Hiring a DUI Attorney vs. A Public Defender

Posted On: March 16th, 2018 by Bradley J. Groene
Man in suit writing in notebook next to brass scales

If you have been charged with a DUI, you have some options when it comes to legal representation. You can choose to hire a private DUI attorney, or you can use a court-appointed public defender. Before you decide which route to take, you may want to consider a few pros and cons of each advocate.

For help with your DUI charge, you should reach out to an experienced Cincinnati DUI lawyer right away. Our attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates can vigorously fight on your behalf to help you achieve your best outcome.

Contact us today at (513) 338-1890 to schedule a free consultation.

Hiring a DUI Attorney

Whether you’ve been charged with your first DUI or you’re facing a second charge, hiring an attorney to represent you is a smart move. Attorneys who focus solely on DUI law have knowledge of the law and local practices, and they often seek continuing education to stay updated on the most recent regulations. Because they spend so much time in criminal court, DUI attorneys get to know the attitudes and habits of the judges and public defenders, giving them the ability to better gauge the outcome of your case.

Hiring a DUI attorney can give you peace of mind that your case is being handled correctly. You get to hand-pick your attorney and interview them before you even hire them. Once they are hired, you will be able to have one-on-one discussions with them as your case progresses, allowing you to fully understand the situation.

However, using a private attorney is the more expensive option, and if your case goes to trial, it’ll cost you even more. Many attorneys can offer a payment plan, so be sure to discuss fees and payments during your consultation.

Using a Public Defender

A public defender handles a variety of criminal cases, including DUIs, so they have considerable experience in that area. Moreover, public defenders also get to know the judges and local laws and rules, so they can also provide insight on whether you should accept a plea-bargain or take your case to trial. If you don’t have much money, the public defender is certainly the more affordable option.

Nonetheless, using a public defender has its downsides too. Public defenders typically have large caseloads, so they may not be able to give you the individualized attention you’re looking for. Handpicking and hiring a DUI attorney, on the other hand, means you will receive the focused attention on your case you deserve.

Does It Really Matter Who You Use?

You can probably look up the basic laws and punishments for DUIs in your state’s regulations. This begs the question: Does it matter who represents you if the outcome is the same?

It can definitely make a difference. It’s true that many courts have basic punishments based on factors of your case. For example, if you are charged with your first DUI, your BAC isn’t very high, and you didn’t cause a major accident or injure other people, you could receive a lower-level, basic punishment. The public defender, who is overloaded with other cases, could be more inclined to be satisfied with the punishment and encourage you to agree. But, a private DUI attorney may be able to use this basic punishment as a starting point instead of the end result and trim your offer down even further.

Talk to a Cincinnati DUI Attorney about Your Case

If you’re facing DUI charges and you’d like more information about your case, call the DUI attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates. We can meet with you for a consultation to discuss the facts of your case and your legal options. To schedule a free initial appointment, contact us at (513) 338-1890 today.