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Why should I hire a criminal defense lawyer if I’m charged with a DUI?

Posted on December 26th, 2017 by Oddo & Babat, P.C.

A Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offense is a serious charge and a conviction can be costly as well as result in significant jail time. During the legal process, it’s important to protect your rights. A DUI lawyer can consider your best interests while guiding you through the court system. A skilled DUI lawyer may be able to reduce your charge or have it reduced altogether.

Your Right to Legal Representation

When you are arrested, you have the right to seek legal representation. If you cannot afford an attorney, you might be eligible for the services of a public defender at no charge to you. You also have the right to hire a criminal defense lawyer.

Public Defenders

Public defenders are licensed attorneys who represent those who cannot afford to hire a criminal defense lawyer. Due to most cities’ budget constraints, the public defender’s office is often overworked and their caseload per attorney is high. Unfortunately, this isn’t good for the defendants as they may not receive the focus and attention that their case demands for the best possible outcome. Though working with a public defender is better than representing yourself, it may not be an optimum solution.

Criminal Defense Attorneys

For many people who are charged with a serious crime such as a DUI, their main concern with hiring a criminal defense attorney is the cost. However, they may not qualify for the free services of a public defender. In addition, not hiring a DUI attorney can make all the difference in your case. In some instances, fines can run in the thousands of dollars. You might also lose your driver’s license which can affect your ability to commute to work and make a living. A DUI conviction might also affect your future job prospects, housing options, and personal relationships. Hiring a criminal defense attorney offers many advantages, including these:

  • Focus on you. A DUI criminal defense attorney can focus more time, energy, and resources to your case than the average public defender. You cannot choose your public defender, but you can choose your criminal defense attorney. Most will offer a free initial consultation, and during that meeting you can inquire about their caseload to verify that they can dedicate themselves to your case.
  • Experience. A DUI criminal defense attorney is familiar with motor vehicle laws, upcoming and new legislation, and police procedures involved with DUI arrests. A public defender, on the other hand, must represent their clients in many areas of the law. This makes it challenging for them to specialize in representing DUI defendants.
  • Knowledge. When you are arrested for a DUI, your license will be revoked and you will be granted a temporary driving permit which is meant to last until your trial. You will have a short time to request a hearing with the DMV to contest the suspension of your license. If you don’t do this, you can lose your license even if you are not convicted of the DUI. This, and other legal considerations are things your DUI criminal defense attorney such as the DUI lawyer Peoria IL locals trust will be aware of and can notify you about. A public defender may not know or have the time or resources to inform you of what you need to know.

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