Do I Need an Attorney?

Do I really need an attorney?

Far too often, I will receive a phone call from someone who says, “Do I need an attorney? Can’t I just go talk to the judge or the prosecutor myself?”

I can understand this hesitation. Trying to save money is tempting when you’re facing a DWI charge and the courtroom fees that go with it. But a criminal charge is a serious matter and—as we’ve mentioned in previous posts—it can have a huge impact on your life. Both your career and your personal life can be damaged because of a DWI. It’s best to take this issue seriously.

Think about it: the District Attorney has arrested you and filed criminal charges against you. S/he made you post bond to get out of jail. Does that sound like a friendly shoulder to lean on? We call them PROSECUTORS for a reason… they make their living PROSECUTING people. Do you really think they have your best interests at heart? Of course not! They’re concerned with CONVICTIONS, and speaking to them yourself is NOT the way to beat your case.

So what about the judge? He or she is supposed to be an impartial party who stands between your defense attorney and the prosecutor. If you plead guilty, the judge can sentence you to jail with no explanation. And please, please do NOT turn to a “friendly” police officer for help. Hasn’t he “helped” you enough by placing you under arrest to begin with? Cops may be familiar with the statutes but that doesn’t mean they will use them to protect you.

Which brings us to my next point: there are very intricate parts of the law that you may not understand, and your unawareness could be detrimental to your case. For example, an experienced DWI trial lawyer can get your driver’s license suspension to run concurrent with your already served Administrative License Revocation (ALR), which will save you money and keep you from having to reinstall an ignition interlock device on your automobile. Without an attorney, you might end up with penalties that could have been avoided with a skilled DWI lawyer on your side.

So, you should definitely hire an attorney for your DWI case. It’s time to look for a bargain, right? The answer is definitely no!

I always say, “beware of bargains when choosing three things: a parachute, a brain surgeon, and a DWI attorney.” In these three things, your first thought should be “where can I get protection, expertise, and dependability?” not “where can I get the best deal?”. When it comes to a criminal charge, you deserve the best defense, and bargains do not guarantee the best. After all, your livelihood is at stake. Why risk it just to get a “bargain?”

There are two main ways a lawyer can attract new business: 1) cheap fees or 2) exceptional skills, training, and reputation. Regretfully, you do not find cheap and highly skilled in the same package. Why?

  • It costs more if an attorney limits the number of cases accepted, to allow more attention to each case that is handled.

  • It costs more if an attorney has specialized, detailed training.

  • It costs more if an attorney specializes in a specific type of case, thus limiting income potential.

  • It costs more if an attorney is constantly updating his skills and knowledge necessary to protect you.

All these “costly” measures add up to an attorney who can properly protect you and win your case. Therefore, it actually costs LESS in the long run to hire a skilled attorney. You will have to decide—do you want to cut costs and gamble on poor results? Don’t you deserve an investment in yourself and your future by having a skilled attorney who gives personalized attention to your needs?

Sean Simpson specializes in Travis County DWI cases and vigilantly seeks out new ways to defend his clients. If you have been arrested with a DWI in Austin, call today for your consultation.

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