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03 Oct 18

Why you need a criminal defense lawyer instead of a public defender

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If you’re facing criminal charges, why do you need to hire a criminal defense lawyer instead of relying on a public defender? Public defenders play an important role in the justice system by providing legal services to those in need. However, working with a criminal defense lawyer offers several advantages.

Choice
If you decide to rely on a public defender, one will be assigned to you. You do not get to choose who serves as your public defender, and if you feel like your court-appointed attorney isn’t a good fit for your case, your options are restricted. With a private criminal defense attorney, you have far more control over your fate. You can interview attorneys, ask about their experience, education and other qualifications, and select the professional you believe will be the best advocate. If you later decide that they aren’t up to the task for any reason, you can simply end your relationship with them and select a different attorney. When you opt to hire a private criminal defense lawyer, you decide who is on your legal team.

Personal Attention
Public defenders are typically highly qualified, skilled attorneys, and the nature of their jobs means that they have a great deal of experience with the criminal court system. Unfortunately, it also means that they tend to be overworked with heavy caseloads and demanding schedules. With the sheer volume of cases vying for their attention, their ability to focus on any single one is limited. In contrast, private criminal defense lawyers normally take on a finite number of cases at any one time. Because they are not overwhelmed by quantity, they are able to devote more of their focus to your case and concentrate on providing a quality service. Thanks to the level of personal attention offered by a private attorney, hiring one is a good way to secure a strong defense.

Collaboration
With their heavy workloads, public defenders are constantly scrambling to make every moment of their workday count. While most do their best to provide an excellent defense for their clients, they do not have time to spend chatting. Trying to get one on the phone can be almost impossible. In fact, you may find that the only time you get to speak with a public defender is immediately before a court appearance. Interactions with a private attorney are far more collaborative. They are willing to educate you about your options, explain the pros and cons of various strategies, and discuss the possibilities. A criminal defense attorney will work collaboratively with you to determine and implement your best defense.

Resources
Public defenders work diligently to make efficient use of the resources available to them. However, the volume of cases that they deal with and the limited nature of their resources mean that they are often stretched thin. Private attorneys who specialize in criminal defense generally have more resources at their disposal. They are more likely to bring in investigators, expert witnesses, private laboratories, and other paid resources to help support your case. These additional resources can be invaluable when crafting an effective defense.

Commitment
Many public defenders are dedicated professionals who work hard at a challenging job. However, that job comes with a steady paycheck. They don’t have to give any thought to where their next client is coming from. Criminal defense attorneys have to think about their professional reputation and its impact on their ability to maintain and grow their firm. While the desire to craft a superior defense for their clients may be their primary motivation, this consideration offers an extra incentive for them to go the extra mile to secure excellent results for their clients.

Have you or someone you care about been charged with a crime? Hiring a skilled private criminal defense lawyer is the best way to gain the legal assistance that you need to mount an effective defense.

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