What is a “Complete” DWI defense?
At ATX Legal, we offer a complete DWI defense for a flat fee. But what exactly does it mean for the defense to be “complete”? Well, a DWI defense can actually be broken down into four distinct parts. Some attorney charge for each step, so when meeting with attorneys and comparing fees, be sure to be clear about what is covered.
1. Defense in the criminal case.
This is the most obvious one. In defending a DWI, ATX Legal will review discovery, look for holes or weak spots in the prosecutor’s case, meet with prosecutors to discuss plea options, and consider other options, such as DWI diversion court. We will also help with bond conditions such as removing the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in cases where that is possible.
2. ALR Hearing
In addition to the DWI defense, there is a parallel proceeding called an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing to determine whether your license is suspended. This civil (not criminal) hearing is triggered if you refuse or “fail” a blood or breath test for alcohol content (BAC). The ALR hearing can prove helpful in a couple of ways even if you do not prevail. First, it can delay the suspension of your license and give you time to prepare for the loss of your license. Second, it allows us to question the officer under oath and get a transcript of the proceeding. This can help in cases that may go to trial. Of course, if you do prevail, it prevents the suspension of your license. In practical terms, a victory in an ALR hearing is rare because the burden of proof is rather low. However, it is usually worthwhile to have the proceeding for the reasons listed above.
If your license does end up being suspended, you may decide to apply for an Occupational Drivers license. This would allow you to keep driving for most purposes while your regular DL is suspended. Court costs and administration fees of approximately $350 could still apply, but ATX legal does not charge additional attorney fees for this.
Finally, if trial is necessary, that fee is covered as well. Although only a small percentage of DWI cases go to trial, this is still an important point because some attorneys will charge a steep trial fee for cases that do go that far. Maybe a trial fee won’t apply in your case, but it is still important to be aware of what fees may come later on. At ATX Legal, we don’t want a fee to be the deciding factor for whether you exercise your constitutional rights to trial. Therefore, trial is included in the flat fee.
There’s nothing wrong with an attorney charging individual fees each step of the way as long as they are up front about the costs. At ATX Legal, we include it all because we feel it is the simplest and most up front way to do it. Whether you are seeking representation for a misdemeanor DWI or a serious felony, it is always important to inquire about the fee structure so you can make the best determination of which attorney to hire in your case.
Nothing in this blog constitutes legal advice, but if you do need advice for your specific matter, you can reach out by email or call us at 512-677-5003.