Grand Rapids, MI asked in DUI / DWI for Michigan

Q: If Im being charged w/ OWI & high BAC (.21), what should I do? Get a lawyer or can I do court apt? Plead guilty or not?

I am a 25 and it's my 1st offense. I already work 2 jobs to pay the bills, so if you think a court appointed public defender can get the job done, same as a OWI attorney, please say that. Money is tight. What do I need to know & do? My arrainment is this coming Friday Sept. 6th

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1 Lawyer Answer
Frank B. Ford
Frank B. Ford
PREMIUM
Answered
  • DUI & DWI Lawyer
  • Dearborn Heights, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Many court appointed lawyers are very competent attorneys and serve their clients well. To some extent, it depends on what court the case is in, and who you get as an attorney. Some courts use a "house counsel" system that has one attorney handling all the court appointed cases that come to that court that day. It is very hard for an attorney in those circumstances to do more than just the minimal amount of work on any one case. An attorney you retain will put a lot of time into your case, interviewing you, reviewing police reports and probably reviewing video from the police car, body cam, and in the station. House counsel may not even speak with you until the day you go to court, and then only for a few minutes. Even in courts where attorneys are assigned individually, the amount of time spent on a case may not be as much as on a retained case. It's not the fault of the attorneys, it's the nature of the system. You are looking at the possibility of having no driver's license for a month and a half, and having to have a breath interlock in your car for the rest of a year after that. Retain the best lawyer you can afford. Do not plead guilty at arraignment! Sincerely, Frank B. Ford

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