If you are arrested for driving under the influence in San Diego County, you may wonder about your options to represent yourself, ask for a public defender, or hire your own counsel. (In a past blog, “Should I hire A San Diego Drunk Driving Attorney To Handle My DUI?” these options are discuss more thoroughly.) It is highly recommended that you have a criminal defense lawyer represent your interests for any criminal matter because of the distinct advantages that are discussed below.
Many DUI defendants have never been in trouble with the law or arrested before. Often, they are confused about the process and do not understand the interaction between the DMV portion of the case and the criminal court process. A DUI defense attorney can help you navigate the system, explain the steps and procedures and help you make informed decisions about your case. This assistance makes the entire process less stressful.
Most misdemeanor drunk driving cases can be handled by a criminal defense attorney without the client being present at the DMV APS Hearing and for all court dates including the arraignment, readiness and motion hearings. (Note, it is not advisable to conduct a jury trial without the defendant’s presence.) This means the client does not miss valuable time at work. Often hearings that should take less than an hour actually require a lot more time due to the busyness of the DMV and Superior Court’s calendar.
Another advantage of hiring a criminal defense attorney that specifically handles driving under the influence cases, is the attorney will request and review the discovery. The discovery is the government’s proof that you committed a crime. Upon the review, the attorney will be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the State’s case. The attorney can also consult with investigators and experts to see if your case can be strengthened. Once all the facts of your case are known, the DUI attorney can advise you on whether you should accept the prosecutor’s offer, file motions to dispute an issue with the evidence, or take the case to trial.
The criminal defense lawyer is trained on researching, preparing and conducting hearings, motions and trials. In addition, the lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor to make sure you are getting the best deal possible considering the specific facts of your DUI case. A skilled DUI attorney who handles matters in San Diego is also familiar with the standard offers given in San Diego County courthouses and what judges and the prosecutors are likely to accept in exchange for a guilty plea.
Lastly, the drunk driving lawyer will educate you on process, go through all your options, and weigh the potential costs and benefits of each option; ultimately, helping you make clear decisions on how to proceed with your case.
The above blog article is by no means all-inclusive and is not legal advice. For information about a specific case, speak to a drunk driving lawyer in your area.
If you’re charged with driving under the influence in San Diego, call The Law Offices of Susan L. Hartman for help. We offer a free, confidential phone consultation, so you can learn about your rights and options with no obligation. Call us at 619-260-1122 or use the “Contact Us” form on this page.