Selecting An Attorney
D. Dos and Don’ts In Selecting An Attorney
D-1. Do Ask
The actual number of cases defended by that law firm wherein the clients were judged “Not Guilty”. Defending a DWI/DUI charge requires highly technical skills. Many attorneys that do not have much (or sometimes any) background in DWI defense take cases to make money. You will imagine that without experience and up-to-date knowledge of the Alcotest and field sobriety testing, an attorney would not take a DWI case. But the reality is, unfortunately, most such attorneys do not know how to read Alcotest records and therefore plead their clients guilty without even trying the case. I see this quite often in court.
On the other hand, most clients who retained this office were found “Not Guilty on DWI”. Because of a new defense invented by this office, almost all clients have their breath readings excluded from evidence. This innovative defense was discovered by this office in the summer of 2009, and it seems that only this law firm and a few others we are training have access to this defense.
When you retain this office, we will use that winning breath test defense to defend your case.
D-2. Do Ask
If the attorney participated in the Supreme Court case of State v. Chun, et al. . As of today, not many issues and findings from this litigation have been disclosed to the public. If you are serious about defending your DWI charge, you should retain an attorney who is fully informed about the machine, the science behind it, and DWI law at its most current.
D-3. Do Ask
If the attorney fully participated in State v. Chun et al., or if that attorney was absent for most of the hearing days. Ask how many of the State’s witnesses the attorney personally cross-examined. Ask if the attorney defended one of the named clients in the case, or was a non-party attorney.
D-4. Do Ask
The attorney if he or she is the one who will be defending your case in court. The attorney you speak to may not be the one who defends your case. You really want to speak to the attorney directly who will actually defend your case in court. You have more idea of the attorney’s expertise, knowledge, skill, and style when you speak to the attorney directly.
D-5. Do Ask
If the attorney is going to prepare to fight your DWI all the way. If you want to retain an attorney who will fight for your case, you do not want an attorney who will plead you guilty. If the attorney says, “Well, there is not much you can do about DWI, especially the new machine.”, he or she is not the right attorney when you want comprehensive and zealous representation. This office is loyal to clients and do not give up a DWI case unless there is a compelling reason to do so.
D-6. Do Ask
How many court appearances will be made for the suggested legal fees. There is no easy way to defend a DWI charge in New Jersey. It usually takes a very long time, great skill, and patience to defend this serious charge. In my experience, it usually takes at least five court appearances to successfully defend DWI. If the attorney is going to appear in court only once or twice for your DWI case, he or she may not be planning to be patient and fight your case all way, which means you will be counseled to plead guilty quite soon.
D-7. Do Have
A feeling about what kind of person the attorney is. If you want to fight your case all the way, you want to retain an attorney who will be patient and loyal to his or her clients. Besides the expertise, experience and knowledge that the attorney has, these two qualities, which are patience and loyalty, can affect how much the attorney will fight for you. Try to have a sense of the attorney’s character besides his or her professional skills.
D-8. Do Ask
If the attorney will consider the immigration consequences if you are a non-US citizen. As I explained in Immigration Consequences for International Clients, your records of convictions of motor vehicle violations can affect whether later motor vehicle charges or accidents are treated as crimes that would cause immigration consequences. Do not let your records ruin your future life in America. This office works with an immigration attorney to defend international client’s DWI, motor vehicle and criminal cases.
D-9. Do Not Decide
On an attorney based on the legal fees alone. You need to choose an attorney based on your legal needs. If you want to fight your charge all the way, you should not choose an attorney that intends to plead you guilty. On the other hand, however, sometimes a guilty plea is the right decision because of, for example, exposure on other motor vehicle or criminal charges from the same incident. You should retain an attorney who will thoroughly evaluate your circumstances and who can and will fight all the way for you.
D-10. Do Not Choose
An attorney who cannot tell you what he or she can do. When you want to do your best to fight your DWI charge, you do not want to retain an attorney who says, “There is not much you can do about your DWI. I will charge a reasonable fee and make sure that you will get the minimum.” There is no point to choose an attorney who even cannot tell you what he or she can do.
D-11. Do Not Choose
The attorney that says, “I do not see a defense” without telling you a good and compelling reason. The decision to fight your case should be made intelligently, and if the attorney advises pleading guilty, it should be for a good and compelling reason. In addition, “We can’t afford to come back to court” is not a good reason.
D-12. Do Not Underestimate
The potential collateral immigration consequences if you are a non-US citizen. To learn more about this issues, visit International Clients . For example, non-compliance with certain motor vehicle laws can lead to criminal charges under certain circumstances. Further, you may be asked to submit your driving history when you apply for your new immigrant visa in the future. In America, driving history can be used to measure one’s credibility. You want to make sure that you keep a good record about yourself so that you may be able to show that you are responsible and law-abiding.