Getting a DUI is no longer a trivial matter, nor has it been in quite some time. In years past, DUIs were treated as nothing more than a traffic ticket. Today. A DUI will not only cost you excessive fines, a license suspension, and possible jail time, it may also cost you your job! For that reason, you should seek out the best possible DUI lawyer you can afford.
Let me make this clear, we are not here to criticize public defenders, far from it. Look at any major law firm and the roster is littered with attorneys that started out in this office. What we are saying is that if given the opportunity, you should want the best possible defense you can afford, and that surely will not come using a public defender (for a variety of reasons).
Private Attorney vs Public Defender
Ultimately, the decision is yours, but we would like to point out the pros and cons of hiring a private attorney instead of a public defender. After seeing how much the pros outweigh the cons, we are pretty sure you will understand why it is so important to secure your own representation instead of leaving it up to the courts to find your attorney.
- Choosing your own attorney – most people do not like to have anything forced on them, let alone the person that is responsible for their immediate future. Unfortunately, if you select a public defender, you get whomever is assigned to you.
- Experience – by using a private attorney, you can research his or her experience in the field and eliminate candidates that do not fulfill your requirements. If you use a public defender, you have to hope he or she has experience as well as record of success in defending DUI clients.
- Specialized practice – in most cases, attorneys that practice DUI law specialize in this one aspect of the law. It is literally all they do. Public defenders do not get to choose their cases, therefore, they represent whatever case is put on their desk. It gives them great, well-rounded experience, but does not necessarily equate to an attorney that can develop polished skills in one particular field.
- More time and resources – public defenders are infamous for being overworked. They are also limited to the resources of the office’s budget. That is not the case when you hire a private attorney. His or her resources are only limited by your budget and how “available” he or she is can be discussed when you are conducting your interviews.
- Money – because public defenders are provided by the court, having a free attorney may seem like a great idea. But, what if you lose the case? How much are you going to have to pay in fines? How much will your insurance go up if and when you are allowed to drive again? What if you lose your job because of a company policy that results in your dismissal? In many cases, the money saved using a public defender is far less than the repercussions of a guilty verdict.
DUIRights Support is comprised of legal writers and attorneys who are able to generate useful information about issues relating to DUI. Please use all information at your own discretion and never use the information as legal advice without consulting with an attorney.