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Why Should You Hire a Lawyer for Your Kentucky DUI?

A gavel and DUI sign

After an arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you might be wondering where to turn, and how best to handle your criminal charges. Perhaps you’re wondering if it’s worth it to hire the right private criminal defense attorney, or if you should instead apply for court appointed counsel. While it may seem smart to try to save money by obtaining a public defender, this move may not be in your long-term best interests. Read on to learn about why you should consider hiring the right private attorney to represent you in your DUI case.

Initially, you would need to qualify under the Court and state’s poverty guidelines before you’re assigned a public defender. Generally, courts will not assign you a public defender unless they determine that you’re unable to afford to pay a private attorney to defend you on the particular charges you face. The standard for who qualifies to receive a public defender can be very hard to meet.

Additionally, even if you qualify for a public defender, it may still be in your best interest to retain the right private criminal defense attorney instead. Kentucky public defenders are notoriously overworked (just google it!). They are assigned several hundreds of cases each year.  No matter how much your public defender would want to offer you the best possible representation, they likely won’t have the time in the day to do so. Generally, public defenders do not have the time to devote to their clients facing charges such as DUIs, even though the charges may have very serious implications for you and your future. 

The right private criminal defense attorney will have more time to investigate the facts surrounding your arrest, to ensure that the arresting officers complied with all laws and procedures, including whether or not the breath test was properly administered or may have produced an incorrect result. These errors in procedure could result in you NOT being convicted in a DUI. Additionally, the right private attorney will explore all possible defenses to your charges, rather than quickly accepting a guilty plea offered by the prosecutor. You’ll receive representation that is tailored to your wishes, rather than a cookie-cutter approach that could leave you with a more serious sentence than you might have otherwise obtained.

You might save a little money with court appointed counsel on the front end, but a conviction of DUI will likely be a lot more expensive than you ever imagined:  1) When you see what is likely to happen with your car insurance rates once convicted of DUI, you might see that you ultimately lost several thousand dollars (or in some cases more!) just in insurance premiums. 2)  Even with a first offense DUI, you are facing a minimum 30 day license suspension (and upwards to 120 days).  Time without a valid license makes for a difficult and expensive process for getting to work, school, etc.  3)  A DUI conviction means you’ll be required to complete 20 hours of alcohol education classes.  These classes are, of course, not free!  4)  If your DUI is aggravated, you’ll be required to do a minimum four days in custody, whether that’s jail or home incarceration; your freedom has no value  (except for those required fees that will go along with custody time).  Additionally, if your DUI is aggravated, you’ll be required to have the Ignition interlock device placed upon your vehicle.  That’s the embarrassing device placed into your car that you’re required to blow into just to start and operate your vehicle.  You’ll be paying to install it, maintain it, and for your “interlock” driver’s license.  Suddenly, that little DUI conviction is costing you tens of thousands of dollars.  But don’t just take my word for it. See:  http://www.courier-journal.com/story/life/food/spirits/bourbon/2016/03/10/getting-drunk-st-pattys-if-yes-read/81591268/

If you have recently been arrested on suspicion of DUI in Kentucky, seek out dedicated, personal representation in court and contact the seasoned Louisville DUI defense lawyer Ron Aslam for a consultation on your case, at 502-581-1676.