Pro Se, Public Defender, Or Private Lawyer? Who Should Represent Me In My Pearland DWI/DUI Case?
When a person goes out for a fun time out on the town, a dinner date, or a rowdy sports game, they rarely anticipate that their night will end in criminal charges. However, when a person has had too many drinks and their ability to drive is impaired after a night’s festivities, the reality is that they may see the flashing lights of a police car signaling them to pull over for a sobriety check. If a routine traffic stop or a pull-over due to impaired driving results in a Driving Under the Influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) or Driving While Impaired by drugs and alcohol (DWI) charge, the person charged with DUI/DWI will most likely desperately want to know what to do next and who to turn to for help. In Pearland, under Texas laws, a person charged with a DUI or DWI has options: represent themselves pro se, seek representation to defend the charge by a public defender, or work with an experienced Pearland DWI/DUI lawyer.
Pro Se Representation
In Pearland criminal cases, including DWI and DUI cases, a person who has been charged with a crime has the option to waive their right to legal counsel and represent themselves. This is sometimes referred to as acting “pro se”, which is the old Latin term for acting “in one’s behalf”. Pro se representation is generally not advisable as an option, especially as a first option before speaking to an experienced Pearland DWI/DUI lawyer. Typically, pro se defendants have an uphill battle defending themselves in court because they are unfamiliar with the criminal defense legal process, the strict deadlines imposed by Texas criminal laws, and even courtroom procedures and manners. Therefore, it is not advisable for a person to elect to represent themselves when facing criminal charges such as DUI/DWI charges.
Representation by a Public Defender
Under Texas laws, a defendant facing DWI/DUI criminal charges in Pearland is entitled to representation by a lawyer, and if the defendant cannot afford a lawyer, they have the right to representation by a public defender. A public defender is a lawyer that works for the government and who is appointed by the court to represent those facing criminal charges when they cannot afford legal counsel of their own. Public defenders are typically experienced in handling many different criminal cases in their jurisdiction, so they are often experienced in defending criminal defendants facing a variety of charges, including in DWI/DUI cases. However, there are some considerations when thinking about being represented by a public defender. For example, the person charged is not entitled to select who their public defender lawyer is. In addition, public defenders often have very large caseloads, so there may be less individualized attention to the person’s individual case.
Representation by a Private Pearland DWI/DUI Defense Attorney
A person is also entitled to select and hire their own private defense lawyer. There are a number of benefits that come with hiring a private lawyer. First, the person charged with the DWI/DUI can select a DWI/DUI lawyer that they want to work with and is a good match. Second, a private DWI/DUI defense lawyer typically is selective about their cases and has a smaller caseload than a public defender, resulting in more individualized attention to the particular defendant and case. In addition, a private DWI/DUI lawyer typically has specific experience defending DWI/DUI cases.
Help with Your Pearland DWI/DUI Case
There are a number of other reasons that suggest that hiring a private lawyer is the best option for mounting a strong defense against a Pearland DWI/DUI charge. If you have been charged with DWI/DUI, experienced Pearland DWI/DUI lawyer Keith B. French is here to listen to your side of the story and to see if he can help you defend your DWI/DUI charge. Contact Keith B. French Law today for a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Pearland DWI/DUI lawyer.