Should I waste money on a lawyer with AZ mandatory punishments or just get a public defender?

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Should I waste money on a lawyer with AZ mandatory punishments or just get a public defender?

Class A CDL, no priors, pending blood test results probably extreme or super extreme, court date set.

Asked on May 16, 2009 under Criminal Law, Arizona

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

First Extreme DUI (BAC above .15%)

JAIL: 30 consecutive days in jail. The Court may suspend 20 of the 30 days if you agree to get an alcohol and/or drug evaluation, and submit to treatment.

FINE & COSTS: $250.00 fine, plus a surcharge, plus an additional $250.00 assessment to the Arizona DUI abatement fund, plus an additional $1000.00 assessment.

LICENSE:The MVD will suspend your driver's license for 90 days.

COUNSELING: Allowed if recommended in your evaluation and you want the Judge to suspend all but ten days in jail.

PROBATION: You may be placed on probation for up to five years.

IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICE: You will be required to have an Ignition Interlock Device installed on your vehicle.

I don't think that with the potential to face all of the above that hiring a private attorney is a  "waste" of your money.  If convicted of this you will not only have a driving record but a criminal record as well.  Every time that that you apply for a job this could turn up on a background check.  And if you are arrested for this again things will be even that much worse.  Public defender's are swamped, plus you may get someone not all that experienced with DUI's.  If I were you I would hire a firm specializing in DUI.  They will have contacts in the prosecutor's office and can possibly get the charges thrown out on a technicality or at least reduced.  If you ask me it is money well spent.

Remember, you get what you pay for.


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