Should You Bring Your Own Attorney to Your DUI Arraignment

Thursday, February 13, 2014

If you've been arrested for a DUI in Orlando, you may be wondering if you should bring your own attorney to your arraignment hearing. You do have the right to an attorney, so the state of Florida will provide one, but many of our clients wonder if that's the best call — and for a good reason.

Don't think for a second that a public defender is necessarily a less qualified lawyer. But they have to take a lot more clients per day than a law firm like ours, so they may not have the time to spend hashing out everything with each individual client. When you retain your own lawyer, we'll meet with you in plenty of time before the hearing to get to know you and the circumstances so we can offer you the absolute best advice possible.

Why Is Knowing Your Lawyer in Advance Important?

Not only is a public defender more likely to overlook something due to limited time to confer with the defendant (that's you), but there's one really important thing that will be decided during your hearing. The judge will make a decision about setting bail, putting an ignition interlock device on your car or asking you to wear a SCRAM bracelet.

One of the things the judge will consider is the likelihood you will flee before you can be tried. One big factor in that is your "ties to the community." That could include everything from family in the area, whether you own property and what kind of job you have to how long you've lived in Orlando. A private attorney can get to know you well enough to really bring that home to a judge.

Other Benefits to Having Your Own DUI Attorney

Anytime you may need an attorney on a go-forward basis, it's best to get them involved as quickly as possible. They can do the proper research before your arraignment and keep the negative consequences as low as possible, preventing your rights from being violated at the same time. Even if you're guilty, you deserve to be treated fairly, after all.

A private DUI lawyer handles many DUI cases each year. Since they're a specialist, they know how to properly investigate the case before you go to any court proceedings. They know what red flags to double check. For example, a breathalyzer test (the one they use to prove you're under the influence) isn't always accurate. We'll be able to take the time to go into the little details a public defender may not have access to at the last minute.

Additionally, your DUI lawyer can find other witnesses in Orlando (like people who saw you the evening previous) and interview them. They can even track down people who may be able to testify in your defense. These may not be necessary for the arraignment itself, but having someone on your side with those resources could turn out to be the difference between an innocent verdict and probation or time in jail.

There's even the possibility that your charge could ultimately be expunged or sealed, but that depends on the situation. That is when it's important that you've had a dedicated professional handling your case from the beginning.

Have You Been Charged With a DUI?

If you've been charged with a DUI, we recommend getting a DUI attorney involved as soon as possible. And you can look into that with our free, no-obligation consultation. Just contact us or call us at Draper Law Office at 866.767.4711 to get our expert opinion on your case. You can always decide after the call to opt for the state-sponsored attorney or you can always opt to come back to us if you are not satisfied with your public defender.

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