Be careful when building your DUI defense

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

When you or a loved one are charged with a DUI or other criminal offense, acquiring the assistance of a public defender might be an option so long as you meet certain income requirements.

Although this advocacy will come at little to no cost to you, you should carefully consider whether being represented by a public defender is your best option. After all, the outcome of your or your loved one’s criminal case could have severe implications for years or even decades to come.

Analyzing whether a public defender is right for you

Although having a public defender represent you can be financially beneficial, there may be some risks associated with it. While there are certainly some strong public defenders out there who can zealously advocate for you, here are some dangers that you might be at risk of facing in your case if you go with a public defender:

  1. Lack of attention: Many public defenders are overwhelmed by the number of cases that they have, whether they be public defender cases or a mix of public defender and private cases. This means that your case might not receive the individualized attention it needs. In turn, your public defender might miss key defense opportunities simply because they’re moving too fast in analyzing your case.
  2. Inexperience: While there are some lifetime public defenders who have decades of experience and can provide you with competent representation, many public defenders are new to the practice of law. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it could leave you with an advocate who isn’t as familiar with the nuances implicated in your criminal case.
  3. Lack of communication: Given that most public defenders are overworked, you might find it hard to get ahold of your attorney if you go with a public defender. This, in turn, leaves you uninformed about case developments and prevents you from taking an active role in the crafting of your defense strategy.
  4. Limited resources: A public defender isn’t going to have access to a lot of additional resources to investigate and build your case. You may or may not need that depending on the complexities of your case, but if you think you’ll want that in your back pocket, then a public defender might not be right for you.
  5. No choice: When you’re appointed a public defender, you’re stuck with who is assigned to you, for better or worse. If you decide to hire a private attorney, on the other hand, you can thoroughly vet your options and choose the advocate you feel most comfortable with. That way you know exactly what you’re getting out of your legal representation.

We want to reiterate that there are some fine public defenders out there. Unfortunately, though, when you run this gambit, you roll the dice. With your future on the line, that might be too big of a risk for you to take.

Find the criminal defense strategy that protects you

An effective criminal defense is well prepared and aggressive. There’s no time to waste letting your case linger in the hands of someone who isn’t equipped or willing to go to bat for you. If you do wait too long, then the damage to your case might already be done before you even realize it.

So, before your case moves forward, take the time you need to contemplate your best criminal defense moves. By being thoughtful in your deliberations, you’ll hopefully put yourself on track to building the targeted legal attacks you need to beat the prosecution and the harsh penalties they’re threatening against you.