Between last year and this year, the admission of driving while intoxicated dropped to 17.% compared to 18.9%.
Although people are saying they are driving less while intoxicated, there are still 30 deaths every day caused by drinking and driving. Even if drinking and driving doesn’t cause a crash, it still comes with serious legal consequences.
If you’ve recently obtained a DWI offense, you may be debating the need for a lawyer. Read our guide to learn why you should hire a DWI lawyer before it’s too late.
Third DWI Offense
Those who have received a first and second DWI offense may not have chosen to hire a lawyer for the process. However, after the third offense, hiring a DWI lawyer is necessary if you want to try to avoid jail time.
In Texas, the DWI laws say that a person that received their third offense for driving under the influence will face a felony charge.
Because the offense comes with penalties and costs, some avoid getting legal help because they don’t believe they can afford it. Don’t make this mistake.
You can find an affordable Austin DWI lawyer ready to take on your case.
Hiring legal help as soon as possible will provide you with the best chances of getting the charges dropped or reduced. The risk of getting arrested and charged for a DWI third offense is a minimum prison sentence of two years.
A third time DWI offense may also lead to the following:
- Immigration status issues
- Increase in car insurance costs
- Potentially getting fired from your job
- A permanent criminal record
- Mandatory drug or alcohol treatment programs
- Loss of drivers license
- Future career trouble
- Probation for up to five years
A person who causes an accident due to driving while intoxicated will face more severe punishments no matter if it the first, second, or third offense.
If you are someone facing a third DWI offense, a DWI Austin lawyer can help. You’ll want to hire legal aid right away as you can expect the full and maximum punishment from the court without one.
Finding the Right DWI Lawyer in Austin, TX
Finding an attorney in Austin for your third DWI offense needs to be done quickly, but still requires the right research. If you want to find the right attorney for your situation, follow these steps:
Understand Your Circumstances
An Austin DUI attorney can help you reduce your third DUI or DWI offense to a misdemeanor. If you don’t believe you need legal help, reevaluate the circumstances.
You should never represent yourself in court. Although you have the right to represent yourself, doing so may only hurt your case further.
Preparing for trial takes a lot of knowledge and time. This is why lawyers go to school for so many years.
Chances are, you don’t have the skills and understanding of the law that it takes to represent yourself. Judges tend to be impatient with those who choose to represent themselves without knowing the rules of the court.
Although you are facing penalties for your third offense, the court may use your past offenses against you to charge you further. While you face criminal charges, you may also face penalties from the DMV.
A Texas DWI lawyer can help you sort everything out and create a plan with your best interest in mind.
Be Wary of Public Defenders
As a criminal defendant, you have the right to legal representation even when you cannot afford one. You should have heard this while being read your Miranda rights.
Although public defenders are free of charge and understand the law just as well as any other lawyer, they tend to have high caseloads. Because of this, you may not receive the attention you want for your case.
When you opt to hire a lawyer instead, you actually have a say in who that lawyer will be. Plus, a court-provided attorney can only help you with criminal matters. If you need guidance on DMV matters, you won’t have that.
A private lawyer can help you with both pieces of your case.
Go to Free Consultations
A DWI attorney in Austin, Texas is more than likely going to offer you a free consultation. Every DWI case is unique so it is important to take advantage of this one-on-one time to get an understanding of how a lawyer can help you.
During a free consultation, you may meet with a member of the office instead of the lawyer themselves. This is perfectly normal as great attorneys are busy.
When heading to consultations, be sure to have the following documents with you:
- Details about the charges
- Court date
- Bail papers
- Police report
- Search inventory report
- Names of victims or witnesses of the case
Going to multiple different consultations can give you a good idea of which lawyer you need to hire for your case.
Tell the Truth
When you find the right Austin, Texas DWI lawyer, it is essential to tell them the whole truth about your case. They will have access to the documents, but it may not be enough to tell them everything.
Without a full understanding of your case, you won’t receive the right feedback on how the case may go. A lawyer needs to know the truth to proceed with your case accordingly.
Do You Need a DWI Lawyer?
Although some people choose not to hire a DWI lawyer after their first or second offense, anyone can if they want to. If you received a third DWI offense, hiring a lawyer to help with a felony charge is a necessity.
Because DWI laws continue to change, it is beneficial to have someone who is up to date on legal lingo and has your best interest in mind. If you want any chance of reducing a DWI charge, you need an attorney.
If you live in the Austin, Texas area, our firm is ready to help you. Contact us today to get started on your case.