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New Hampshire DWI Lawyers

How to pick a New Hampshire DWI Lawyer

There are a lot of lawyers out there who will let you hire them to take on a DWI case. Some lawyers handle a case now and then, and other New Hampshire DWI lawyers have handled hundreds of cases. There are many considerations that come into play in picking a DUI lawyer. I do not believe there is such a thing as a best lawyer, as there are so many factors to take into consideration. However, I think certain factors may help you find a lawyer best fitted to your needs and situation.

 

Practice focused on DUI

A lawyer only needs a law license to defend someone charged with DUI. In my belief, DUI is the most complicated type of misdemeanor crime there is.

To properly defend a DWI charge, the lawyer must have knowledge of the rules of criminal procedure, evidence, know about motions to suppress, stay updated on the law and cases regarding DWI, have knowledge of Field Sobriety Tests, and knowledge of science including how blood and breath is analyzed by the crime lab. Because of all the work it takes to become very knowledgeable in these areas, certain lawyers decide to focus their practice on DWI defense, meaning at least half of their cases are DWI related. Some lawyers who handle many DWIs also do other areas of law, in particular criminal defense.

If you needed heart surgery, you wouldn’t just go to a Doctor, you would go to a cardiologist. Why go to a general practitioner when you can hire a lawyer who only handles DWI?

 

How to find a Great DUI lawyer?

You may want to consider many factors when looking for a lawyer to speak with. You may want to consider any referrals from someone you know who had an OUI and had a favorable outcome.

Or, you could take a look at lawyers who advertise. If you search using the internet, in my opinion, lawyers who appear at or near the top of Google’s natural search results (not the paid search results), are there for a reason. Many lawyers will post testimonials or results on their website. While no lawyer can guarantee a certain outcome, and each case is different, you may be able to get an idea of the ability of a lawyer based upon some of his past results and satisfied customers.

 

Cost & Fee structure

Good DUI lawyers are expensive. You can expect to pay around a few thousand dollars for a first offense DWI. But, they are expensive for a reason.

All fees must be reasonable. According to the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct::

(a) A lawyer shall not enter into an agreement for, charge, or collect an illegal or clearly excessive fee or collect an unreasonable amount for expenses. The factors to be considered in determining whether a fee is clearly excessive include the following:

   (1) the time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, and the skill requisite to perform the legal service properly;

   (2) the likelihood, if apparent to the client, that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by the lawyer;

   (3) the fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services;

   (4) the amount involved and the results obtained;

   (5) the time limitations imposed by the client or by the circumstances;

   (6) the nature and length of the professional relationship with the client;

   (7) the experience, reputation, and ability of the lawyer or lawyers performing the services; and

   (8) whether the fee is fixed or contingent.

However, in criminal cases, contingency fees are not allowed. This means the lawyer cannot charge you one price for winning, but a different price for losing your case.

Our lawyers typically charge a “flat fee” to handle the entire criminal case and the administrative license suspension hearing. This means you will know at the outset exactly how much representation will cost. Other things, such as expert witnesses, the client will typically be required to pay in addition to the flat fee.

Some lawyers will allow payment plans, and some will give discounts for cases paid in full at the time of retaining the lawyer.

Attorney Hynes accepts credit cards, and installment plans on a credit card to finance the case.

To me, a lawyer who is a lot cheaper than others, sets the cost that way for a reason. Maybe he is just getting started out and is looking for experience, or perhaps he just handles cases by volume and might not be able to devote as much time to each case.

On the other hand, the most expensive lawyer is not necessarily the best. Some lawyers have a substantial overhead. With expensive office space, paralegals, other lawyers/partners in the firm, advertising, etc. a small firm can easily spend $100,000 annually on those things. This cost obviously must be passed on to the client.

Feel free to ask the attorney you are considering hiring why he or she feels the fee they charge is appropriate.

 

Caseload

A caseload is the amount of open cases/clients the lawyer presently has. On average I will typically be handling around 15-25 open DWI cases. Some lawyers will handle many more cases across all practice areas, which I believe negatively affects the amount of time the lawyer can devote to each case and client. Further, some lawyers will not handle many DWI cases, which might also affect the outcome.

 

Will the Lawyer Handle the Case Himself?

You may want to know which aspects of the case the Attorney you are hiring will be handling. Will a paralegal do some of the work, or will other lawyers? It may not matter to you, or it might. Just be clear and ask up front so you know what you are getting.

 

Understands the Area of DWI?

You want to know if the lawyer has a complete understanding of the area of DWI. If he cannot explain the process to you, as well as potential or likely outcomes, he may not be the best lawyer for you. Certainly, there are questions that are novel and will not have an answer, but if the answer to most of your questions is that the lawyer does not know, perhaps you need someone more knowledgeable. Feel free to ask your lawyer questions.

 

Reputation

What is the reputation of the lawyer you are looking to hire. Some lawyers may have a reputation of just getting plea offers on all, or almost all of the cases. This will likely lead to the prosecutor not making offers as good as ones to lawyers who will go to trial and refuse bad offers.

