A charge of driving whilst intoxicated or DWI is very serious and you are well advised to seek the aid of a qualified DWI lawyer to help defend your case. But for many the cost of hiring a private lawyer is more than they can afford. There are options available for those without the means to hire a lawyer themselves when it comes to defending DWI charges.
Being convicted of DWI can have far reaching consequences and these can last for many years. For these reasons representing yourself, although an option you are free to take, is not advised as few have succeeded when taking this route. Woodbury Criminal Defense Hiring a DWI lawyer by whatever means is your best chance of obtaining either a full acquittal or a lesser penalty, particularly if you have previous convictions for DWI offenses.
If you can prove that you cannot afford a private lawyer then you have the right to a court-appointed lawyer. You can request one at your pre-trial hearing and in most circumstances the judge will appoint someone there and then (if available). In some states you maybe required to submit detailed financial statements to prove you cannot afford a private lawyer. It is worth noting by the way, that private lawyers have only marginally higher success rates than court appointed lawyers do.
A court-appointed lawyer is paid for by the state and the judge is legally obliged to make this known to the court at the start of the trial. They will also inform the court at each stage of the proceedings as to the cost of the legal counsel being paid for by the state.
You cannot change a court-appointed lawyer further down the line if you do not get on with them or feel they are not adequately defending you. You will only have a case to change them if you can prove misconduct or malpractice on their part and even then the judge may not agree to a change.
If you and your lawyer really do not get on, then you agree with the lawyer for them to petition the court to be relieved and someone else appointed. You can hire a private lawyer at any time if you find you have the means to do so.
It can be worth meeting with a private DWI lawyer or several lawyers to discuss your case. A first consultation is often free of charge and you maybe able to negotiate a fee rate with them which suits you both. This can be worthwhile pursuing if you do not qualify for a court-appointed lawyer because the court feels you do have the financial means to hire someone privately.
Meet Norman Chester, a 29 years old man from New York. He is a passionate writer of various topics. Recently he is focusing on writing about the work and responsibility of a DWI lawyer, a lawyer who is capable of helping DWI offenders.