What Issues Prevent People From Retaining an Attorney to Defend a DUI Charge?
Interviewer: This may probably be a tough question but what do you hear from people and this will be a hint of what you do not hear, what holds people back from hiring an attorney to fight their DUI case? What have you seen that scares people or makes them reconsider pleading not guilty?
Financial Considerations Can Cause People to Delay in Retaining an Attorney for Their DUI Case
Steve Tomeo: I’d say money is the foremost reason people delay or do not even consider hiring an attorney for a DUI charge.
Interviewer: Do they think without knowing what the cost is that a lawyer is too expensive or they are just after they hear the price they think it’s too expensive?
Steve Tomeo: I think both. I think they think it’s too expensive when they hear the price. I think some people just say, “I can’t possibly afford an attorney. I do not make much money at all. I do not have any savings.”
Without Knowing the Merits of Their Case, Many People Agree to the Prosecutor’s Suggestion of Accepting the Alcohol Education Program
I think another reason is if you’ve never had a DUI and you go to your first appearance without an attorney the prosecutors say, “Well, why do not you just apply for the Alcohol Education Program?” and they just go. A lot of those people, I’d say there’s probably 20 or 30% of those people at least that have some issue.
The prosecutors talk them into taking the Alcohol Education program with the promise that their case will ultimately get dismissed. Additionally, all of them do not request the administrative hearing at the DMV. They are losing their opportunity to defend themselves and they are losing their opportunity to save their license.
To me, that’s proceeding without hope. Hope is when you have the opportunity to defend yourself. The Constitution gives you that right and gives you that hope. The facts are what they are.