A local public defender is assigned to represent the legal interests of any individual in court that can’t afford to hire legal representation. However, public defenders get a bad reputation, and although some of it is warranted, most of it is not.
Public defenders are an affordable alternative for legal assistance to those who have been charged with a DUI. Public defenders are capable attorneys, but that doesn’t mean you have to use them to protect you from a DUI charge. A DUI attorney can be of service when you require a legal team specializing in criminal defense.
The Public Defender’s Role
A public defender is a licensed attorney. Since they are free public attorneys, they get lots of experience seeing all types of cases. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, the consequences may be harsh, and retaining free legal assistance is better than none at all.
If a private attorney is an unaffordable option, then a public defender can represent you in court. However, the average DUI attorney is not that expensive for a first DUI or DWI offense; nonetheless, using a public defender increases the odds of winning your case or getting a dismissal.
Electing to go with a public defender does forfeit your right to choose which public attorney represents your DUI case. The public defender assigned to represent your DUI case is usually the lawyer assigned to the courtroom where the case will be tried. In large cities, different public defenders may be assigned at various stages of a DUI case.
Public Defender Disadvantages
Many people have misgivings about using a public defender for DUI offenses. Using a public defender is better than defending yourself but has some drawbacks. You don’t get to choose which public defender represents you, and there’s no guarantee that the attorney that starts your case finishes it.
Many public defenders carry heavy caseloads that compromise their ability to give each case the attention it deserves. A public defense attorney is likely to advise you to enter a guilty plea and ensure your constitutional rights are protected.
Since public defenders have overwhelming caseloads and often do their jobs without the sufficient resources available to approach a DUI case, fighting for a full dismissal may seem impossible with a public defender.
Every DUI hearing is unique. There is always a chance that a court-appointed lawyer can succeed in getting your charges dropped. However, hiring a private DUI attorney, although it costs more, could be cheaper than DUI conviction repercussions.
Pleading guilty to a drunk or drugged driving offense means that the DUI conviction will be on your criminal record for life. A DUI can be cleared after several years in some states if you get it expunged.
Private DUI attorneys are typically invested in their clients and have experience achieving favorable outcomes. Hiring the right lawyer will cost money, but being convicted of a DUI could be worse.
Whether you are facing a misdemeanor or felony DUI charge, consulting with a public defender or private DUI attorney is always a savvy move. Representing yourself in court without proper guidance could lead to a DUI violation. Pleading guilty will drastically impact your life.