IfI got my second DUI within 2 years, what shouldI expect ifI can’t afford a lawyer?

The first DUI, my attorney got the court to suspend the imposition of sentence and place me on probation for 1 year with special conditions. I have 2 children; 1 10 months and a 5 year old. I just got married 2 weeks ago. I can’t afford an attorney. Do you think the judge will give me jail time without an attorney? Should I talk to the judge and hope for the best?

Asked on July 21, 2010 under Criminal Law, Missouri


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This is a criminal charge.  If you can not afford an attorney then one will be appointed for you.  It is a 6th amendment right.

You did not mention what your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) level was when you were arrested both times  It has an impact on the sentence.  And were the children in the car?  That would harshen the penalties.  It appears that the minimum fine will be $5,000, the minimum jail time 30 days and the maximum jail time 6 months.  This is not good.  You really need to have an attorney.  Hoping for the best will not work under these circumstances.  You blew probabtion too.  Try voluntarily enrolling in a program for DUI to show the court that you intend to straighten up once and for all. Good luck.

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