Do You Need an Attorney to Defend a DUII?
Interviewer: What do you say to people who feel that they don’t need a lawyer, and decide to defend themselves in court?
An Attorney Knows What Potential Problems May Exist in the Prosecutor’s Case
John Reade: It is a mistake, to represent yourself. Driving under the influence is somewhat of a specialized area, as far as criminal defense goes. It requires not only a legal education, but experience in the area of driving under the influence as far as any potential problems with the prosecutor’s case that could be exploited or used to the client’s advantage.
If You Qualify, Should You Opt for a Public Defender to Defend a DUII?
Interviewer: Why would it be more beneficial to hire a private attorney instead of a public defender?
Public Defenders Have A Lot Of Cases and Therefore Are Limited in the Amount of Time They Can Devote to Each Case
John Reade: Public defenders generally get paid a salary, regardless of how many cases they have, and they usually have a fairly high volume of cases. Because of the high volume of cases they have, and the number of work hours there are in a day, they can generally only devote a certain amount of time to each case.
Is It Helpful to Attend Counseling Sessions while a DUII Case Is Pending?
Interviewer: After someone is arrested, are there any particular treatment programs that, in some cases, might be helpful to their pending case?
John Reade: The only time I see it is really helpful, is if the person obviously has an alcohol problem, (i.e. a number of prior driving under the influence convictions), and they voluntarily enroll in an alcohol treatment program before they are ordered to by a judge.
A residential treatment program is usually something that can be used to their benefit, as far as persuasively arguing their case to a deputy district attorney/prosecutor, and a judge.
Guilty or Not Guilty: Entering a Plea
Interviewer: What are the differences between pleading guilty and not guilty in a DUII case?
John Reade: If you plead guilty then you just appear in court at a later date, and the judge imposes a sentence. If you plead not guilty, then you are entitled to a trial before a jury of six individuals if it is a misdemeanor or 12 individuals if it is a felony. The prosecutor has to prove each element of the driving under the influence charge beyond a reasonable doubt, which is sometimes referred to as to a moral certainty.