How to Find the Right DWI Lawyer in NJ

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) stats are sobering.

Over the course of a year throughout the United States, over one million people are arrested for driving while intoxicated or under the influence according to MADD.

Thousands of dollars in fines and fees, license suspensions, and possible jail time are just a few of the major consequences of DWI, the largest being loss of life for innocent pedestrians and drivers who made poor choices.

That said, wrongful convictions are more common than you might think.

You may challenge your blood alcohol test based on the results, certificates, and administration. If there is a defect, they might suppress the test results as evidence upon application to the court, which is why finding the right DWI Lawyer in NJ is essential.

Here are some tips to consider:

1. Make a list and do your homework

While you might be a little flustered after a DWI arrest, it’s important to take a calm, strategic approach to your DWI Lawyer search.

Follow these steps to get started:

Create a list

To get started, create a sheet in Excel, or whatever spreadsheet tool you are most comfortable with.

List out some categories such as their:

  • Name
  • Website
  • Location
  • Cost

NOTE: There will be more categories to add as you move along and read through this post.

Research online

Begin your online research.

Start with a simple Google search of “DWI Lawyer NJ” or “DWI Lawyer Near Me” and see what comes up. We would recommend listing results from the top 2-3 pages.

Add their names and websites to the sheet as you comb through the pages. You can even snoop around and look up the lawyers’ business and personal social media pages.

Read reviews

Check Facebook pages, Google My Business profiles, Yelp, Glassdoor,, and other valued review sites to see what people are saying.

Look at recent reviews and note both positive and negative experiences. Be on the lookout for any DWI mentions as those may provide more relevant insight.

Ask around

Word of mouth is still a powerful and grossly underutilized tool.

Ask your family, friends, co-workers and other important people in your life if they have any recommendations on DWI Lawyers.

2. Interview the DWI attorney and let them interview you too

It’s essential for you to interview the lawyer and not be afraid to ask questions about their background, experience and expertise.

You are literally interviewing them for a job (the job = your case).

You also must come prepared to answer all of their questions accurately. You can’t lie or bend the truth about what happened, by now there has already been an official police report filed.

You need to be upfront, honest and stand by what you say.

Come prepared with a list

We suggest going into each meeting or phone call with a DWI attorney with a list that outlines questions you need to ask, and details you yourself need to disclose.

This will ensure that each legal service provider gets and gives all the same information, which will help in the decision-making process down the road.

Ask about their DWI experience

Would you hire someone to build your home who has never built a house before? Probably not.

Try to find lawyers that have extensive DWI experience and training.

Many criminal defense attorneys may have a lot of experience that can benefit you more than just representing yourself.

If they specialize in or have handled several DWI cases successfully, hiring them may work to your advantage.

They would be more familiar with the rules, regulations and processes of fighting a DWI charge and would have less of a learning curve based on their experiences.

Ask about their relationships with local Prosecutors

This is an important one that many people overlook…

Make sure your DWI Lawyer has a good relationship with the local court, police and prosecutors!

If they have had trouble in the past, or have a bad reputation, look elsewhere for a legal service provider.

If you choose an attorney who has had negative experiences with the local court system in the past, it might reflect poorly on your behalf from the get-go.

3. Additional considerations

The above steps were to help you get started, but there are several other important factors to consider when choosing a DWI Lawyer in New Jersey if you want to go deeper.

Here are a few more:

Size of the firm

Size can impact the representation you receive.

If it’s a large firm where each lawyer has a lot of cases, you might not get enough close attention, but you may have more resources at your disposal.

If you go with a small firm, they may be more focused on your individual case, but have limited resources available.


For many, it comes down to cost when choosing legal representation.

You should consider how much you have at stake to lose, and what you’re willing to pay to make these problems go away.

If you’re facing jail time, you might be more inclined to go all out and spend more, while if you’re facing only a couple hundred dollars in fines and just want to plea out, you can go with a less expensive option.

Comfort level, confidence and trust

As you analyze the size of the firms you’ve been in contact with, think about who you truly feel most comfortable with.

Do you want a cheap, sleazy lawyer with amateur commercials and billboards, or one that has a strong online presence with positive reviews and DWI experience who was referred to you by a friend?

Some may be more comfortable with the former, while others prefer the latter. It’s all about personal preference and who YOU feel comfortable moving forward with.

4. Weigh your options and decide

By now you’ve got a long list of DWI Lawyer’s and data. It’s time to make a decision.

We suggest making this decision in the comfort of your own home rather than in the office of an attorney. Go through your list and cross out ones you’re sure wouldn’t be a good fit.

Narrow it down to the final few and decide what matters to you most about the ones that left.

Once you’ve chosen a winner, call them and inform them of your decision. From there, the defense process will begin.

Whether you wish to reject a plea offer and mount a defense, or accept your charges, to move forward with your life you need a strong DWI Lawyer in NJ by your side.

Our team at Donnelly & Warner will zealously defend you at trial if that is your wish, or guide you through the plea deal and guilty verdict processes if you want to accept your charges.

Call us at (973) 696-6770 to speak with a D&W representative today.