If you’re facing DUI charges in Florida, you might be considering hiring a lawyer to represent you. But should you even hire a lawyer? Do you qualify for a public defender? Should you represent yourself?
Most individuals who are involved in the criminal justice system would agree that you probably should not represent yourself when you’re facing criminal charges. But what does the data reveal about self-representation and public defenders versus hiring a private DUI lawyer?
In a survey published by Martindale-Nolo, when looking at the DUI conviction rate for those without a lawyer, approximately seventy-four percent of unrepresented survey takers wound up with a DUI conviction of some kind, usually through guilty or no contest pleas. Only twenty-six percent of unrepresented surveyed individuals had their charges dropped, or they did not face charges. However, in these instances, it is likely that these people did not have to defend themselves due to their case circumstances, and not because they did a better job than a lawyer representing themselves.
Some individuals surveyed were represented by public defenders. If these survey respondents, again, seventy-four percent of them received a DUI conviction of some kind. In fifteen percent of cases, charges were either dropped or never filed, and public defenders obtained not guilty verdicts in only four percent of cases. In seven percent of cases represented by a public defender, the client pleaded to reckless driving or some other lesser offense.
Hiring A Private Lawyer
Most of DUI defendants who retained a private lawyer were convicted of some type of DUI, whether through a plea bargain or a conviction after trial. However, those who hired a private lawyer had the lowest rate of conviction compared to those who represented themselves or were represented by a public defender. The percentage of those convicted was sixty-five percent. In twelve percent of cases, charges were never filed or dismissed, and one percent were found not guilty after trial. In twenty-two percent of cases represented by private lawyers, defendants were able to plea to lesser offenses, which is a significant compared to those represented by public defenders or by themselves.
No matter how you choose to be represented in your criminal case, it is important to realize that the survey discussed above is only indicative of certain trends and does not determine the outcome of your case. The success of your case might depend more so on the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident, rather than the attorney that you hire or choose not to hire.
What Is Involved in a Free Attorney DUI Consultation?
If you’ve been arrested and charged with a DUI in Florida, hiring an experienced lawyer to defend your legal rights might be the best way to proceed with your charges. Accordingly, you may want to consider seeking a free consultation with a Florida DUI lawyer.
A consultation with a lawyer who has extensive experience handling DUI cases can provide you with information about your rights and responsibilities under the law. Moreover, a consultation is completely free and confidential, and you are under no obligation to hire the lawyer after the meeting. The following is an overview of what might occur during a consultation with a lawyer.
What Should I Expect to Happen During a Free Consultation with A Lawyer?
During a consultation with a Florida DUI Lawyer, the lawyer will take the time to get to know you and learn about your case, and you will have the opportunity to learn more about the lawyer and what they can do for you. Be sure to ask any questions that you may have about your case or even questions about the lawyer’s experience with DUI cases. You can expect the lawyer to ask questions about your case and the facts and circumstances surrounding your alleged DUI incident. After learning about your case, the lawyer will typically make a recommendation on how to proceed with your case.
Preparing for Your Free Consultation
The initial consultation is important as hiring this particular attorney could really make a difference when it comes to making sure your legal rights are protected. When discussing your case with the lawyer, you should be honest about the DUI incident as any inaccurate information will not be of assistance to you or your attorney. It is important to note that anything you do tell the lawyer will remain confidential.
When you go to the consultation, not only should you be prepared to answer the lawyer’s questions, but you should also come with questions of your own. Be sure to at the lawyer questions such as, (1) How much do you charge? (2) Do you have experience representing clients in DUI cases? (3) Who will be working on my case? (4) How long do you think my case will take?
Receive Your Free Florida DUI Consultation
If you’ve been arrested and charged with a DUI offense in Florida, a conviction can mean jail time, fines, and other criminal penalties. By consulting with an experienced DUI Lawyer, you will learn about your rights and will get a better idea about your chances of successfully fighting your criminal charges.
If you were arrested for driving under the influence in Florida, contact Musca Law as soon as possible at (888) 484-5057 to schedule a free no obligation consultation and to see how we can best represent you.