Should my son hire a lawyer before his arraignment for a DUI or can he wait until he has a hearing?

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Should my son hire a lawyer before his arraignment for a DUI or can he wait until he has a hearing?

He moved out to CO a week after getting the DUI. He came back to PA a couple months ago and has been

working and saving to take care of the problem. Friday night, he was picked up for an outstanding warrant and has been held in county prison since then. He hoping to be arraigned after the weekend. The move was already planned before getting the DUI.

Asked on October 8, 2017 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

He should hire the lawyer right away:
1) A nonlawyer, without the advice of an attorney, may, while in custody or if being questioned, say or admit something that will hurt his case; he should have a lawyer advising him as to what to say or not say.
2) The attorney may be able to reduce his bail or otherwise improve the terms under which he is released (and make sure he is promptly released).
A private lawyer is better than a public defender, even assuming you qualify economically for a public defender. That is not a criticism of public defenders, most of whom are very committed to what they do; but public defenders have too many cases, too much work, too little resources, and too little time. A private attorney can devote more to your son's case.


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