Should I hire a lawyer for a first time DWI?

DETAILS

I live in Minnesota, and am going here for school. I can’t have this on my record, or I will not be able to drive back to Alaska, because Canada will not allow me into their country!
I blew .10 when I was pulled over, and about an hour later .14 at the station.

Additional information
I did well on all of the sobriety tests, and was extremely compliant.
My court date is on the 22nd, so I don’t have much time.

ANSWER

Yes, I would definitely recommend retaining a lawyer. If you are a student, you may qualify for the public defender. The PD has guidelines that define “indigent”, and considering that you may not have income just yet, the PD may be able to help you at no cost.

Here is the website for the PD in Moorhead, MN. Their contact information is on the site: http://www.co.clay.mn.us/depts/pubdefat/PubDefA…

Also, there are benefits to hiring a private attorney, if your finances permit. Typically, their caseload is much smaller and therefore they have the ability to focus exclusively on your case and a positive resolution of it. This is going to be key in your case because you have a lot riding on this matter. A private attorney may end up doing exactly what the PD would do, but this is impossible to predict and is dependent upon the facts and circumstances of your case.

Best thing to do would be to speak to an attorney immediately. Most private attorneys offer free consultations! I would take them up on it.