Being arrested on a DUI charge is a confusing, complicated, stressful, and expensive experience. You may think that defending yourself in court is a good option to help you save money, but the critical thing to ask yourself is whether or not you can attain the necessary legal sophistication in the few weeks or months you have to prepare for trial. Will it be enough to prevail over a prosecutor who has years, if not decades, of experience?
It’s highly unlikely.
There are many misconceptions regarding defending oneself in a DUI case. Below, we address some of these misconceptions, explain why it isn’t a good idea to defend yourself in a DUI case, and explain why you should always seek representation from an Orange County DUI lawyer.
Misconception 1: The Prosecution Will Go Easier on Me if I Defend Myself
Many people think that prosecutors are the kind-hearted, understanding people they see on TV shows, but prosecutors are singularly focused on securing convictions; the average conviction rate for prosecutors in California is over 95%. This is especially true when it comes to a DUI. There can be extremely serious consequences for a DUI conviction, including loss of driving privileges and other licenses, fines, classes, community service, and even jail time. Prosecutors may deal with hundreds of DUI cases a month, so remember that you are not likely to be seen as an individual to them, but simply an another case.
Misconception 2: I’m Pleading Guilty, So I Don’t Need a Lawyer
Even if you are 100% certain that you will be receiving a conviction for your DUI, an Orange County DUI lawyer can have a significant positive effect on the outcome of your trial and ensure that you receive a favorable settlement. While you will receive punishment of some kind if you are convicted of a DUI, a good lawyer can be the difference between serving community service and serving time in jail. Additionally, a skilled, local DUI attorney who is familiar with the prosecutor and their tactics can often mean the difference between a DUI conviction and a wet reckless charge.
Misconception 3: A DUI Lawyer Will Cost More Than My Penalty
Can you really place a monetary cost on your freedom, whether it comes to the freedom to drive or freedom from jail time? The fact is that, when you are facing a DUI conviction, the potential penalties are immeasurable in terms of their effect on your lifestyle. A local DUI attorney can help decrease the numerous fees that are often associated with a DUI or DWI conviction, help you incur less penalties in terms of fines, probation, and programs, and prevent a court suspension of your license(s).
Misconception 4: I Should Use a Public Defender to Save Money
While still a better idea than defending yourself, court-appointed public defenders are often extremely overburdened. Because they are almost always defending multiple individuals facing alcohol-related offenses at once, they may choose to settle with prosecutors for numerous cases in the same deal. Ideally, your case will be a priority for the public defender, but oftentimes you simply can’t be prioritized due to caseload issues. Your best bet when facing a DUI conviction is to consult with a DUI attorney in Orange County.
Remember the old adage,
“The person who defends himself has a fool for a client.”
Give yourself the best chance of success in your upcoming DUI trial by hiring a local DUI attorney.