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

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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