A violation of the law demands punishment. If accused of a criminal offense, be it a misdemeanor case or a felony charge, you have the right to defend yourself. You can decide to go with a public or a private lawyer that specializes in criminal defense.
The Case for a Public Defender
If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney to defend you on criminal charges, a public defender will be appointed to you. This right to counsel is provided for by the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. While there are certain benefits to being assigned a public defender, there are disadvantages as well.
A public defender is familiar with many criminal cases, and may have even worked on a few or more of them. Their line of work also puts them in touch with prosecutors, whom they might have a good working relationship, thus allowing them to agree on a favorable plea bargain.
While getting legal services without having to pay a single penny has its benefits, the very nature of the aid being provided for free brings with it certain consequences. Not everyone can afford to hire a lawyer to defend them and as such, public defenders have to take on lots of cases at once. Plus, they are notoriously underpaid.
With lots of clients to attend to, public defenders are pressed for time and as such, this limits the amount of time to formulate a legal defense that could potentially prevent or minimize the impact of a conviction.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that the court appoints your lawyer. This can inherently have serious consequences, especially if you find the defender assigned to you wholly unsatisfactory.
The Case for a Private Criminal Defense Lawyer
Hiring a private lawyer can be seen as the answer to most of the issues encountered with a public defender. For one, you are in charge of choosing your own criminal defense lawyer. You can choose to maintain your attorney if you’re satisfied with their performance, otherwise you can always break ties with them.
Time is one of the biggest benefits of hiring a private lawyer. The more time that a lawyer has dedicated to your case, the more likely it is to find the best possible solution. They can argue for your sentence to be reduced or have the case dismissed.
A private lawyer also has the benefit of having associates, paralegals, and staff to help with the case. You are also more likely to get a hold of a private lawyer on the phone because it’s unusual for them to be juggling tons of cases at one time.
There are good lawyers working for the state and federal government, and they usually get handed the big cases with minor ones given to entry level public defenders. If you don’t want to take any chances with your defense – or want the best possible outcome – get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney. The Law Office of Joel E. Lueck can help you with offenses such as DUI, possession and sale of narcotics, theft, domestic violence, and other criminal offenses.