I I am a 21 year old college student with no record and was arrested for DUI, is it wise if I try contact the arresting officer to get a lower charge?

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I I am a 21 year old college student with no record and was arrested for DUI, is it wise if I try contact the arresting officer to get a lower charge?

Asked on June 21, 2012 under Criminal Law, South Carolina

Answers:

Robert Johnston / Law Office of Robert J. Johnston Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

According to the information provided with your question, it appears that you are in South Carolina and the other lawyer that sent you an answer is from Texas and does not seem to understand SC criminal procedure. You do not "talk to the judge" about a court appointed lawyer. If you qualify for a court appointed lawyer, you would need to contact the Public Defender's office in your county, or the Clerk of Court for where your DUI is pending.

Also, if its a DUI First Offense in Magistrate's Court or Municipal Court, then your case would not qualify for a Public Defender. Only if its a Second or more offense and its in General Sessions would your case qualify.

My practice is in the Myrtle Beach area, and I accept cases in Horry, Georgetown, and surrounding counties if you are interested in talking. You can call or email me.

Robet Johnston -- Attorney -- Phone:  843-946-0099 --       Email: LawyerSC@aol.com 

                                                                      

                                                                      

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you have no record and your a 21 year old college student, you already have a good chance at getting a lower charge-- but don't go through the officer.   The officer works for the State.  If you make any statements like "hey, I know I'm guilty, but....", you have made an admission that will be used against you in court.  This means that if you did have a defense in your case, you waived it by admitting to the charge, even if you didn't have to.  The officer may be a really nice guy, but at the end of the day, he still works for the side that is trying to put you in jail.  Instead, consider options that involve talking to an attorney.  Hire a criminal defense attorney to talk to the prosecutor for you... that way you aren't stung by admissions haunting you later.  If you can't afford an attorney, talk to the judge about the procedures for requesting a court appointed attorney.


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