Should I represent myself on a first offense DUI? 13 Answers as of May 25, 2011

I was arrested for 1st offense DUI w BAC .10. I am 40 yr old single mom never had so much as a parking ticket. I just filed bankruptcy so no money for a lawyer. Any suggestions on a defense strategy? Should I request public defender or am I better off representing myself?

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Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
You should get the Public Defender. PDs are mostly great attorneys, just overworked. You need legal advice on something that can affect the rest of your life.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/25/2011
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
With a .10 B.A. the D.A. will be unlikely to willingly reduce the charge. If you don't have funds for a lawyer you can rep yourself. You probably qualify for a P.D. but they will be of little help.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/25/2011
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Request the public defender.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/25/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
Should you? No. Can you? Yes. If you cant afford counsel, then apply for Public Defender at your first hearing.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/25/2011
LynchLaw
LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
Not really. It is like a lawyer asking a doctor if she should conduct her own surgery. Without the training and experience, not only could you make it worse, you could hurt yourself permanently and unnecessarily.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/25/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Never go to a criminal court appearance without an attorney!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    Definitely use the Public Defender. You probably have no idea what best to do.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    It is always a bad idea to represent yourself. And for DUI's, it is almost always a bad idea to use the PD, because PD's cannot and will not represent you at the DMV hearing, which is a big part of any DUI arrest. You need a private attorney specializing in DUI in order to get competent representation both in court and at the DMV.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/24/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    You have no money so you qualify for a PD. Why not take one so the DA doesn't take advantage of You
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/24/2011
    Law Offices of Ramona Hallam
    Law Offices of Ramona Hallam | Ramona Hallam
    Nobody is ever better off representing themselves in a criminal case. My advice would be to take up a collection from friends and relatives or obtain help from the public defender. Even then, they may want you to enter a plea at arraignment without obtaining discovery first or without having your blood test re-done.It is important that you are fully represented and make no statements adverse to your penal interests.It will be difficult to adequately represent your interests absent a competent attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/24/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    Get the public defender. They can try for a wet reckless .
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/24/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    I would not recommend representing yourself on a DUI case, or any other misdemeanor or felony for that matter. Although I recommend hiring private counsel, if that is not an option, generally speaking, you are better off with a public defender than representing yourself. You may get frustrated that the public defender does not have the time to spend speaking to you about your case in detail, but there are a lot of intricacies with DUI cases, and with the law and Court in general.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/24/2011
    Bird & Van Dyke, Inc.
    Bird & Van Dyke, Inc. | Mary Ann Bird
    Please do not represent yourself. There is a saying in our business, "One who represents himself represents a fool." Take the time to consult with a professional. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/24/2011
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