DUI Cases: Should I Hire a Public Defender or a Private Lawyer?

People don’t like dealing with two particular professionals: lawyers and doctors.

The latter is generally disliked for being usually somewhat arrogant and full of themselves. Plus, dealing with a doctor entails having health complications, which is never fun. As for attorneys, well, dealing with those means you are in trouble with the law, which is even worse than being sick.

Moreover, people assume that you have the funds to pay a fortune for their legal services, which isn’t always the case. Unfortunately, dealing with either isn’t a luxury, and you might be forced to do it. The trick is finding the right ones to deal with. If you are facing DUI charges, for example, then you have to hire an attorney.

The question becomes, which is a better option, a public defender or a private lawyer if you can afford it?


In terms of cost, needless to say, a public defender is cheaper because it is the state that pays for their legal fees. If you cannot afford to hire a private lawyer for your DUI case, or any other for that matter, you will be provided with a public defender to represent you in court. On the other hand, private lawyers often give DUI clients free consultation about their cases, which can prove very valuable as they might tell you to settle or take it to court.


You can’t possibly hope to get the same level of attention from a public defender as you would from a private lawyer. The former has a ton of cases on their hands, and they simply cannot walk you through the entire proceedings as DUI defence lawyers would; on the other hand, private lawyers would dedicate their full time to your case. When you deal with private attorneys, you pay for their services, so they dedicate their time to helping you. You also don’t get to choose your public defender, but when you want to hire a private lawyer, you look for the best and most experienced that you can afford. DUI lawyers, in particular, don’t have the same workload as a public defender, so they would have more time to focus on providing you with the best legal representation. They also rely on referrals for the most part, so they have to make sure that their track record is excellent.


When it comes to resources, you cannot beat a private lawyer. They have the manpower, money, and time to work on getting you the best outcome in your DUI case. A public defender, on the other hand, is often understaffed and overworked; they sometimes have hundreds of cases to handle simultaneously. This obviously means that both their efforts and resources are spread too thin. A private lawyer has the money to conduct any necessary investigations pertaining to the case that might help prove your innocence or mitigate the sentence. This is a luxury that you would not get with a public defender.


This one is relatively balanced between both options. Public defenders handle a ton of criminal cases, and they are most often DUIs. This means they know the ins and outs of those cases, and they also have connections that might expedite the case or help with the outcome; however, that is far from a sure thing. Public defenders obviously need to be well versed in DUI law and might be able to set a proper legal strategy based on that. If you go to a specialized private attorney, on the other hand, who has experience in DUI cases, they will also be able to set a great legal strategy for your defense and they have an excellent understanding of DUI laws and proceedings.

Additional services

One of the biggest problems facing people with DUI charges is having their license suspended, which can be quite problematic for some. This is one angle that really distinguishes private attorneys, as they can make an appearance on your behalf at the DMV hearing, which might halt the suspension and get you out of it if the lawyers know what they’re doing. They can get your license back or delay the suspension as much as possible. A public defender can’t make this appearance in the DMV hearing, as they don’t have the time and they mostly care about courtroom representation, so what happens to your license is not of much importance.

It doesn’t take a legal expert to tell you that private lawyers are a better option. They will cost you, but it is up to you to decide whether or not they are worth the money, which you might even have to borrow. If not, you can always try your luck with a public defender.

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