Going into court being charged with a DUI can be a scary situation to be in. You have two choices when it comes to representation; you can either hire a lawyer that deals in DUI cases, or you can have a public defender appointed to you. In order to ensure quality representation, the best course of action is to hire an attorney that has experience dealing with court systems and DUI cases. Though the costs will be higher, you can rest assured that the person on your side is with you at all times during the process. Inversely, public defenders don't necessarily specialize, and as a result they may not know everything they should look for in a DUI case. Additionally, a public defender may be dealing with other cases, and thus will not be able to devote as much time to your case as a DUI attorney could.
First and foremost, being charged with a DUI doesn't necessarily mean that your case is set in stone. Whether it's a reduction in penalty, or a complete dismissal of charges, there are opportunities for changes in the initial charge. An experienced DUI attorney has spent ample time dealing with cases that are likely not much different than one another. This time behind the scenes allows them to know specifically how to handle certain situations, and they can tell you whether there is an opportunity for you. On the other side of the coin, a public defender doesn't take the same approach to cases. Though they may have dealt with a multitude of DUI cases, they also handle many other kinds that might obscure their knowledge of DUI in particular. Don't you want to have someone that can point to specific incidences and tell you if you can avoid charges altogether?
As mentioned before, perhaps the major difference between a professional DUI attorney and a public defender comes down to one thing. Money. When weighing the options of representation, you sometimes do not want to aim for price. An experienced DUI attorney may cost you a pretty penny at times, but the chances of charge reduction or dismissal are significantly higher than otherwise. In essence, you're paying for a consultation and representation, but you may pay less or none at all for the actual charge. A free public defender could get the charges dismissed as well, but the chances are much lower, so you will likely still be caught with paying for your charge in whatever way you're required. Sometimes, a public defender is your only option, and this doesn't have to mean doom and gloom. Your case is important to anyone who represents you, it's just the level of attentiveness that may change.
In our experience, sticking with an experienced attorney will always give you a better result than what a publicly appointed official will. However, the weight of price must be accounted for, and if you are fighting for less than what you would pay an expert, perhaps your choice is obvious. If you're so inclined, we advise always seeking out consultation for your case, even if you choose to go another route entirely. You never know what a DUI attorney may tell you; it could mean the difference of being charged or getting it dismissed.