If you have watched a televised crime drama or paid attention to any of the high-profile criminal cases over the years, you are no doubt aware that you have the right to defend yourself in court. But having the right to do so doesn't make acting as your own attorney a good idea. A DWI conviction can cost you your money and your freedom. Even after your sentence is over, a DWI can make it difficult finding employment.
With the stakes so high, hiring the best Houston DWI defense attorney is your best chance of winning your DWI case. To discuss your case with Houston's top DWI defense attorney, contact the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. today.
Is it worth getting a lawyer for a DWI in Harris County?
Abraham Lincoln has been attributed with the quote “a man who represents himself has a fool for a client.” And while that sentiment may seem harsh, the reality is there are serious risks involved with taking on the legal system without any formal training. It is unwise to handle your own legal defense for the same reason you probably shouldn't attempt a do-it-yourself root canal. The money you might save on dental bills would seem like peanuts after botching your own dental procedure. When you are considering how to hire a Houston DWI lawyer, it is in your best interest to look at it as an investment.
The critical thing to understand about Harris County DWI cases is that the outcome is not guaranteed. DWIs are defensible, and hiring the right DWI defense attorney could be the difference between having your charges dismissed and being saddled with a DWI conviction for the rest of your life.
The Pitfalls of Fighting a DWI without an Attorney
There is a lot that goes into successfully defending a Houston DWI case. Many facts relating to your arrest may seem insignificant to the untrained eye when in fact an expert may see something that could lead to your acquittal. If you go into court acting as your own attorney, the judge won't give you special treatment. You will be held to the same standards of a licensed attorney and will be expected to understand how a trial should unfold.
One of the most problematic areas for a non-attorney is attempting to examine witnesses or introduce evidence. There are arcane rules regarding how witnesses must be questioned; to a lay-person, it can seem counterintuitive at times. The same goes with physical evidence. In many cases, unless you know of the specific rule that allows a piece of evidence to be admitted, you will not be able to show it to the jury.
Scientific issues are another area where an experienced DWI defense attorney can come in handy. DWI cases often boil down to a battle over how alcohol may have affected your body and a thorough understanding of chemistry, physiology, and anatomy, which can be critical in showing a jury you weren't intoxicated.
The Consequences of Representing Yourself
If, after representing yourself, you are convicted of a DWI you, will receive no leniency for trying to act as your own attorney. You risk spending time in jail even on a first-offense DWI, and you could be fined by the court for thousands of dollars. You can also expect to have your driver's license suspended.
The consequences of a conviction don't end with the sentence handed down by the judge. Many prospective landlords and employers will utilize background searches, and having a DWI conviction on your record can cost you both employment and housing opportunities.
A Houston DWI conviction won't just affect a potential job; it can cost you the job you already have. In some cases, it is possible that a DWI conviction can lead to the loss of your security clearance. A conviction can also affect your ability to maintain a medical license, a pilot's license, or a nursing license. That's a lot to put on the line by representing yourself in court.
How much does a lawyer cost for DWI in Houston?
The cost of an attorney can vary greatly depending on the circumstances of your case. Some cases require more time and resources than others, but you can typically expect the cost of hiring a Houston DWI defense attorney to run in the thousands of dollars.
Attorneys typically charge their fees in one of two ways: hourly rates or flat fees. An hourly rate involves your attorney keeping track of the exact amount of time they spend on your case and then billing you for the time spent based on their hourly rate. Other attorneys will handle your case for a single, flat fee regardless of the time spent on your case. For some attorneys, they will offer tiered pricing where you pay a lower flat fee if the case is resolved early in the process but a higher flat fee if the case goes to trial. You will need to speak with your prospective attorney during your initial consultation to get an idea of what that attorney will charge you.
Houston DWI Legal Expertise Worth Every Penny
When it comes to trying to save money on your legal bills, it is easy to be penny-wise and pound-foolish. The amount of money you spend on hiring an experienced Houston DWI defense attorney is an investment in your freedom and your livelihood. The best advice for handling a DWI case in Houston is to hire a board certified DWI expert who routinely wins DWI cases.
If you have been charged with DWI in the Houston area, the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. may be able to help. Doug Murphy is an experienced DWI defense attorney with a track record of successful outcomes for his clients. Doug Murphy is a Board Certified expert in both DWI defense law and criminal defense law. In fact, he is one of only two attorneys in the State of Texas to have that distinction. You can count on the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. to give your case the attention it deserves. To discuss the merits of your case with a Board Certified expert, contact the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. today for your free consultation.