Articles Posted in Public Defenders

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.


While your case is pending before a Criminal Court, you have certain Constitutional Rights that are protected. One of those rights is the right to an attorney.sThe criminal justice process is a complicated one, and entering a plea can have certain consequences to your freedom, or your rights. Because of this, each and every person has the right to an attorney, so that they do not waive any rights that are given to them without understanding what it it is that they are waiving.

On the flip side, you also have the right to represent yourself through the criminal process. If you choose to do this, you will not be given special considerations because you are representing yourself. You will be held to the same procedural standards, deadlines and laws as a person who is represented by an attorney.

At any point in the proceedings you have the option of asking the Judge for a continuance so that you can hire counsel. Just because it is a fundamental right for a person to be represented by counsel in criminal proceedings, that does not mean that everyone can afford to do so. If you would like to be represented by counsel but do not have the funds to do so, the government will provide you with a public defender and will charge you based on your financial situation.

There have been a series of blogs that have thoroughly gone through the rights a person has during their criminal case. As stated many times, there are important protections afforded to you by the United States Constitution, and these rights should be taken very seriously and waived after much consideration and caution.

The rights you have available to you during your Los Angeles DUI case are the same that are available to any other person going through a criminal case. A DUI is a criminal charge and therefore, the protections and rights that other people given are also extended to a person being charged with a DUI.

For a thorough discussion on each right available, refer to the Los Angeles Criminal blog.

The holidays are a time to enjoy the season with friends and family. There are many holiday parties and gatherings to attend and with those parties come alcoholic drinks. While it is a part of the celebration of the season, it is important to keep in mind that the government continues to crack down on drinking and driving, especially during the holiday season.

Take precautionary measures during the joyous season to prevent yourself from getting arrested. Have a plan before you attend a party. Determine who is going to be the designated diver, or get a hotel room nearby. Another good option is a cab, and may be worth the cost when compared to the costs of a DUI.

DUIs can get pretty costly. There is the cost of hiring a Los Angeles DUI Defense lawyer. A private lawyer may be very necessary when it comes to being legally represented in Court. You want to assure that your rights are protected and you are not putting in a guiltysplea when you case has a strong probability of being reduced or dismissed. Many attorneys charge a flat fee for criminal defense cases and require that the fee be paid up front. However, at the Law Offices of Ronald Hoffman, we understand that many people’s financial situations are difficult in this economy. Therefore, we provide affordable and reasonable payment plans that allow our clients to pay as they can afford it. Our goal is to provide clients with knowledgeable and experienced legal representation they can count on, even if they cannot afford to hire an attorney with costs entirely up front.

When you have been arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence, you will be given a court date to appear before a Criminal Judge. The law presumes that you are innocent until you are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and it will be the Prosecutor’s job to prove that you were intoxicated while driving.

The first appearance made before the Criminal Judge is called an Arraignment. During the arraignment the Judge will read you the charges and will ask if you would like to plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. If you plead guilty or no contest, you will be read a DUI Advisement of Rights, Waiver and Plea form. You must read this form carefully and initial each statement.

In the form, there is an explanation as to your Right to an attorney. It explains that you have a right to an attorney to represent you throughout the proceedings. This is a right granted to you by the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. This right ensures that each person is protected and properly represented before the Judge when they are being tried for criminal charges. It helps avoid any wrongful judgments being entered because the person being tried improperly handled their case or proceedings.

It is each person’s right to be heard by a court of law, and be given a fair trial before they are found guilty of a criminal charge. In interest of these rights, when a person is arrested and charged with a potential DUI, they are ordered to appear before a criminal judge. They will not be found guilty of any criminal charge unless prosecutors can prove that there is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The first appearance is called an Arraignment. During the arraignment the Judge will read the charges and ask if the person being tried would like to enter a plea. You can plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. If you plead guilty or no contest, you will be given a DUI Advisement of Rights, Waiver and Plea form. You will be asked to read over each provision carefully and initial by each statement.

The advisement assures that you are aware of the rights you will be relinquishing when you plead guilty or no contest. It also confirms that you have been advised of the potential consequences you may face as someone who has been found guilty or have not contested driving under the influence charges against you.

The first hearing subsequent to one’s arrest is called an arraignment. Any person arrested for a misdemeanor offense, and not released to the court on their own recognizance,or by posting bail must be brought to court for their arraignment within 48 hours of their arrest. This constitutional requirement does not count weekends or holidays.

Anyone arrested for a felony offense, and not released on their own recognizance, or by posting bail, must be brought to court for their arraignment within 72 hours of their arrest. Like misdemeanor cases, weekends and holidays are not counted towards this constitutional time requirement.

Since all people arrested, are presumed innocent until proven guilty, an arraignment is an opportunity to commence legal proceedings by giving the accused an opportunity to plead not guilty, after being advised of the charges being filed by the prosecutor. At a clients arraignment the charges are read, as well as the possible consequences of the charges,in the event the defendant pleads quilty, or isfound quilty after a curt or jury trial.