork. Regardless, bring what you have with you. That includes any documentation about your initial court date. If you determine that you want to hire the attorney you are interviewing, having your citation or charging documents can help the attorney's staff get your initial hearing on the attorney's calendar. If you have received a copy of the police report, bring that with you as well.
3. Write Down your Side of the Story
If you are nervous about your initial consultation, write down your side of the story beforehand. This will allow you to refer to your own written words and avoid leaving out any crucial details. Written notes can help you get the most out of your consultation. You can also write down the questions you want to ask beforehand so that nothing gets left out.
4. Ask Plenty of Questions
Remember, an attorney consultation is basically a job interview. You want to have all of the pertinent information about your prospective lawyer before you hire them. Don't be afraid to ask questions when meeting with a prospective Houston DWI defense attorney.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Houston's Premier DWI Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a DWI in the Houston area, a free consultation with the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. will provide you with a lot of answers to your questions. Doug Murphy is a battle-tested trial attorney. He approaches every case as if it will go to trial, as it is the way to help his clients get the best outcome possible.
Doug Murphy has credentials few can match as one of only two Board Certified experts in both DWI defense law and criminal defense law. He is prepared to take on your DWI case as well as your ALR hearing. Most importantly, his clients are quick to say they find him to be trustworthy and sincere. Contact the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. to schedule a free consultation today.