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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16850
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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My son lives in Michigan. He was stopped for drinking and driving,

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My son lives in Michigan. He was stopped for drinking and driving, first offense. He cannot afford an attorney because of his bills, but he does have a good income. Should he plead guilty or not guilty? Would he have a chance to have a court appointed attorney? Any ideas of the outcome?

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

 


I'm sorry to hear about your son's situation. First of all, as to what he should plead, this will be in an arraignment. If you've ever seen "My Cousin Vinny" that's the part where you go to court and plead guilty, not guilty, or "no contest" (aka nolo contendre). The judge is not interested in hearing any explanation, defenses, etc... the judge just wants to hear the plea, and then will set a date for pre-trial matters, if any, and then for trial. I tell my clients and others that it makes no sense to plead guilty at the arraignment. Doing so would be like paying full asking price for a new car. You can do it, but if you hold out, you can get a better deal.


 

ScottyMacEsq :

He can always change his plea at a later time, and that would typically be in exchange for a deal.

ScottyMacEsq :

Now as to the strength of his case, that would depend a lot on the facts. If he blew above the legal limit, etc... then it would be difficult to have much of a defense.

ScottyMacEsq :

It could be argued that the calibration was off (depending on when it was calibrated, etc...) but it would be more difficult in that situation.

ScottyMacEsq :

Again, he could still try to get a deal. One possibility would be a pretrial diversion (meaning that he pleas guilty but the prosecution is put on hold for a period of time, and if he keeps his nose clean, they drop it all). But if he pleads guilty before something is worked out, then that would not help him out.

ScottyMacEsq :

As for getting a court ordered attorney, he can certainly request one. There's no requirement that you have to be under a certain income level, etc... to request one. He might not qualify for one, and if his income is high enough, that's more likely that he would not qualify, but he could (and should) still request one.

ScottyMacEsq :

As for the possible outcomes, that depends a LOT on the facts involved. You can go to the following website to find out more (scroll a little over halfway down to see the sanctions and other consequences).

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

Customer:

Thank you so much. You have been most helpful!

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