Questions to Ask When Hiring a Baltimore DWI Lawyer
If you’ve been arrested for operating while intoxicated (OWI, also known as driving while intoxicated, or DWI, or driving under the influence, or DUI) in Baltimore, your first thought should be to find a qualified Baltimore DWI attorney to represent you. He can help you understand your situation and walk you through the steps needed to defend yourself against a charge of DWI in Baltimore, Columbia, Ellicott City or any other nearby suburbs. OWI is a serious offense, and to address it you’ll need the help of an experienced Baltimore DUI lawyer.
Interviewing Baltimore DWI Lawyers
You’ll need to do some careful research to find a Baltimore DWI lawyer you feel you can trust. After all, a lot is riding on the outcome of your case. If you’re being charged with DWI in Baltimore, you could lose your license and/or face imposition of points on your license, a hefty fine and significant jail time.
The best way to find out if you want a specific lawyer handling your case is to ask many questions.
The perfect time to ask these questions is during your initial consultation, which is the first meeting you have with a lawyer. During this meeting, you have the chance to ask the Baltimore DWI lawyer questions about himself and how he practices, while he asks you questions about your case. Attorneys typically do not charge for initial consultations, but it’s smart to confirm that when you schedule your appointments.
Preparing for your initial consultations with each Baltimore DUI lawyer you’re considering involves creating a list of questions that you want to ask. The questions should cover topics ranging from character, so you will learn who the lawyer is, to legal questions, both general and relating to your case. Taking notes on what you and the attorney discuss will help you remember the details when it comes time to make your hiring decision.
The following are suggested questions to ask during your initial consultations. Use them as a basis for the conversation but add your own questions that relate specifically to your case. Asking a wide variety of questions will give you the big picture and help you decide which lawyer is right for your case.
Background & OWI Case Experience
This category of questions will help you evaluate a Baltimore DWI attorney’s capability to handle your OWI case.
- What degrees do you hold and from which schools?
- How many years have you been a lawyer? For how much of that time have you worked on cases involving DWI in Baltimore?
- What is your success rate on such cases?
- Have you received any awards or recognitions for your law work?
- Which professional organizations do you belong to?
Assessment of Your Baltimore DWI Case
Asking questions related to your situation will show you how the Baltimore DUI lawyer would handle your case.
- What is your general assessment of my case?
- What possible outcomes should I be prepared for?
- How would you attempt to resolve my case?
- Do any of the details work in my favor? Is anything particularly harmful?
- What are the stages of a Baltimore OWI case, and what does each stage involve?
Management of Your Case
You’ll have realistic expectations for how the attorney will manage your case if you ask specific questions like these:
- Who will manage my case, and who else will work on it as well?
- What is each of those people responsible for?
- Who will go to court to represent me?
- How often will you update me on my case?
- How should I contact you? Is there a time that’s best to reach you?
- How quickly will you respond to any messages I leave?
The Baltimore DWI Lawyer’s Fees & Expenses
Anytime you need to hire a lawyer, it can be costly. Make sure you know what to expect by asking detailed questions about fees and expenses.
- Do you charge an hourly rate or a flat fee?
- Can you give me an estimate of the total legal cost for my case?
- Does that amount include expenses?
- If not, what might I expect to pay for expenses?
- When and how often will I be billed?
Moving Ahead with Your Baltimore OWI Case
When you’ve completed all of your initial consultations, it’s time to decide which of the lawyers you want to hire. Read over your notes and see who answered your questions most thoroughly and made you feel confident in their abilities. If you’re drawn to one lawyer, then you’re ready to hire him and begin your case. If you feel you need additional information, ask the lawyers to provide you with references. Although all cases are different, you may find that information from a former client is helpful as you make your choice. Once you know who will be representing you, you can begin to address the charges against you.