DUI TASK 5: Choose who will defend you

At some point after DUI arrest in Los Angeles County, you need to decide on your legal defense.  You have three options:-

1. Represent yourself

  • Save money
  • This works in some situations
  • In some situations, you can obtain the same results in court as a DUI attorney could.

2. Hire your own private DUI lawyer

  • Protect you
  • Help save your license
  • Negotiate a plea bargain for you
  • Help obtain alternatives to jail

3. Use a Public Defender

  • Minimal Cost
  • Request this service on your first court date
  • A Public Defender is a Government lawyer who will represent you at minimum cost if you qualify.

You need to evaluate what hiring a private DUI attorney can do for you. After your DUI arrest, you will get anywhere from 15 to 100 letters from private DUI attorneys advertising their services for DUI defense.

If you are uncertain

Need more time to decide?

If you need more time to make a decision, the Judge will give you a 2 to 3 week continuance to hire a DUI attorney if you ask.

You can change your mind

Start with Public Defender then later hire your own attorney. If you are unsure of what to do, you can always start off with the public defender and if you change your mind you can then hire your own DUI attorney later on.

Go to court by yourself on your first court date and ask for a continuance. Another option is for you to go to court by yourself on your first court date and ask the judge for a two to three week continuance in order to hire a DUI attorney and the judge will grant you a continuance for this purpose.

1. Representing yourself

In some situations, you can obtain the same results in court as a DUI attorney could, in which case it is probably a better idea not to hire an attorney and instead save your money in order to pay the court fines and to pay for the alcohol class.

 

2. Hiring your own DUI Attorney

You really need to evaluate what hiring a private DUI attorney can do for you. Think about whether it is worth hiring one.

How can a private DUI attorney help with your defense?

Here are some examples of how a private DUI attorney potentially help you with your DUI defense:

  • Assess the case and counsel you on your options.
  • Handle your DMV hearing for you and help you with your license.
  • Conduct Investigation and Discovery in the case to determine how trustworthy and strong the Government’s evidence is against you and evaluate the police officer’s arrest of you.
  • Help you decide if you want to go to trial or work out a plea bargain with the prosecutor.
  • Go to court for you so you do not have to go, and appear in court in front of the judge on your behalf.
  • Try to protect you from any additional punishment.
  • Negotiate a plea bargain for you.
  • Represent you in a jury trial.
  • Help obtain alternatives to jail.

 

3. Getting a Public Defender

If you do not want to represent yourself or spend the money to hire a private DUI attorney you can use the services of the Public Defender:-

  • On your first court date, you can request the services of the Public Defender – a Government lawyer who will represent you at minimal cost.
  • The court will evaluate whether or not you qualify for the public defender; (it depends on how much income you make).
  • The court will appoint a lawyer for you if you do qualify.

Click here information from the Los Angeles County Public Defender.

Public Defender vs Private Attorney

If you are eligible to use a Public Defender, which is better for you – a Public Defender or a Private Attorney?

Call us at (310) 285-1516 to help you answer this question. We will go over with you the advantages and disadvantages of representing yourself, using the public defender or hiring your own DUI attorney.

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