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Choosing a Private or Public Attorney by San Diego Attorney Daniel Smith

Choosing between a Private Attorney or Public Defender.

Welcome everyone to the DUI Minute, a series of educational videos brought to you by San Diego Defenders. Today’s subject is private attorney versus public defender. Now I want to tell everyone that public defenders are great people, but they are overworked. They have tons and tons of cases, and many many times they don’t have the time to call you back, and certainly if you’re a third party they will not call you back.

Now what is the difference between hiring a private attorney versus a public defender? Again public defenders are great people. I started as a public defender, a federal public defender, and I know that it’s a great way to cut your teeth to really learn the trial process and get a lot of trials in. But the fact of the matter is that a private attorney can give you a little more time. They have the time in their office to talk with you to sit down and explain the entire process much like we’re trying to do with these videos. But one of the most important things that I think goes unnoticed most of the time is that people don’t realize if you hire a private attorney, for your DUI, to defend you in your DUI, you do not have to go to court in most cases. That means that you can continue working, you can continue taking your baby to the doctor, you can continue doing all the things that are important to you with the restrictions, of course, of what’s happening with your license. But you do not have to go through the court process, stand before the judge, talk to the prosecutor and all those things that go with it- all the crowds, so on and so forth.

So there is a convenience factor in there. There is of course the comfort of knowing that you’ve got an attorney that is really on your side and has the time to explain what is going on through every step of the process. So I want to remind you that one of the primary benefits in hiring a private attorney is that you don’t have to go to court under California Code 977, and maybe a different code in your state, but you do not have to attend the court appearances. This is not legal advice. If you’re seeking legal advice please consult an attorney whether it’s myself or anyone else, and then ask specific questions, because every situation is different. Thank you.
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