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Should I go with a public defender concerning a D.U.I. case? And should I / can I file a complaint about the arresting officer?

Norwich, CT |

It was a dark rainy night, I am blind in my right eye and drive with caution. I was in the middle of a one way, 2 lane road when I made a right turn into the parking lot-I was being passed on the right by a young lady in a hurry. Our cars barley clipped each other and the state police were called, I had been working all day doing leaves ( I have a landscape business ) had had nothing to eat all day but I did have a few beers at the end of my day when this happened. The officer was very rude to me and seemed to be in a hurry to, as I found out it was the end of his shift and he was excited about just passing some class and wanted to show the girl his authority. the Breathalyzer was given the officer problems and I failed the test. Got a .09 something, just barley over -what do I do?

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Attorney answers 5

Best Answer

As a former public defender who knows the attorneys in the Division I will state that they are some of the best criminal defense attorneys in the State for a variety of reasons, however in this context if you own your own business you should not qualify for a public defender. To that end, in a matter like this you should be able to find an attorney in your area who is not only knowledgeable in this area and affordable. Remember that you are hiring someone to protect your name and your future, do yourself a favor and hire someone you can sit down and work with regarding your case.

As it goes for the facts of your case, there are too many nuances to comment on all the issues, but it does appear that there may be some issues with the stop and the manner in which they BAC level was calculated. These are all issues that can be tackled piece by piece with private counsel. Also, there is also the DMV Administrative Suspension Hearing, Public Defenders are not allowed to accompany you to these and you are not entitled to counsel for them. They are notoriously difficult and an attorney would help you.

I think that you would not be harmed if you consulted with an attorney for this matter.

This response is to a question posed in what is considered to be a hypothetical situation. The response is for educational and reference purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal counsel. No fees are to be exchanged for this response and the attorney/client relationship has not been established in this context. You should contact an attorney within the jurisdiction of this matter for legal counsel.


If you have not been convicted of a DUI or used a program known as the Alcohol Education Program, you be eligible for it. If so and if it is granted, the charge of DUI will be dismissed so long as you comply with all conditions (substance abuse counseling, victim impact session, etc.). You can apply for a public defender but will not be granted one unless you meet their income guidelines. With your own business, you may not qualify.

Speak to a criminal defense attorney. The fee may not be as much as you imagine. Nevertheless, you should hire an attorney.

Brian S. Karpe, Esq. (860) 242-2221 Note: This response DOES NOT constitute legal advice and therefore no specific action should be taken in reliance thereon. No attorney-client relationship is created through this response. You should speak to an licensed attorney in your state who is competent to answer your question before taking any action with regard to this question.


If you own your own business you probably won't qualify for public defender services. You should consult with experienced defense attorneys regarding your options. There are many excellent ones here on AVVO and most offer free consultations. Also, you should be aware that your license will be suspended by the DMV as a result of the arrest, unless you request an appeal of the suspension and have an administrative hearing and you prevail at the hearing. Public defenders do not represent their clients at the DMV administrative hearing so it would be in your best interests to retain private counsel.

Thomas Collins Leaf

Thomas Collins Leaf


I agree with Attorney Thygerson and also would recommend him for this type of criminal matter.


You may or may not be eligible for appointed counsel; apply and see if you qualify. In the meantime, consult with experienced defense attorneys regarding your options, including their ability to represent you at a DMV administrative hearing regarding the status of your license which could be in jeopardy as a result.


Good lawyers aren't cheap and cheap lawyers aren't good. How much do you care about your driving and penal interests?

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