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I have been arrested for a DUI...I have no money for an attorney. Am I going to get the same outcome with a public defender that

Redlands, CA |
Attorney answers 10


First, you won't get the same outcome because the public defender does not assist you with the DMV. Second, there are many factors going into what the final result of your case is. It's impossible to know where you stand from the information presented. I would not rule out your ability to hire a lawyer. Many AVVO lawyers are affordable and offer payments. Which court is your case out of?

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Out of San Bernardino, Ca.

Wade J. Skalsky

Wade J. Skalsky


San Bernardino isn't too bad. Have you requested your DMV hearing yet?


Bottom line, they are essential to a fair criminal justice system, but when you have 20 clients in a morning, how much time can you devote to any one particular case? I have friends who are public defenders and I am constantly amazed how they can handle ever-increasing workloads. But when a private attorney has the time and resources to devote to a particular case, and then also specializes in an area of criminal law that is heavily influenced by science and requires constant education, well, you do the math. Best of luck to you, there are some great PDs out there.

The answer above is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice or form an attorney-client relationship. The above response should not be relied upon for any specific situation. If you need legal advice specific to your needs, you should consult with a licensed attorney.


I agree with the others. There is now way to know whether you will get the same outcome. Preparation varies by attorneys along with the case load. You won't have a public defender for DMV so if your license means anything, hire someone. Otherwise, you will lose it for sure. And that is regardless of what happens in court.

As others indicated, many public defenders have a caseload of about 20-30 people in one morning. Some private attorneys keep their entire case load around that number. For example, a typical morning in cour for me consists if 3, maybe 4 cases. Private attorney sell time and attention for a case. If you want time to speak with your attorney about your case, find a way to hire one. Many accept payments and offer free consultations. At the very least, consult with a few attorneys to see if you can afford one. Don't just assume you can't

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Preparation is the key to any DUI because the issues are legally technical. In addition, there's two phases to a DUI, the court phase and the DMV phase. The pd won't handle your DMV matter whereas the typical attorney does. A private attorney typically can spend more time to your case. Sometimes it leads to a significant outcome other times it doesn't. If money is a consideration, then remember that if convicted of a DUI then there is likely to be significant increases to your insurance premium for many, many years. Good luck.
for Fairness / for Your Freedom because sometimes good people find themselves in bad situations.
(800) 409-7010

The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice based upon the query without additional details. It is highly recommended that one should seek advice from a criminal defense attorney licensed in your jurisdiction by setting up a confidential meeting. Moreover, this response does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship since this message is not a confidential communication because it was posted on a public website, thereby publicly disclosing the information, which is another reason to setup a confidential meeting with an attorney.


It's hard to answer if you can have the same outcome with a public defender. However, you should try your best to be cooperative as possible with your assigned public defender so that it will be easy for the both of you to work together and get the outcome that you are expecting. Good luck


Get an attorney. You need to deal with DMV and court. Since this is over.15 BAC you are looking at an enhancement to your sentencing.

Andrew Roberts (818) 597-0633/ (805) 496-7777


Agreed--your question is impossible to answer. Private attorneys have a much lower caseload, so the time a available to thoroughly prepare a case is totally different. Speak to a few attorneys and see if there is one who can work within your budget.


There are outstanding public defenders and private defense attorneys. By the same token, there are miserable private defense attorneys and miserable public defenders.

You really should consult with a few attorneys to see about creative funding or financing options for your case.


I was a public defender in San Bernardino County and I can honestly tell you that there is no direct answer to your questions. Facts matter when analyzing a DUI arrest. A PD will probably look at the BAC and the reason for the stop, then tell you the standard offer. They are triage doctors in an ER...really good doctors (for the most part) working under lots of pressure. They will not help with a DMV hearing and will not look beyond the BAC and the reason for the stop. As such, if you really want to fight your case, you should get a second opinion from any of the knowledgeable attorneys on this list serv.

I have successfully handled hundreds of DUIs and have tried dozens. Call me if you have questions.

Roger Ponce, Esq.
(323) 644-4991

This message is not intended to be advice nor is it a basis for attorney-client confidentiality or relationship. For specific advice on your case please call for a consultation. Ph: 888-999-0829.


Thanks for your question and the opportunity to advise you.

There are certainly poor public defenders, and great public defenders, like there are in any profession. The bigger problem with the public defender's office after the recession of 2008, is that the greater demand for PDs, plus the reduction and freezes in hiring, mean that many public defenders have to get through cases as quickly as possible, if possible.

Public Defenders also do not go through the breath testing certification, blood testing certification, field sobriety testing certification (student and instructor) and attend the NCDD Harvard Law School trial skills program like many attorneys that choose to specialize in DUI cases do.

I hope this helps, but best of luck to you, and please ask if you have any other questions.

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