If you have been arrested and charged with DUI in California, there are some things you need to know, especially as your case proceeds to court. You have some legal options part of which is to choose to hire a private Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney or to prove that you cannot afford one after which a court-appointed public defender will be appointed to represent you before a court of law.
While many people see the option of a court-appointed attorney as a cheaper way to deal with their DUI case, there is a need to understand that the option comes with some responsibilities which may, in the end, affect the overall outcome of your case.
In essence, there is a need for you to weigh the pros and cons of each of the options before making a final decision. If you need help working with a private DUI Defense attorney, you can reach out to us for more information as our attorneys are always ready to take on your case and provide you with the comprehensive legal help you deserve at every step of the case.
Hiring an attorney for your DUI case
Whether you are a first-time offender, second-time offender, or subsequent offender, there is a need for you to secure the services and expertise of an attorney to represent you during your appearance in court. Hiring an attorney is a smart move, especially if you aim to get the best possible outcome from the case as the attorney is in a better position legally to access your condition and come up with a worthwhile strategy which will ensure that you get the best and most favorable outcome.
When hiring an attorney, it is recommended that you seek out an attorney that specializes in DUI cases and have an in-depth knowledge of the state DUI laws. Choosing an attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable in this area of practice ensures that you have an upper hand, especially as the attorneys are expected to have a better knowledge of habits and attitudes of judges and public defenders.
Working with a DUI attorney in cases as this guarantees you peace of mind that your case will be properly handled and also ensures that your case will be handled correctly. Another major advantage is that you are exposed to hand-picking the attorney of choice and interview them before making a final selection, thus allowing you to pick the best attorneys for your particular case.
Once your attorney has been selected and hired, they will be able to provide you with one-on-one legal help and discuss the possible outcomes of your case with you.
While hiring a private attorney for your DUI case appears to have more advantages, a major disadvantage is that it is expensive, especially if your case goes to trial. In most cases, private practice attorneys offer some sort of payment plan which allows their clients to spread their legal cost over a period.
When is a defendant entitled to a public defender?
Most people believe that every person who has been arrested and charged to court is entitled to a public defender. On the contrary, the Sixth Amendment right to counsel does not become active until the defendant has been charged with a misdemeanor or felony that is punishable by imprisonment. In essence, this means that there are some cases wherein the defendant may not be provided with a public offender because such offenses are not under the law punishable by imprisonment.
Using a Public Defender
If you are unable to afford a private attorney to represent you and your interests in court, the court may appoint for you a public defender after you have successfully proven that you are indeed financially incapable of hiring an attorney for your legal needs. A public defender is capable of handling all types of criminal cases including DUIs. A great advantage of working with public defenders is that they have more experience with regards to working on cases like DUI thus giving them an edge. Another advantage is that public defenders are more familiar with the courtroom, court system, local laws and judges thus allowing them to build a more favorable case in defense of their clients. Their experience can come in handy especially in negotiating plea bargains which are aimed at softening the penalties associated with the offense committed by their client.
In contrast to these advantages, working with a public defender has its downsides and in most cases, this may ultimately affect the overall outcome of your case. Public defenders are typically faced with a huge workload and case files this means that they get to spend as little time as possible on each case. With the huge workload, public defenders may be unable to prepare a solid defense for their clients or in some cases, the case may lack a more personal touch thus costing the defendant more than they should pay for in penalty.
Working with a public defender also means that you do not get to handpick the desired attorney to represent your interests in court.
Does it really matter whom I choose to represent me?
There are several penalties for varying degrees of DUI cases. In most cases, defendants are better off without jail time and hefty penalties. However, to prevent you from getting heavily fined, you need to ensure that you have the best legal support necessary to protect your interest.
In DUI cases, similar to all other criminal cases, whom you choose to represent you in the case plays a huge role in the overall outcome of your case. Hiring a private practice attorney adds a layer of personalized service which means that they will go over and above to ensure that the best strategies are adopted and the best defense is presented for you.
With a private practice attorney, if you have for example been arrested as a first-time DUI offender with a BAC which isn’t too high and without any aggravations to your case, you may be able to receive a lower-level and basic punishment. However, with a public defender who is overworked and overloaded with several case files, you may stand a chance of getting a higher degree of punishment.