The local attorney will cost me $2,700, but does not want to hire any expert witnesses, however the "superstar" attorney will cost me $10,000, but says that he can pretty much guaranteed the case will get dismissed with his expert witnesses. I do not have a a criminal record, but I have a prior dwai and two dismissed dui s. I am in medical school, so money is tied up with that, I have $30,000 in savings, however, I was planning on paying for another semester with that.
Specifics of the case: Riding a motorcycle on the sidewalk, BAC of .13, periodontal disease, riding without a helmet, resisting arrest bac over .08, and dwi, on $5,000 bail.
These are not your only two alternatives. (Also, I'm not sure what a "super star" attorney is ...).
There are many things to look for when hiring a DWI defense attorney. I would look for a member of the National College. I would read reviews on Avvo and elsewhere. I would prefer someone with experience as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney. Most important, I would look for someone familiar with the court where you are charged, and familiar with the prosecutor handling your case.
Expert witnesses are not needed in every DWI case. Your case may be one of them. Your case may require expert witnesses. If so the lower proceed attorney may decide that he needs to hire them.
Explain your concerns to the attorneys you mention, and interview some in between.
Christopher I. Simser, Sr.
Syracuse - Albany - Rochester - Buffalo
Sounds like you need the best attorney you can get. Price doesn't guarantee results, nor do words.
Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
Past President, Criminal Courts Bar Association
Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo
1103 Stewart Ave, Suite 200
Garden City, NY 11530
516-408-3666 (o) / 516-408-3833 (f)
There is no such thing as a guarantee. Additionally, the attorney who is quoting you 10,000, will probably have YOU pay the fee for the expert. I'm not sure what type of expert this attorney is referencing, but just from your brief description, i'm not sure i see how an expert witness would fit in with your fact pattern. The BAC reading is close to double the legal limit, so it would be tough for an expert to rework or reinterpret the numbers to bring it all the way down to below .08. Have you been charged with a felony? If your 1st conviction was in the prescribed time period, you could be subject to an indictment. Each jurisdiction has different policies within the respective DA's offices with regards to what DWIs they choose to indict. You have a lot on the line. Your future working in the medical arena is at risk. This needs to be taken extremely seriously. What borough did this take place in? I have almost 12 years experience at a local District Attorney's Office, and it is possible i could be of great help to you. Lastly, i'm not here to preach to you, but perhaps you should speak to someone regarding your alcohol consumption. It seems that you are frequently getting arrested for drunk driving. Perhaps a food attorney could work out a disposition with the prosecutor that would allow you to seek some sort of out-patient treatment or counseling, and if you successfully completed the program, you could receive a greatly reduced plea offer.
I don't like attorneys "guarantees" because it is unethical to promise that to a client, and it implies bribery, especially for some of the fees demanded. That is not to say superman does not warrant all that money if he can deliver because of his expertise and track record. You are at greater risk because of your unresolved alcohol problem and recidivism, which will be taken into account by the DA and the court, and their position may compel you to trial, so you want the best bet for an attorney. No easy answer here.
I'm no trial lawyer, but the "local" fee sounds low for all the issues you mention. Where is the "superstar" from? Is he known in NYC criminal practice, particularly Queens (assuming that's where you're being prosecuted). How "local" is the "local," i.e., just Queens Criminal Court, or metro NYC? Like the other attorneys, though, I am concerned about the "superstar's" "guarantee." He may want to consult an expert on the periodontal disease question, as that might affect BAC.
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