If you or your loved was recently arrested for driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated, there’s a good chance that a court appearance has been scheduled to appear before a judge. At this point, the arrested individual will officially be charged with a DUI or DWI. But when is the right time to hire an attorney in the process or how should you proceed once an attorney has been retained? Keep reading to find out our recommendations on how to navigate this stressful process.
Once before a judge, an individual will be required to respond to the charges against them by entering a plea of guilty or not guilty. Before this arraignment, it is important for the arrested individual to retain or meet with a lawyer to ensure they have the support or experience needed to obtain a favorable outcome. Before you do anything else, we will explore some of the reasons that you should retain a lawyer before your first court appearance is scheduled.
When Should You Retain a DUI Lawyer?
While the time between an arrest and seeking legal counsel is different for everyone based on their personal needs, it is generally recommended that an individual retains a lawyer right away so they are able to review the case appropriately, create a defense plan and be present at the time of arraignment to present their legal defense if needed. However, while recommended, some people choose to proceed without a DUI lawyer and decide whether or not they need assistance looking at the case further in the process.
One of the most common reasons that arrested individuals wait to retain a DUI lawyer is that they are afraid the costs will be too high and they won’t be able to afford it. In many cases, this is a fear for first-time offenders that are unaware of the many affordable legal options that are available to them. Finding the right lawyer may also help reduce the fines or costs associated with a DUI and, without legal counsel, you may be paying more than you feared you would with professional legal counsel.
Private Attorneys vs. Public Defenders
In some instances, you may be eligible to receive free representation through a public defender if you are unable to hire an attorney on your own. While this may seem beneficial at face value, many public defenders will juggle multiple cases at a time and your defense could suffer as a result. If you work with a public defender, expect them to seek a plea bargain to avoid the need for a trial. Just keep in mind, this may not fit your needs as a client since not all cases warrant a plea bargain for DUI and an experienced, private attorney can help navigate the process efficiently.
At Amber Law Group, we know that no DUI case is the same and have successfully defended countless DUI charges. You may be feeling guilt and shame from your arrest, but you deserve an experienced criminal attorney who can effectively represent you and your rights. Contact us today at 918-895-7216. We have offices in Tulsa and McAlester that are waiting for your call.