When you are charged with driving under the influence, you are facing charges that will be heard in criminal court. You have choices when it comes to your representation. If you don't want an attorney, you can choose to represent yourself. When you can't afford a DWI attorney, you can go with the public defender that is assigned to you for free. When you are concerned about the charges against you and you want the best defense possible, you can hire a private DUI attorney to represent you in court. If you aren't sure what you want, you can always meet with a DUI attorney for an initial consultation to talk over the merits of your case.
Know if You Have a Strong Case
Your defense will depend on the strength of your case. When you meet with a private DWI attorney, you will talk about what happened that led to your being pulled over and charged with driving under the influence. A DWI attorney understands the complexities of field sobriety tests and will be able to point out if you weren't properly tested. Mistakes may have been made, and your case may be circumstantial evidence at best. If you have a strong case, it is always best to go with a private attorney for your defense.
Don't Accept a First Offer
If this is your first DUI charge, you might be tempted to take the first plea deal offered to you by the prosecution. While this can resolve your case quickly, you don't have to accept the first plea that is offered. When you have a DUI attorney, they will know if your case is strong enough to get a better deal than what you are offered initially. At the very least, consult with a private attorney regarding your charges and the offer that is in front of you before you sign anything.
Get the Representation You Deserve
While a public defender can represent you in court, they are busy and don't have as much time for you as a private attorney does. If you are concerned about the charges you are facing, a private attorney will be able to discuss your case in depth with you. A public defender almost always has too many cases going on at once, and it is easier for the public defender if you accept a plea deal than if you try to push your case to a trial.