Driving under the influence is considered a serious criminal offense in the United States. If you are charged with this misconduct, you need to have proper legal representation in Criminal Court. As a defendant, it might feel that hiring a private lawyer for a DUI charge or getting assigned a public defender by the legal system is enough. But you need to consider some factors that could impact the outcome and charges on your case.
Discuss Your Case With A Lawyer
If you have no experience in the legal arena, you cannot credibly assess the strong points and issues with your case. The laws for driving under the influence can be quite challenging, and it is often retrofitted to include various new clauses. Not every case of DUI is the same and so you may need a lawyer for a DUI charge more than you suspect.
You should be speaking to a repeated and established lawyer for a DUI charge and possibly even seek a free consultation. Even if you are paying for a consultation, considered this money to be going for the best legal defense you can have.
You need a copy of your police report and other documents associated with the case for the consultation. You should also be prepared to answer any related queries. Just because you are taking a consultation with a lawyer does not mean you have to hire them. But by discussing things directly with a lawyer will give you a better understanding of what kind of legal representation is right for you.
When Don’t You Need To Hire An Attorney?
For a first-time offense, prosecutors usually offer a plea bargain. So, you are getting the same deal that everyone gets for their first offense. This is usually a lower sentence for the first offense.
If you have had no prior charges of driving under the influence, and you have not caused damages by injury, death, or accident, or have an unusually high level of alcohol in your blood, a lower sentence can be a possibility in your case.
In this case, you will get the same offer as other first-time offenders irrespective of the kind of defender you have hired or even if you went with the public defender. However, you have to consider the factor that by using an inexperienced lawyer, you potentially open yourself up to vulnerabilities. This could aggravate the charges. Besides, your case might be more complicated if you have other defenses, in which case accepting the standard offer might not be in your best interest. This is why it’s best to get a consultation before you choose your legal representation.
You can hire a private lawyer for a DUI charge, get a public defender assigned to your case, or require an attorney to assist if your case goes to trial.
If you are incapable of hiring your own attorney, courts have appointed lawyers that could be assigned to you for free. Remember that these public defenders have to juggle hundreds of criminal cases and driving under influence cases, so they should be accustomed to the laws. But there are some downsides to being represented by a public defender because of their huge caseload.
Your case might not get as much attention as you are hoping for. Normally, a DUI offense requires two different proceedings with a Criminal Code and one with the DMV. Public defenders can only represent you in the Criminal Code. The DMV proceeding has to be handled on your own.
Private lawyers can assist you in both Criminal Code and DMV. Using the same lawyer for both of your cases could lead you to better outcomes, and you might even get a shorter suspension span on your license. The biggest drawback in the case of hiring private lawyers is the cost. Generally, the cost could be anything between $1000 and $5000. If your case proceeds to trial, it will get even more expensive.
You have the power to choose your attorney, and in some cases going with private lawyers can be absolutely in your best interest. A specialist lawyer for a DUI charge may have a great understanding of the defenses that could be presented in your case. It could give you better results than going with the public defender, a better plea bargain, or they could even get the charges ultimately dismissed. Private lawyers will be able to dedicate their time more to focus on your case.
Don’t rely on your own merits to cover trials because judges have very little tolerability to defendants who do not hire lawyers and don’t understand the law. Get a consultation and choose the best lawyer for a DUI charge. Contact us to learn more.