A public defender is a lawyer that is assigned to offenders who cannot afford a defense attorney on their own. During times when money is tight, deciding to use a public defender may sound like a smart possibility to fight your DUI charges. However, there are downsides to using a public defender that can leave you with costly results that you do not want.
Here are reasons why it is not a smart idea to use a public defender:
1. You may not even qualify to use a public defender.
Public defenders are meant to defend indigent citizens or people who are legitimately poor. If you make any kind of income, you may not qualify for a public defender. If you lie to the judge about how much money you make in order to qualify for a public defender, you could be charged with falsifying information.
2. You may not get a chance to consult with a public defender before your court appearance.
Another downside to using a public defender is their large caseload. Because of how many cases they take on, a public defender may not have time to meet with you to discuss what they can do for you. However, a DUI defense attorney will take the time to meet with you and explain to you how the court process works.
3. A public defender is more likely to want you to plead guilty.
Additionally, because of their large caseload, a public defender may encourage you to plead guilty because they may not have the time to fight your charges. A public defender is not a free DUI lawyer. Because a DUI defense attorney devotes time to each individual client, he or she will do whatever it takes to help you avoid making a guilty plea and paying the harsh consequences that you do not deserve.
4. A public defender does not help with your DMV hearing.
As you may know, a DUI arrest results in two hearings. One is with the criminal court and the other is an administrative hearing with the DMV. The administrative hearing determines whether or not your driver’s license should be suspended. It is very important to understand that a public defender will not help you save your driver’s license by representing you at the DMV. A public defender works in the criminal court only. A DUI attorney, however, does assist with your administrative hearing and will do everything in their power to ensure that you can maintain your driving privileges.
Above all, though a public defender can be an asset if you qualify, your chances of getting your DUI charges reduced or dropped altogether greatly improve with the help of an experienced DUI defense attorney.
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