When Do You Need a Lawyer for a DUI/DWI Charge?


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Every state has laws against driving while intoxicated. DUI cases are therefore heard in criminal court. In a criminal court, you have the right to represent yourself. However, most defendants either work with a public defender chosen by the court or employ a private attorney. To find the best DUI Lawyer in Peoria County, IL, you can refer to the following points.

Obtaining Legal Counsel’s Opinion on Your Case

It’s challenging for someone without legal knowledge or expertise to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of a DUI case. Every case’s facts are different, and DUI law is challenging and dynamic. Therefore, consulting with a qualified DUI attorney can be beneficial.

Situations in which Consulting an Attorney May Not Be Beneficial

Typically, prosecutors have a standard first-offense plea offer. In other words, they give the same plea agreement to everyone who receives a regular first DUI, which is often at the less severe end of the allowed first-DUI sentence. In general, a crime is classified as a “standard first DUI” if the offender has never been convicted of DUI and there were no aggravating circumstances like an accident, an injury, or a particularly high blood alcohol level (BAC).

Public Advocates

In general, every criminal defendant has the right to legal representation. The court will appoint a lawyer for you if you are unable to pay for one yourself. Ordinarily, appointed counsel comes from the public defender’s office.

DUI cases are among the many criminal cases that public defenders handle. Therefore, the majority of public defenders are well-versed in DUI law and defenses. Public defenders typically have a good relationship with district attorneys and judges and are aware of their knowledge which can be useful in plea negotiations. Public defenders take many cases to trial, thus they naturally develop strong trial abilities.

Private attorneys

Private DUI attorneys are frequently retained to represent clients in DMV hearings and criminal court. Better results, including a shorter license suspension term, may result from having the same attorney handle all sides of your case.

Your time in court can be cut down if you hire a private attorney. Public defender clients in some jurisdictions are required to personally attend all court dates. Contrarily, you won’t often need to be present for frequent court appearances if you have private counsel. Not missing work to attend court is a big benefit for many people, especially busy professionals.

Although it is legal to defend yourself in a DUI trial, doing so is virtually never a wise choice. The trial practice has a steep learning curve and typically requires a lot of experience. You will be at a significant disadvantage in court if you don’t have any legal understanding or trial experience. Additionally, courts often don’t have much patience with uninformed, self-represented defendants. The main line is that if you’re going to trial for a DUI, you should have legal representation.