At some point after your DUI arrest in California, you need to decide if you want to:-
- Represent yourself.
- Obtain the services of the public defender (the court will appoint a DUI attorney for you if you cannot afford one).
- Or hire your own DUI lawyer, a private DUI attorney.
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
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.
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.
You can also 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.
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 (this link will open in a new tab in your browser).
In some situations, you can obtain the same results in court as a DUI attorney could, so 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.
Hiring your own DUI Attorney
Can a private DUI attorney help with your defense?
You really need to evaluate what hiring a private DUI attorney can do for you. Whether it is worth hiring a DUI attorney is something you want to think about. 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.
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.
- Try to protect you from any additional punishment.
- Go to court for you so you do not have to go, and appear in court in front of the judge on your behalf.
- 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.
- Negotiate a plea bargain for you.
- Help decide if you want to go to trial or work out a plea bargain with the prosecutor.
- Help obtain alternatives to jail.
- Represent you in a jury trial for you.