Private Attorney vs Public Defender: Which Should You Choose?

Both a public defender and a private attorney have an obligation to defend you in court, but it’s important to know the advantages and disadvantages of each one. Private attorney vs public defender: let the case begin.

Opening Statement

What is a public defender? A public defender is a government-paid lawyer who works in the court system. If you find yourself in need of defense but don’t have the money to pay the legal fees, the court can assign a public defender to cover your case at no cost to you.

What is a private attorney? A private attorney works with a law firm and provides legal defense for a fee and makes much more money than a public defender.

Pros and Cons of a Public Defender

Pros: Most public defenders have chosen this line of work out of goodness and concern for the less fortunate. They work exclusively in the court and are well-acquainted with judges and prosecutors. This relationship sets public defenders at an advantage to arrange plea deals for their clients.

They are well-versed in criminal cases and know what to expect in court and which judges they might have a better chance explaining their case. If you qualify, you can be appointed one and not have the stress of legal fees piling up.

Cons: Although paid less than a private attorney, they are assigned a much heavier caseload. They have very little (if any) time to meet with you and it can be difficult trying to contact them since they have so much work and usually no assistance.

Because of these factors, there is evidence that having a public defender makes you more likely to serve time.

You are not given any say to which defender is assigned to your case. If you don’t like the public defender you have or feel they aren’t doing their best, it can be very difficult or impossible to be appointed a new one.

Pros and Cons of a Private Attorney

Pros: With a private attorney, you have the freedom to search for the best one suited for your case. You can find one based on affordability, how many cases they have won, or how well they know to handle the situation you are currently facing.

A private attorney has much more control over their caseload and can afford to hire paralegals and expert witnesses to help win their cases. They will handle your case thoroughly and are much more accessible.

The reputation of a criminal defense attorney depends on their victories in court, so not only are you invested in the judge’s verdict but so is your attorney.

Cons: Private attorneys are not cheap. If your case is complicated and gets drawn out in court, it can lead to a mountain of legal fees for your family.

Private Attorney vs Public Defender: The Verdict

In the case of private attorney vs public defender, the clear winner is a private attorney. If you find yourself in a bind, the best choice to make is to hire a professional with plenty of resources to represent you.

If you liked this article and are searching for more legal tips, be sure to check out other posts like this one!

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