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
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
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.