On the other hand, a lawyer with a good reputation can often get more favorable plea offers. The prosecutor can sometimes get an idea of what they are up against based upon who they are up against.

 

Previous Success in Similar Cases

Again, a lawyer cannot guarantee a certain outcome, and just because a lawyer won one case does not mean you will get the same outcome. On the other hand, I believe a lawyer who has a record of getting DUI dismissals, and winning cases at trial can be an important factor to consider.

If you have a high breath or blood result, ask the lawyer if he has received a not guilty verdict with a result as high as yours. Attorney Hynes has won cases where a breath test was over 0.30.

 

Experience

While experience does not necessarily equate to competency, I like to think the lawyers who have been doing something for a while have become good at what they do, and have had most issues come up already so that they know how to handle them.

Attorney Hynes has represented hundreds of clients charged with various forms of DWI. From first offense, to third offense, underage drivers, CDL drivers, to cases involving an accident with serious bodily injury, odds are pretty good I have handled a case with issues similar to yours.

 

Training

The field of DWI encompasses many types of science (or junk science). Accordingly, there are training classes with certifications available for lawyers serious about DWI defense.

Some of the NH DWI GUY’s specific training includes:

  • IACP/NHTSA Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Course Overview. This Course fully explains the 12 steps that are supposed to be involved when a DRE investigates someone for driving under the influence of drugs. If you have been charged with DUI Drugs and the officer did the 12 step evaluation on you, it is imperative the lawyer knows what is supposed to be done and knows the limitations to the program.

Even if your case is not a drug case, if the arresting officer is a DRE, your Attorney can use this information to better cross examine the officer on what he did or didn’t do.

 

  • Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Certification Student Course (NHTSA Course) - This is the class that police take in order to be able to administer field sobriety tests. It is necessary that an officer have this training before giving field sobriety tests.

Attorney Hynes passed this course with a score of 100% and is certified to administer FSTs.

 

  • Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Certification Instructor Course (NHTSA Course) - Not only is the DWI GUY certified to administer field sobriety tests, he is certified to train others to administer the tests. DWI GUY has completed the NHTSA 40 hour class to effectively administer and instruct the SFST practitioner training course curriculum.

 

  • Owner/ Operator of Alco Sensor FST PBT - This is the newest version of the portable breath test machine offered by Alco Sensor. It is used by come police departments. By understanding, owning, and testing this machine, Attorney Hynes fully understands its accuracies and limitations. Attorney Hynes is a certified Supervisor & Operator of this machine.

 

Be Wary of Lawyers who Talk Badly About Competition

You might want to be wary of lawyers who talk badly about the competition. Certainly, there are lawyers who I would not recommend a client use. However, there are many other OUI lawyers that I highly respect that I would refer a client to if they were not going to be able to or want to retain my services. If a lawyer speaks negatively about another lawyer, you may want to question whether he is doing it just because he needs to get enough new clients to pay the bills.

 

Avoid Paid Referral Services

There are some organizations that allow lawyers to pay in order to join a list of other lawyers looking to take cases. These services just refer clients to a list of rotating lawyers. They usually will base the referral solely on the location of the lawyer, not necessarily a lawyer who focuses on, or has even ever handled a DWI case.

 

Has the Lawyer Written a Book on DWI?

There are a few lawyers in New Hampshire who have written a book, or at least a chapter of a book on DWI. I would probably recommend any one of them as a qualified, knowledgeable lawyer, who is respected in the community.

 

Willing to go to Trial or is the Lawyer a “Dumptruck”?

Some lawyers will simply plea every, or almost every case, to the “minimums” and sell this as the best deal. In certain circumstances the mandatory minimum sentence might be the best offer. However, many cases are triable and can be won at trial. If a lawyer is constantly accepting any offer by the prosecutor for the minimums on a DWI conviction, the prosecutor has little incentive to reduce the charges, which would be a better outcome for you. Alternatively, the lawyer may not want to go to trial at all, and may convince you to plea to an otherwise winnable case.

 

What if you can’t Afford a Top / Great Lawyer, or Best Lawyer for your Situation?

Obviously, everyone wants the best lawyer for them. However, many people can’t afford the lawyer, or do not want to pay that much. When this occurs, you might want to consider if the lawyer has other lawyers in his firm who also handle DWIs. Often, they will be cheaper, and may be a better fit for you.

Disclaimer: Past results do not guarantee a future outcome. Results include cases in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Attorney Dan Hynes is admitted to practice law only in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. This website may be considered advertising. Contacting us does not create an attorney/client relationship. We work with other lawyers throughout Massachusetts.

Google. Serving all of New Hampshire including

Bedford Brentwood Candia Claremont Concord Conway Derry Dover Exeter Franklin Goffstown Hillsborough Hollis Hooksett Hudson Jaffrey Keene Laconia Lancaster Lebanon Manchester Merrimack Milford Nashua Newport Ossipee Plaistown Plymouth Portsmouth Rochester Salem Seabrook

N.H. DWI Lawyers Address: Dan Hynes 206 Fair St. Laconia NH 03246 Phone: 603-384-3264