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24 Sep 16

Hiring a Criminal Lawyer vs. a Public Defender

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Let’s face it. We all face challenges, and all of us have done something wrong at some point in our lives. If you’re facing criminal charges, you’re facing a number of intimidating moments in the days, months, and sometimes even years ahead. Unless you have a background in law, you likely aren’t sure what to do next. In the meantime, your mailbox is continually being stuffed with official court documents with confusing language.

Early on during the course of your case, you’ll receive the option to hire a public defender as your attorney. While this certainly is the less expensive option, you must consider that you get what you pay for. Your criminal record is at stake during this trying time, and it can be well worth the investment to hire your own criminal lawyer.

Considering Time Constraints

There are only so many hours in a typical working day. For the public defender, these hours can easily fly by as they often have many clients they represent at any given time. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for your file to get caught up in the mix and not receive the full attention it deserves.

You also have to accept that fact that your public defender will prioritize their cases based on severity. For example, if you’re facing charges of theft and the public defender assigned to your case is also representing a felony DUI case, they will likely put precedence on the latter.

Short Notice on First Day of Court

It’s not at all unusual for a public defender to become introduced to a file on the first day of court. After all, with so many open files to manage, it can be difficult to come completely prepared. When this happens, you don’t get the chance to delve deep into the case to reveal facts, data, and evidence that can work in your favor. You may even find that, on your second court date, you’ll have a completely different public defender working on your case.

When you work with a criminal lawyer, you can rest assured that you have an entire legal team dedicated to working your case from start to finish. They have the tools, manpower, and other resources to give you case the attention it deserves to provide you with the possible outcome.

Lack of Experience

While not always the case, many public defenders are fresh out of law school, and much of what they learn is done on the job. We have to start somewhere, but do you really want someone to use your case as a guinea pig as someone begins their new career? We learn from our mistakes, and you could end up suffering when these mistakes are made on your case number.

If the charges you are facing are misdemeanors, these are often given to the newbies on the team since there will be no significant punishment such as jail time. Your case could very well serve as a training tool. While this can prove very helpful for the attorney, it doesn’t do much to help you.

Qualifications Required

The option to retain a public defender is not granted simply because you want to get around paying for the cost of a private attorney. The Judge will appoint a public defender for one of the following two reasons:

The client applying is incarcerated.
The client applying has filled out a financial and asset disclosure and has been qualified based on income.

When you hire a private attorney, you can rest assured you won’t have trouble getting them to represent your case. Money talks, and this is an investment that can speed up the process and get the type of qualified services you so desperately need. Time is of essence, and every day counts when you have impending trials on the calendar. The last thing you need is to have to wait to find out whether or not you are even approved for the limited services the public defender can provide.

Building the Case for an Optimal Outcome

Throughout the course of your life, your criminal history will provide a snapshot into your past, and this could have a negative impact on a number of aspects from getting a job to applying for school and so much more. While a public defender will offer you assistance, you only get what you pay for. If you’re ready to begin building the case for an optimal outcome, hiring a criminal lawyer is most often your bet.

This is only a temporary time in your life, and we all make mistakes. However, you shouldn’t have these mistakes follow you everywhere you go. By making the investment in a seasoned attorney now, you can save yourself frustration in the future.

This article is by Michael Kotik, a top rated Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorney.

Benefits of hiring a criminal lawyer to represent you

If you’ve ever been convicted of a crime, then hiring a criminal defense attorney would be beneficial. There are usually criminal defense attorneys in almost every city, making it easy to find the one for your situation by looking online or by contacting your local courthouse. There are several benefits of hiring a criminal attorney to represent you in court instead of representing yourself, especially if you are facing several years in prison for a severe crime that you’ve committed.

A criminal defense attorney understands the laws relating to what you’ve been accused of, offering advice about when to plead guilty and accept a deal or when to fight for your innocence. If you represent yourself in court, then you might not understand the legal wording that is presented by the prosecution or the judge, which means that you could be accepting a fate that could be prevented if you were to hire an attorney. Many criminal attorneys have some kind of relationship with other members of the court and can approach the opposing side in order to work out some kind of deal that is beneficial for both sides. An attorney will be able to negotiate the terms so that you spend as little time in jail or prison as possible and so that you have the possible outcome regarding fines and your life outside of being locked away.

Since each case is different, an attorney is able to look at past cases in order to understand some of the similarities of your charges and the differences as well in order to reach the outcome. Most attorneys have assistants who are able to conduct research relating to your charges to find past verdicts that have played in favor of the defendant. This information can greatly help you when you go to court so that you stand a better chance at having your charges reduced or so that you receive a minimal punishment instead of one that is the longest set forth by the court system.

If you’re innocent or only partially involved in the crime that was committed, then an attorney can seek the evidence needed to prove your exact role in the crime or prove your innocence. It could take a bit longer, but this information is essential so that you stand a better chance of not going to jail or prison, allowing you to remain with your family and be a functional member of society. An attorney can perform damage control by preventing law enforcement officers and others from talking to you when there is no need. You stand a better chance of not being intimidated by the opposing side if you have an attorney representing you. Your attorney can offer suggestions about what questions to answer and which ones to avoid so that you don’t incriminate yourself. An attorney can also save you valuable time by knowing when action should be taken on your case or if there is a time when you should go ahead and examine the outcome with accepting the penalties imposed by the judge.

If you are under 21, then New York has a Zero Tolerance Law for driving a motor vehicle under the influence. If you are pulled over by a police officer, and he or she suspects you have been drinking, then you may be detained and asked to take a breathalyzer test to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC). If you have a BAC level less than 0.05%, then you will not be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI), but you may face other charges and the Department of Motor Vehicles will determine if your license should be suspended because you violated the Zero Tolerance Law.

If an individual has a BAC that is higher than 0.05% but lower than 0.08%, then he or she will be charged with driving while ability impaired (DWAI) and/or a common law DWI. If you are under the legal drinking age and are charged with a DWAI or DWI, then you will have your license suspended for at least one year.

What are the Penalties for an Underage DWI?

New York has strict DWI laws that can result in severe penalties for those convicted of a DWI. A DWI in New York is defined by how much alcohol is in an individual’s system at the time of his or her arrest. If you have been arrested for an underage DWI, then it is crucial to seek legal advice.

If an underage individual has been charged with a DWI, then the charge will show up on his or her permanent record. In addition, an underage indiviudal facing a DWI charge can face up to 15 days in in jail, a fine up to $500, and a suspended license. Furthermore, an individual who has been charged with a DWI may also be required to install and maintain an ignition interlock device for up to one year. If an underage driver has a BAC of 0.08% or higher, then he or she is considered to be impaired to a”substantial degree.”

Although the Zero Tolerance Law does not charge an underage indiviudal who has a BAC of 0.02% to 0.07%, there is an offense for that level of intoxication. If a driver has a BAC of 0.02% to 0.07%, then he or she could be charged with driving after having consumed alcohol. For this type of charge, an indiviudal will not go through a criminal court, but he or she will have the case settled in an administrative hearing. Although the penalties for this offense do not mandate jail time, an individual will have his or her license suspended for at least six months. In addition, an individual charged with driving after having consumed alcohol will be subjected to fines, and the individual will have the charge on his or her driver’s record for three years or until he or she turns 21.

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