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Michigan Criminal Law Blog

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Tips for Choosing a Michigan OWI Lawyer

Choosing the right lawyer when you are arrested for OWI can mean the difference between things working out as well as can be expected and the experience costing you a great deal.

If you are facing charges related to driving while intoxicated, here’s what you should know about hiring a Michigan OWI lawyer:

First, try to keep your anxiety under control. An arrest for drinking and driving feels overwhelming, but you don’t want to rush into any decisions or panic and make a poor choice. Take a deep breath and understand that choosing the right attorney helps you manage your situation and hopefully get your charges dropped, or at least reduced. This is why choosing an attorney is an important decision.

Schedule Consultations with Multiple OWI Attorneys

Next, contact more than one attorney who specializes in OWI. Most criminal defense attorneys would be able to represent you, but it’s important to work with someone who is an OWI expert. He or she can review your case and present you with the various options you have – as opposed to just telling you to plead guilty and accept your penalty. You want someone arguing in your defense and who understands the various procedural and scientific factors that play a role in an OWI arrest.

Once you’ve contacted two or three or more potential attorneys, schedule consultations, which should be offered free of charge. It’s important you meet an attorney in person because you’ll need to work closely with this person and be comfortable with his or her style. Assess your comfort level during the meeting, and determine if you feel he or she is capable of handling your case and if your styles match.

For instance, do you just want to get the process over with or do you feel as if you were wronged and you want to fight aggressively? You and your attorney should be on the same page.

Next, think about whether there were any red flags during the meeting. Were you promised a particular outcome? You should be skeptical of any offer of specific promises during the consultation about your case. Until your attorney has investigated the details of your case and assessed the case against you, he or she should not be making any specific promises.

Discuss Fees during the Consultation

Finally during the consultation, ask about fees. You want detailed information about how much it is going to cost you to work with an attorney. It’s also important to find out about payment options and whether a deposit is required up front. Many attorneys are willing to work with you on payment, but you need to know this before proceeding.

For more information on the general costs associated with court in Michigan, you can view this page from Michigan Courts.

Once you’ve spoken to two or more attorneys, think carefully before making a final commitment. There’s no need to rush your decision. Your time is somewhat limited, but not so limited that you should rush into poor decision. Evaluate the information you’ve learned during the consultations, trust your instincts, and choose the attorney with whom you felt the most confident and comfortable.

If you would like more information on working with an attorney after an OWI arrest or you are ready to schedule a consultation, contact Andrew W. Kowalkowski, PLLC at 248.974.9594.

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