If you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense in Van Nuys or elsewhere in Los Angeles County, you can benefit from speaking with a dedicated criminal defense attorney. Regardless of whether or not you choose to hire them to represent you in court, by consulting a lawyer you will get a much better idea of the kind of charges you are facing, what defenses may be available to you, what sorts of plea bargains are likely, and what may happen to you if you are convicted. Your criminal defense lawyer can likely help you bring important pretrial issues to light that have bearing on your case, and may even be able to get your case dismissed entirely.
Hiring An Attorney After An Arrest For DUI
Drivers need to be aware that a charge for DUI is not like a parking ticket or moving violation – it is a bona fide criminal matter that should be taken very seriously. If you have been arrested for DUI, it is worth your while to allow an experienced criminal defense attorney to handle your case. There are several reasons for this.
Get Help With Your Defense
First of all, if a viable criminal defense exists where your case is concerned, your attorney is more likely to find it than you are. There may be legal, scientific, and technical defenses available to you, but no prosecutor or judge will bring them to your attention of their own accord – that’s not their job.
Protect Yourself Against Enhanced Penalties
Secondly, even if no good defense to your charges exists, your lawyer can still protect your rights and your interests by making sure you get the best deal possible. Judges and prosecutors will often try to seek harsher sentences in DUI cases when high BAC levels or prior convictions are involved, and your attorney may be able to persuade them not to do so. In other cases, your lawyer can help you negotiate a plea bargain and get your charges – and any associated penalties – significantly reduced.
Having Legal Representation After An Arrest Means Comfort and Convenience
Thirdly, dealing with the criminal justice system after an arrest is a confusing and stressful process. Defendants who try to handle their own cases can make their situations much worse without meaning to. If you are represented by a lawyer, however, they will go to court for you and take care of all the paperwork relevant to your arrest. You may only have to appear in court once for your trial or to finalize any agreement you have made, and many defendants who have legal representation never have to appear in court at all. Furthermore, your lawyer can also make all your post-conviction appearances for you and submit any proof of program completions or progress reports that are necessary.
Why You Shouldn’t Rely On Public Defenders
Most public defenders are excellent lawyers with the best of intentions, but they are generally overwhelmed with their caseloads and do not have the time to give each client the attention they deserve. In fact, usually defendants only get to speak with their public defender for a moment or two before each court appearance. What’s more, it’s common for a different public defender to show up every time a defendant appears in court. Since they are paid regardless of whether their clients are convicted or not, there is little incentive for them to represent you aggressively. Your public defender will protect your basic rights but won’t go the extra mile in finding ways to beat your case or get your charges reduced. Furthermore, if you are facing an administrative suspension of your license by the Department of Motor Vehicles, your public defender cannot provide you with any guidance about how to protect your driving privileges.
Contact the Law Offices of Mark Daniel Melnick to find out more about how fearless legal representation can make a difference in the outcome of your case.