Is it Worth Getting a Lawyer for my DWI in MN?
Short answer: yes. It is worth getting a lawyer for your DWI. You likely expect that answer in this post from a law firm representing people on DWIs and criminal defense. However, DWI attorneys know the nuances of DWI laws and can add a level of knowledge for you. Dealing with your case in criminal court is only half the battle. The other half deals with the loss of your driver’s license. Hiring a private lawyer makes it easier to challenge the driver’s license revocation associated with your DWI. Public defenders rarely ever handle implied consent hearings, which challenge driver’s license revocations, because they are civil cases. Nor, is figuring out how to challenge your license being taken away and conduct a hearing an easy task to figure out on your own.
You determine value. What is valuable to you may not be to someone else. Deciding whether to hire a lawyer is like figuring out whether you should seek medical help for an ailment. If you think you have a broken bone, there is not much debate about going to the doctor. You can get an x-ray and get some peace of mind about what is going on from a medical professional. Another option is to not seek medical help and search the internet instead. You could find a video about how to determine whether a break occurred and how to treat it. Maybe you could even make a cast on your own. But, you will likely constantly worry about whether you treated it properly. Instead, you could seek a professional opinion and ease your mind a bit.
Likewise, attorneys are professionals in their fields. Many lawyers focus on a practice area, such as criminal defense, family law, estate planning, etc. Finding an attorney with significant experience in handling DWIs can help you assess your situation. The lawyer can review the evidence from the prosecution and analyze whether there are issues to challenge in your case prior to trial. Your attorney can file motions to suppress the evidentiary breath, blood, or urine test in your case. This would be a motion filed before trial, often before a pre-trial or omnibus hearing. These motions can challenge initial traffic stop, basis for probable cause to arrest, right to speak with an attorney before deciding to take an evidentiary test, etc. Depending on the success of your pre-trial motions, if DWI charges remain, you can still have a trial. Having a DWI lawyer with trial experience who knows the rules of evidence and how to try a case is the difference between trying to perform heart surgery on yourself or having a licensed surgeon do it.
Even if you do not want to challenge your DWI case, a lawyer still adds value. Many people are willing to take responsibility for what happened, but they want to be treated fairly. In this situation, we still do our due diligence and review the case for legal issues. Previously, we had a case where the driver had an alcohol concentration of more than three times the legal limit and his car was in the ditch. After reviewing the evidence, we found an issue to challenge and were able to the prosecution to reduce the gross misdemeanor DWI to careless driving with no jail time to serve.
When there are no legal issues to challenge, having a DWI attorney tell you that after thoroughly reviewing your case can still give you peace of mind. In the broken-bone hypothetical, going to the doctor and having them tell you that you did not break your leg should surely give you some peace of mind that you may not otherwise have been able to achieve. Let me know if you have any questions.
Having a DWI attorney on your side to answer your questions, advocate on your behalf, and review your case can be tremendously valuable.