Public Defender or Private Attorney
Do you have questions about hiring a private defender or private attorney? Watch this video, then call Smith & Green Attorneys at Law today.
Should I hire a public defender or private attorney?
We are often asked: Should I go with a public defender, or should I hire a private attorney? This is a question that will live in infamy amongst folks that are being charged with crimes. “Do I go with this public defender guy, or do I spend the money and get me a private attorney?” There are some constitutional protections for folks that are being charged with crimes. You have a right to talk to an attorney and have one being present with you while you are being questioned. If you can’t afford an attorney, one can be appointed to represent you at no cost to you. This is a constitutional right that is guaranteed to folks.
However, the question becomes “Do I like this guy that’s been assigned to me or this lawyer that has been assigned to me” because while you do have a right to an attorney, you don’t have a right to an attorney of your choice. You have a right to an attorney that the court or the judge assigns to you.
Here’s some things that you must consider. First of all, all public defenders are not bad attorneys. In fact, there are a lot of fine public defenders out there. On the other side, all private attorneys are not good. There are some horrible private attorneys, and the reason why they are private attorneys is because they couldn’t get a job somewhere else because the quality of their work is less than remarkable.
What is true normally about most public defenders is that they do have high caseloads. They do have a lot of entanglements and what not in the courts that shouldn’t play a role in their decision-making process but sometimes does play a role in their decision-making process. Again, from a economic perspective, it’s sad to say, but the pay isn’t that great all of the time, and they only going to get a certain amount of money if they’re contract, so are they going to spend the time and resources necessary to properly to litigate your case? However, that does not mean that they are a bad attorney.
With that being said: private attorney or public defender? What should you consider? Here’s what you should consider. Number one, what is at stake? What am I being charged with? How much time could I face if I’m convicted? Is this a murder case, or is this a shoplifting case? Is this a misdemeanor, or is this a felony? What is at stake, and what’s the quality of representation do I – that I need? Do I need a team of attorneys that are private, that have control over resources, or can this case stand with a public defender? How detailed is the case? Again, is this a shoplifting case? I got caught stealing bubblegum at Walmart, or am I being charged with some complicated murder charge or rape or drug trafficking charge?
You also need to ask: What resources can I come up with to pay for a private attorney? It’s not free. They can’t take the case on contingency. It’s against the ethics rules. You’ve got to pay sometimes, and we’ve seen folks do several things: borrow from family members, get title loans on cars, etc. We’ve seen people do all kind of stuff to pay for it because they want private representation. Is this going to require experts? Is this going to require private investigators? All of the things that’s going to be necessary to get you a positive outcome about your case.
How do you feel about the attorney, be it the public defender or the private attorney? Do I get a good feeling about this guy? If you got a funny feeling about this guy and you can go to jail for 15 years, run. He might be a good attorney, but if you don’t have a good feeling about him, you’re not going to be confident with the outcome, and you’re not going to be pleased, especially if things don’t go the way you want it to go. Ask youself, too: Does the attorney believe in the case? Do I really believe that this case can be adjudicated on the merits and that we can get a good outcome, hopefully, on behalf of the client?
These are things you must consider, talk with your family about, talk with your friends about, talk with that attorney about, be it the public defender or the private attorney. Of course, we offer private representation for criminal clients. People ask do we do payment plans. Absolutely. We work with every client that comes to the door because every client is different, and every client’s case is different, the facts of the case are different. Contact our office. We can talk to you more about your criminal matters, or there are other fine attorneys out there. You contact somebody but talk to them about your criminal case early on so that we can get you the best possible outcome.
Have you or a loved one been involved in a criminal defense case and have questions about hiring a public defender or private attorney? Contact experienced Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorneys at Smith & Green today for a legal consultation.
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