You have three options when it comes to DUI defense: representing yourself, using a public defender, or hiring an experienced DUI attorney. Is representing yourself a good idea in some cases, such as when you can’t afford a lawyer? What can a public defender do to help your case? Your final option, hiring an experienced California DUI attorney, also has many common questions. This guide answers these questions and offers some key tips on defending a California DUI.
Unless you’re an experienced DUI lawyer, there are rare if any moments where you should represent yourself in a California DUI case. Why? You won’t know the first thing to do. You won’t understand how to present your case, how to call witnesses, what your legal options are, if you should accept plea bargains, not to mention how to construct your defense. If you are a DUI lawyer, you can effectively handle your case. If you aren’t, you need to hire a California DUI lawyer.
Public defenders, while a better option than representing yourself, are also secondary to hiring an experienced California DUI lawyer. This is because they simply do not have the time to handle your case effectively. It’s also because once you get one, you have no other options. You can’t just fire your public defender and get a new one.
Public defenders don’t have the time to handle your case, do not have the resources to help you win, and are not chosen by you (instead chosen at random). In some cases, you may make too much money to hire a California public defender anyways. But the final option is the best in any case.
Hiring a Professional California DUI Lawyer
While hiring your own lawyer is the best step, there may be some problems. If you hire one for a cheap fee, they could spend about as much time as your public defender. They could accept any plea bargain the prosecution offers so they can move on to their next case. Yes, this is a business, and unfortunately it’s not cheap to win. However, consider the penalties involved if you plead guilty to a California DUI or if you lose. Your license will be suspended, you will be fined, you will likely face jail time, and you’ll be on probation. Depending on how much you want to avoid these penalties, you can likely see how paying more can lead to better results. You don’t want a cheap doctor to operate on your heart, and you should be willing to pay a lawyer to help you win.
If you want to win your case, you will have to pay for it. And winning is not necessarily “winning.” Your DUI lawyer will be trying to at the least lessen your penalties. If this is your second or third DUI, where you potentially face felony charges, this is quite important. Even for first time California DUI offenders, winning sometimes means negotiating. In some cases, you can beat the charges entirely.
The point of all this is to help you consider your options. While you may have to use a public defender, if at all possible at least query some experienced California DUI lawyers. And never represent yourself.