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Should You Hire An Attorney Or Try To Defend Yourself?

I usually tell people that I would much prefer for them to have a public defender than to try to represent themselves, although I would prefer for them to hire a private attorney if they were able to do so, because people who try to represent themselves are much more likely to be taken advantage of simply because they would not know what to look for.

People who represent themselves would basically just give up and plead guilty, even if they may have actually had a really good case. When they come to me after the fact, because they felt they should not have just plead guilty, I tell them they would now have to spend twice as much trying to get out of that plea agreement than they would have if they had just talked to an attorney in the first place.

They would just be looking at the surface and seeing that they were drinking and driving, so therefore they must be guilty. Whereas an attorney would be able to do a lot of things to best protect their clients.

There Could Be Serious Consequences If You Fight Your Case Without The Right Attorney

People who do not really realize the ramifications of trying to handle things themselves could end up with not only more jail time than they would have received with an attorney, but there could also be a lot more impact on their driver’s license especially if there were allegations of drugs or medications.

Someone who represented themselves, or if they were being representing by an attorney who did not know what they were doing, could end up with a one year license revocation or they could end up with a one-year ignition interlock device whereas they might not have needed to have either.

I recently handled a case for someone who I had spoken to a year earlier. He and his father were deciding between me and another attorney who was a former judge who had been practicing law for 50 years so he obviously had a lot more experience than I did.

I told the client that although the other attorney seemed to have a lot of experience, he was not actually a DUI lawyer, he was a judge and DUI is a very specialized field. The client and his father decided to go with the other lawyer because he had a lot more experience, even though he was charging 2 or 3 times as much as I was.

About a year later, this person came back to be and told me they had made the biggest mistake by going with the other lawyer, because they could never reach him, he never returned phone calls and he pled the client out to a DUI.

He remembered what I had told him a year earlier and he tried telling his attorney that they were supposed to deal with it as an alcohol case rather than a drug case, but the attorney with all those years of experience just dismissed him.

He contacted me to see what he could do because he found out the attorney, with all these years of experience, did not know what he was doing. The client ended up with a one-year license revocation, one-year of ignition interlock device, and with SR-22 High Risk Insurance, which were all the things that could have been prevented if the case was handled correctly.

He told the attorney that something went wrong, but the attorney asked him to pay an additional $1,500 so he would argue with the Motor Vehicle Division on his client’s behalf.

I was not sure if that attorney really did not know what he was doing or if he was just trying to get more money out of the client, because the issue was not between them and the Motor Vehicle Division, the issue was between the client and the court.

In reality, it was too late to do anything by then because too much time had passed.

The person had gotten misguided because they had an attorney who looked good on paper but he was not a DUI lawyer. He did not know how to properly handle the case, so ultimately his client was suffering the consequences of that. This is why it would be so important to get a DUI lawyer who focused on DUI, not someone who did not even make it a part of their practice.

You Can Refuse To Confess To The Police About Taking Legal Medication

A person would have a constitutional right to remain silent and in almost every situation, it would absolutely be in the client’s benefit to utilize their constitutional right and just remain silent.

If they told the officer they had consumed alcohol, used drugs or even that they took their prescription medication, then that information could be used against them later in the court of law at trial, if necessary. I do not recommend for anyone to admit to consuming alcohol, using drugs or using any medication.

This information could only be used against the person because it would not help them. I do not recommend lying to police officers. It is in the suspect’s best interest to tell the officer that they were invoking their right to remain silent, and that they chose not to answer any questions.

The person should have an attorney present if the police still felt they wanted to ask questions. These types of phrases can really help a client out and they would really help to ensure the officers had the least possible amount of evidence against them.

The officers may be smiling and they may be friendly but when they ask their questions, they would be trying to do a DUI investigation. They would be trying to collect as much evidence as they could to ensure the suspect was convicted.

For more information on Hiring The Right Attorney For DUI Charges, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling 480-900-0384 today.

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Why Brian Douglas Sloan?
AZ DUI Defense Lawyer Brian Douglas Sloan
  • 16+ Years SOLELY Focused on DUI Defense
  • Represented 3,700+ DUI Clients
    • Regular DUI
    • Extreme DUI
    • Super Extreme DUI
    • Drug/Medication DUI
  • Top One Percent in the Nation"
    National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • “Top 10 DUI Lawyers in Arizona”
    National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys
  • “10 Best Client Satisfaction Award”
    American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys
  • Superb “10 / 10” – AVVO.com
  • Preeminent “4.9 / 5.0” -- Martindale-Hubbell
  • “Southwest Rising Star” -- Super Lawyers
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