The number of lawyers in the US has increased by 14.5% within the last decade. There are now over 1,352,027 lawyers across the US. If you're facing serious charges, however, it's important to find the one lawyer you need.
Should you hire a private defense attorney or public defender? Keep reading to find out!
In this guide, we'll review both options, including the pros and cons of each. Then, you can make a more informed decision before hiring the defense you need.
Without a qualified lawyer at your side, you could struggle to beat your charges. You could face serious penalties, fines, or jail time as a result. Instead, find the help you need with this guide today!
Hiring a Public Defender
The court will appoint a public defender to your case if you can't afford an attorney on your own. Hiring a public defender is the ideal option if you have limited funds.
You won't have to pay for your lawyer, which could otherwise prove costly.
Public and private defense attorneys are both familiar with a variety of criminal cases. It's important to make sure you have a public defender with the experience you need. Otherwise, they might lack the necessary knowledge to handle your case.
Public defenders work with prosecutors on a regular basis. They might have a better relationship with a prosecutor than a private criminal defense attorney. Your public defender might have an easier time getting you a plea deal as a result.
What are the disadvantages of hiring a public defender? For starters, they're government employees, meaning they make less than private defense attorneys.
Most public defenders have heavy caseloads. It's likely your defender will work on a number of cases at one time. They might struggle to dedicate time to your case as a result.
Public defenders are also overworked and underpaid. They might feel less obligated to fight on your behalf. If they're busy, they could make costly mistakes with your case.
They might have less time to prepare for your defense, too.
If a defender is juggling too many cases at once, they might not have time to meet with their clients in person. Sometimes, defenders only meet with a client minutes before entering a plea.
In fact, some defenders try to plea out as many cases as they can to handle their caseloads.
Your public defender might not have your best interests in mind. They might not create a strong legal defense on your behalf. They could dedicate less time and attention to your case, too.
Meanwhile, you won't have a choice in which public defender takes your case. You won't get the chance to research their experience and expertise. If you're not satisfied with their abilities, you might struggle to find a new public defender.
Hiring a Private Defense Attorney
The number of people sentenced to prison has increased nearly threefold over the past 30 years. Crime rates are continuing to increase, leading to a need for more private defense attorneys.
You can research a private defense attorney's work history before you decide if they're the right choice for your case. Remember, it's important to find someone with hands-on experience. Their experience could strengthen your defense.
Your private criminal defense attorney won't have a crazy number of cases on their plate. Instead, they can dedicate more time to each of their clients. That dedicated attention will ensure they build the strongest defense possible.
You'll get more acquainted with your attorney to ensure they gather the information they need. Then, your attorney will look for weaknesses in the prosecution's case. They can prepare to fight for your best interests.
With their help, you can reduce the charges or get the case dismissed.
Do defense attorneys hire private investigators? Yes! The money you spend on your private defense attorney will benefit your case.
Your attorney will use their network to gather the evidence they need to build your case. For example, they can use an expert witness to explain a key aspect of your case.
They might call on private laboratories to test the evidence against you as well. Your lawyer might even unearth important evidence that can get your case thrown out.
Hiring a private attorney for your defense also means you'll have a team of paralegals and associates on your case. Remember, private defenders are usually stretched thin. A private lawyer will use every tool at their disposal to strengthen your case.
You can choose a private defense attorney who has experience with your specific type of case. What was the outcome of that case? How did the attorney help their client?
Reading about their previous cases will give you peace of mind in your choice.
The biggest disadvantage of hiring a private defense attorney is the cost. You'll have to pay for the private criminal defense attorney you hire. A public defender, on the other hand, is free.
The cost can vary based on the defender's experience and expertise.
The advantages mentioned above far outweigh this one disadvantage, though. If your lawyer minimizes your charges, their services are likely worth the cost.
What to Look For
First, look for a private defense attorney with years of experience under their belt. Make sure they're licensed to practice in your area, too. Some laws can differ based on your location.
Next, head online. Look for references and reviews. What do the attorney's previous clients have to say about their services?
Try to meet with at least three defense attorneys in person. Make sure they're strong communicators. You'll need someone who is confident in their own abilities, too.
Remember, whomever you hire will speak on your behalf. You'll want to make sure they can analyze the information they're given before building your defense.
With these tips, you can find the best private criminal defense attorney around.
Private Defense Attorney vs. Public Defender: Make the Best Choice for Your Case
To recap, should you choose a private defense attorney or a public defender? Ultimately, the choice is yours. Hiring a private criminal defense attorney could improve your chances of a diminished sentence, though.
Do you want to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense lawyer you can count on? We're here to help. Visit our website to learn more.