When you have been charged with drinking under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, you will asked to appear in court on a mandatory appearance. This first appearance is referred to as an Arraignment. At the arraignment one of the advisements you will be given, is your right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the government will provide one for you. This attorney is referred to as a public defender.
A public defender is a skilled criminal defense attorney that can help represent you in your criminal case. The pay for the public defender will be determined on a sliding scale based upon your income. However, as skillful as public defenders are, there are some drawbacks to having one represent you in your criminal matter.
LACK OF TIME FOR PREPARATION
The only time you meet with your public defender is right before you are called before the Judge on the day of your hearing. Public Defenders have multiple cases before the Judge every single day, and they do not have time to sit and thoroughly prepare your case or meet with you beforehand, they simply do not have the time .In contrast, a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer that in private practice makes your case a priority. They will meet with you initially even prior to hiring, and they will meet with you thereafter as often as necessary. They have time to review your discovery in detail, to call the prosecutor and negotiation charges and potential sentences, and they have time to thoroughly prepare you and discuss each fact and potential defense on your case in detail.
Public defenders are government employees and have a large caseload. They are before the Judge every day representing everyone that needs help. They meet with people right there in the courtroom, discuss their options, and present the case to the Judge minutes after. This is not sufficient time for you to fully understand what is going on, for you to take the time to weigh out each of your options and make an educated decision. It also does not give them any time to speak to potential witnesses, or review potential evidence that could really help your case. With a private attorney with over thirty years of DUI experience, you have plenty of time to present what you need. You have the option of asking the attorney to speak to family or friends, to collect letters of recommendation, as well as speak to potential witnesses or review potential evidence.
If you are faced with charges and cannot afford an attorney do not automatically choose a public defender. Many Los Angeles Lawyers offer payment plans and affordable rates. At the end of the day, you will not be just another case number, but a client that gets the careful time and attention they deserve.