Interviewer: Some people that may think, “I just can’t take it. I just want to plead guilty and get it over with.” Why do you think that might be a mistake? What penalties are they facing if they throw themselves on the mercy of the court for a first time DUI?
Adam: It depends on whether your case might have been one that could have been handled with an additional appearance. Or, you case might not have taken any more time than the first appearance. You’re also looking at the fact that you will have a DUI charge on your record. In Ohio, if you have another DUI within three years you’re looking at more severe punishment.
As a matter of fact, I had a female client just today that technically should be going to jail for six months, but we managed to get her into a treatment program. She’s done well in that and she won’t have to go to jail.
She’s a single mother. It was just bad timing. She had number two and number three within three years, and the number two and number three were within two weeks. Someone in her situation would not be better off pleading guilty. In her case there wasn’t a high blood alcohol content on the tests.
That’s the other side of it, where a privately retained attorney will put in the effort to promote the best possible outcome. They know the courts. They know the prosecutor and the judge. A public defender just can’t devote that kind of attention to your case.
By Adam Hunt