Should You Hire a Public Defender or Private Attorney?
Interviewer: After an arrest, I’m sure some people would consider requesting a public defender. However, I’ve heard that public defenders are not able to address the driver’s license suspension, which occurred following the arrest. When you appear in court, the suspension is considered the civil part of your charge. Is that correct?
Dale: That is true. You probably won’t see the public defender until your first pretrial appearance, which will be well after the important period of time that you may have been eligible for occupational driving privileges. In most cases, this period of time to be considered for driving privileges is 15 days after the date of the arrest.
The public defenders have heavy case loads and they only see their clients on the date of pretrial. If you plead not guilty, your pretrial will probably 30 to 45 days after your arraignment. So you might go all that time without occupational driving privileges.