When you get a DUI, you might feel a little bit confused about what steps to take. From who to call, what to expect, and what choice is right for you when it comes to hiring representation. People often feel a bit confused, among other emotions, following the arrest. However, one decision you should make quickly is whether to use a private attorney or public defender. Every DUI stop is different and either choice for representation has its advantages and drawbacks…
Private Attorney or Public Defender: Acknowledging Benefits
Benefits of a Private Attorney
Because you are not appointed a private attorney, you get to choose your own. Choosing your own representation allows you to shop around and find an attorney you feel most comfortable with. In addition to being able to choose, most private DUI attorneys have smaller case loads. Much like you choose your attorney, they choose what cases they take. A smaller case load can often mean a more focused attorney. This can be important for your case.
Keep in mind, when looking for a private attorney, you will need to ask some questions. Make sure you are clear on what the cost will be. Some may even offer payment plans. If this is something you will need, make sure you ask about that before choosing an attorney. Also, ask about their experience inside a courtroom. Some private DUI attorneys may have a light case load, meaning they have less time in a courtroom.
Benefits of a Public Defender
Unlike a private attorney, a public defender will (probably) be of no cost to you. In some cases, you are only eligible for a public defender if you cannot afford an attorney. Just because they are free does not mean you will get bad service. Public defenders are often quite familiar with tough, heavy case loads. Because of this experience, they might be able to work through your case more quickly. Additionally, they are usually at the court house daily. This means they are familiar with the local court staff.
If you are unable to get a public defender, you will have to get a private attorney. Remember that public defenders have a lot going on and may be distracted during your case. Weigh your options when choosing between private attorneys and public defenders.