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Is It Beneficial For A Defendant To Spend Considerably For A Private Attorney If They Are Entitled To A Public Defender?


If you can afford or find a way to afford a DUI lawyer, do it! This is such a big deal in almost everyone’s life; it is such a big decision. People buy and put on credit cards things that cost $3000 or $5000. You step up to a nicer car, you take a bigger loan, make a bigger payment because you want a better one or a realizable one. That decision is nothing compared to the lawyer that you pick and it’s a decision that will stick with you for the rest of your life. This is your criminal record; this is something that every potential lawyer is going to see because everyone runs records now. It will stay on your criminal record forever if you get convicted of a DUI.

The arrest will stay on your record either way, whether you get convicted or not. What you want on that record after the arrest is a dismissal or a not-guilty finding at trial or reduced charges. If you do get convicted eventually after probation is over, an expungement is required. It’s such a big decision. If you’ve got to go to parents or friends or relatives or employers to take out a loan, it’s worth it. People do that all the time. Having kids and an education is the most important thing and I would do anything to make sure my kids have a roof over their heads, clothes, food and the best education I can get them. It is important to do whatever you can. If there’s no way you’re ever going to be able to repay the loan and just can’t afford it; we have public defenders.

Money is something that can be remade with hard work or luck but we live in a country where opportunity is what we are all supposed to have. We can make money but putting a big black mark on our criminal record prevents us from doing a lot of things like making money or getting loans or credit, getting jobs that involve driving or if driving is part of the job, you don’t get those jobs when you have DUI’s on your record, recent DUI’s especially because the insurance is too much for the company. They will hire the next guy or gal because it will cost them less. They may like you even more than the person they hire but you have got the DUI on your record. Maybe you wouldn’t have if you went the extra mile to hire the DUI lawyer.

How Does An Attorney Utilize their Time in a DUI Case?

You should be paying for his getting the best results possible. The attorney does not know everything about your case when you hire them because they have not seen a police report as it has not been made available yet. They haven’t seen the DMV discovery, they haven’t seen the videos. They haven’t seen the machine records. They haven’t seen the blood records or police communication. They haven’t run motions. They haven’t done a lot of things. They weren’t there when you got arrested. You hire the best DUI lawyer; someone you can work with, someone you’re comfortable with, someone experienced and you hire them for results. They will know, sometimes fairly quickly when things get rolling. Once they start getting the discovery, what are the results going to look like. If they have to go to court two times or 10 times, it shouldn’t matter. You want the best results you can. .

I don’t care if I have I have to go to court 10 times on a case, but if I can get the same result in two or three appearances, that’s what the client is paying me for. That’s what you should want, when you are looking for a lawyer; results, whether it is the DMV, the court or both. What you’re paying for is experience, you’re paying for knowledge in this field, in the community. You’re not paying an hourly fee; sometimes we never know going into these cases exactly how much. Sometimes I will spend hundreds of hours on cases and sometimes not that much. It’s always a number of hours on cases, how many is to be determined but I am hired for results and I don’t do billable hours because if I did billable hours, in many cases, the client would be paying a lot more money.

There are firms that do billable hours. They will take a retainer and say, “Okay we are going to bill you X amount per hour”. I would run from those companies every time because every time I had a client come to me who started out with one of those and had me take over the case, the amount that they were paying that person with the case without even being completed was out of line. It doesn’t work in DUI defense. You pay too much when you do billable hours as a client.

How Much Time Should Someone Take to Decide Which Attorney They Should Pick?

There are 10 days from the date of arrest to requesting the DMV hearing. If you’ve heard of that 10th day, you better make sure that you have a lawyer or that you contact the DMV and let them know that you are requesting an administrative hearing. If you don’t do that, your license is going to be suspended 30 days from the date of arrest. It’s a fairly quick decision; it’s one that you should be able to make within a matter of days after your arrest. You don’t want to talk to anybody but lawyers. If a cop re contacts you, you respectfully decline to talk to them without a lawyer.

Don’t tell DMV any facts of the case. If DMV says, ”You don’t need to have this hearing” when you call them up and try to make it because you haven’t hired an attorney yet and you’re at day 10, request the hearing. If you don’t live in town or you’re heading out on a business trip, spend some time over the phone talking to a lawyer and find the right lawyer for yourself. It should not take that long. If you’re talking to one or two or three lawyers, you will find the right one within a couple of days.

For more information on Costs of a Private DUI Attorney, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (415) 523-7878 today.

By Aaron Bortel

Aaron Bortel

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