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Paul D. Cramm

Is Self-Representation a Viable Option for a DUI Case?


Interviewer: Is self-representation a viable option for a DUI case?

Paul: Well, I think if someone tries to represent themselves or just goes in to plead guilty and take whatever sentence the judge imposes, that’s a completely different situation. You’ll never know what opportunities may have been available to you. You’ll never know what defenses may have been available to you.

A Layperson Is Not Knowledge about the Numerous Defenses That Can Be Incorporated into a DUI Case

It’s interesting to see people represent themselves pro-se. I often say that’s kind of like pro-se dentistry. You’re not going to drill and fill your own teeth, why would you march into court because you’ve seen it on TV?

The State of the Economy Has Increased the Workload for the Court-Appointed Public Defenders

As far as public defenders, I think that particularly at the felony level, our tenth judicial district public defender’s office is a very good office, and the lawyers in that office are very good lawyers. I think the issue is that particularly when the economy is down and people don’t have a lot of money, those public defenders are busy, and they have to accept every case that the court appoints.

You run into a situation where there are very competent, very able lawyers who are unquestionably overworked. They have too many open files, and I don’t think it’s a matter that they can’t or don’t provide quality legal representation and defense. I think it’s a question of how much time do they have to devote to any individual file or any individual fact pattern?

A Private Attorney Can Devote the Necessary Time and Resources to Your Defense

One benefit I try to offer my clients as retained counsel is availability and one-on-one attention to them and to their case.

A Criminal History Is a Long-Term Consequence of a DUI Conviction

Interviewer: In terms of someone saying, “I can’t take it anymore, I just want to give up and get it over with,” do you encounter that attitude very often and what do you say to people that tell you that?

Paul: Litigation of the case is short term, criminal history is long term. It might be stressful to have the uncertainty of the case going on. It might be stressful to not know how this is going to turn out, and I think people really like closure and they really like finality.

I wouldn’t want finality if it means a permanent mark on my criminal history. I wouldn’t want that to the exclusion of really exploring other options in the case.

A Court-Appointed Public Defender Cannot Handle the Administrative Component of a DUI Case

Interviewer:  A DUI has an administrative non-criminal driver’s license portion to the case, so if you are working with a public defender, they’re not allowed to address that portion of your case, am I right?

Paul: You are correct, and in Kansas they tell the defendant that at the administrative hearing, you will need to either hire someone to handle that for you since it is a civil or administrative matter, or you’re going to need to go handle it yourself.

I know that on the driver’s license end, if someone has court appointed counsel, they will not address the suspension issue for them, that’s correct.

The Kansas City Area Has an Estimated 1,000 DUI Arrests per Year

Interviewer: Do you have any idea of the number of people that are arrested for DUI in the Kansas City area every year, so people don’t feel alone like they’re the only one that made this mistake?

Paul: I’m absolutely certain that they process in the Metro well over 1,000 per year. Some of the larger municipalities like Overland Park, Olathe, they may process that many just between those two municipalities.

The Amount of DUIs Is Slightly Declining in the Kansas City Area

It does seem as though there has been a decline in DUI, new DUI filings at the city level and at the district court level. A lot of lawyers that I know and communicate with have also noticed there seems to have been a bit of a decline, but it is certainly one of the most common charges that I represent people on in my practice.

The Number of DUI Citations Outweigh Citations Issued for Other Offenses 

You think about if 30% to 40% percent of my practice is DUI and 60% is everything else; that means that there are a lot of DUI citations issued than any other single type of offense, so people shouldn’t feel as though they’ve invented some new way to offend society if they get caught with it.

Citations Issued for DUI Generate Revenue for the State

This offense occurs with frequency and I think a lot of it has to do with revenue. I think the state encourages many citations because the cases are big revenue generators.

Watch this video to learn how Paul Cramm defends DUI and DWI defense and to see why you need his representation in your Kansas City Drunk Driving case.

Call today for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case: (913) 322-3265.  I represent clients accused of DUI and DWI throughout the Kansas City Metro area including the municipalities of Johnson County, Kansas: De Soto, Gardner, Leawood, Lenexa, Merriam, Mission, Olathe, Overland Park, Prairie Village and Shawnee.

Paul D. Cramm

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(913) 322-3265

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