Three Reasons To Hire A Private Attorney For A Criminal Defense Instead Of Using A Public Defender

In all criminal cases, a defendant is entitled to legal representation, and if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you. However, if you have a chance to get a private attorney, you may want to consider it. Although a public defender is appointed to you free of charge, there are many advantages to using a private attorney.

You can choose your attorney

When you use a public defender, you do not get to choose which attorney you get. There is a system in which attorneys in the public defender's office are rotated and assigned to those needing representation. And if you find that the attorney you have been given does not meet your needs, there is little you can do about it. Only in the most extraordinary circumstances will a judge allow you to replace a public defender with a new one. However, it is much easier to fire an attorney you have hired privately and get a new one.

Private attorneys have fewer clients

There is a tendency for the public defender's office to assign large work loads to attorneys. This results in less time spent per client. Although this does not necessarily translate into a poor defense, it does mean that a public defender may not have as much time as he or she would like on some of the cases. In addition, a larger case load may create delays, and it will take longer for your case to make it through the court system.

Private attorneys are partly motivated by monetary gain

When a lawyer in the private sector wins a case, it adds to his or her résumé and reputation. Those who wish the best representation in a court of law will seek out those lawyers who have the best records. Naturally, this means that these attorneys will be able to demand higher fees over time. A public defender works on a salary and will get the same paycheck whether the case is won or lost. Again, this alone does not mean a public defender will not provide a vigorous defense, but a private attorney has additional financial incentives.

Of course, it is not always possible to hire a private attorney if you have limited financial resources, but there may be other options. Friends and relatives may want to help with your defense, and some attorneys will offer their services for free under certain circumstances. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you have a choice, think about the ideas listed above and realize that the money spent on a private criminal lawyer may be worth it.