1. Not giving the matter the serious attention it deserves or believing you can’t win. If you are convicted for DWI or Refusal, this charge will remain on your driving history forever and could cost you from being hired in potential job fields. The motor vehicle surcharges and insurance increases alone will cost you thousands of dollars.
2. Not hiring a DWI or Criminal Attorney. Everyone has some cousin, friend, or friend of a friend who is an attorney who does real estate closings, divorces or bankruptcy law. The mistake comes into play when you hire an attorney who does not handle DWI cases on a regular basis. The case law and statutes are complex and you need competent representation by an attorney in this particular discipline.
3. Retaining a Lawyer based solely on the lower cost of the fee. The municipal prosecutor and police have alot of resources when it comes to trying to convict you of DWI. A person needs to retain a lawyer and pay an amount which will allow the lawyer to effectively investiagte your case, hire experts and bring the matter to trial if necessary.
4. Not requesting a copy of the discovery (police reports, certificates and other evidence) from your attorney or hiring an attorney who fails to supply you with a copy of the discovery. A client should always review the discovery to help assist his or her attorney in the defense.
5. Driving after your license has been suspended for DWI. If you are caught driving on the suspended list for DWI, you face an additional one to two year loss of your driver’s license and 10 to 90 days in jail. If there is a car accident, regardless of fault, it can be an extra 45 to 180 days in jail. If there is personal injury you may receive State prison time. These penalties are in addition to the time you will serve in jail for driving while suspended.
6. Not hiring an attorney who is versed with respect to your constitutional rights. For instance, if your attorney is incapable of identifying that the police lacked a reasonable suspicion to stop your car or have probable cause to arrest you.
7. Hiring an attorney who takes the prosecutor’s first offer. It is rare for a case to be dismissed or reduced to a non DWI offense at the initial appearance. Without retaining a defense expert or without filing motions, the prosecutor is unlikely to concede a favorable deal on the first appearance.
8. Forget or fail to appear in Court. When this happens, the Court will issue a bench warrant for your arrest and revoke any bail or bond you posted.
9. Talking to someone about your case other than the lawyer you hired. Anything you say to a cop or any person can be used against you. Additionally, talking to a non-lawyer about your case will only lead you to make baseless and erroneous asumptions about the strengths and weaknesses in your case.
10. Representing yourself in Court. The old maxim that “the person who represents himself has a fool for a client” still rings true. You need to have a DWi or Criminal Attorney go to Court with you.
original posting: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/top-ten-mistakes-people-make–after-being-charged-with-a-dwi