Will a public defender assist someone who has been charged with a DUI in Missouri? 1 Answers as of March 02, 2011

My grandson is 34 yrs old. He got arrested on DUI charges which could be a felony as this is his 3rd charge in the last 10 yrs. He has no job at present, and is not financially able to hire a good attorney. Can a Public Defender help him? Will they represent him as much as a hired attorney? He lives in Farmington, MO. Thank you for the information.

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Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
Yes, your grandson has the right to an appointed attorney (public defender, PD) because the crime carries jail time. Public defenders are excellent attorneys - very smart, lots of experience, etc. However, they are very, very busy so it is not uncommon for a defendant to meet his PD for the first time on the morning of the hearing. To give you an example of how busy they are, they often carry a caseload of 150 clients or more. In comparison, I limit my caseload to 35 clients at a time. They are very good, but they will not have as much time to spend on your case as a private attorney would.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 3/2/2011
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