It is against the law in every state to drive under the influence. As such, any DUI charges will be handled in a criminal court. Everyone will have the right to represent themselves in front of a jury, however, most defendants hire a private criminal lawyer or they are represented by a public attorney that is appointed by the court.
If you’re charged with driving under the influence, it may be in your best interest to hire a DUI attorney. Continue reading to help you decide which type of representation is right for you.
Essentially, everyone has the right to an attorney. If you’re unable to afford one on your own, then the court will appoint you one. These lawyers are known as public defenders.
They handle a large number of cases, one of the most common ones being DUI’s. With that said, a lot of public attorneys are no strangers when it comes to DUI laws and defenses. Furthermore, most public defenders are acquainted with the judges and district attorneys, which is good for “plea bargaining.”
However, it’s important to keep in mind that having a public defender comes with a few downsides. To start, public attorneys work on multiple cases, so it’s likely that your case won’t get enough attention.
In addition to that, you also don’t get to choose who your public defender is. In other words, you have to play the hand you’re dealt. Furthermore, being represented by a public attorney also has its limitations. Being arrested for DUI has two proceedings; a criminal court case and proceedings with the DMV. Any defendants who use a public defender are going to have to face the DMV proceedings alone.
Unlike a public defender, a private lawyer is there to help you through the proceedings with the DMV and criminal court. Having the same lawyer work on both ends of your case is extremely beneficial as it can result in things like a shorter license-suspension.
However, the one major drawback to hiring a private lawyer is the cost. In most cases, hiring a private attorney for a DUI case typically costs around $1,000 to $1,500. Should your case go to trial, it could become more expensive.
Private lawyers who specialize in DUI cases tend to have a wealth of knowledge of DUI law and defenses that other attorneys don’t have. If you’re lucky, this knowledge can lead to things like plea bargains or even having the charges dismissed.
Hopefully, this article helped you realize why you should hire a DUI attorney. Public or private, they will do their best to help you in your case.
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