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Choosing Public Defender Vs. Private Lawyer: Which Is Better?

There are two major types of lawyers for criminal defense: public defenders and private lawyers. Both have pros and cons. So, how do you decide which is better for you?

Public defenders are government-funded lawyers representing defendants who can’t afford a lawyer. They’re often overworked and underpaid, but they’re also more likely to be experienced in criminal law. Private lawyers are hired by defendants who can afford to pay for their own defense. They’re less likely to have as much experience with criminal law, but they can provide a more personal service.

What Happens During An Arrest?

If you’re arrested for a criminal offense, the police will take you to a holding cell where they question you. You have the right to remain silent, and anything you say can be used against you in court. You also have the right to have an attorney, and the police must contact the Public Defender’s Office if you can’t afford one. If you choose to hire a private lawyer, the police will contact them directly.

According to studies, 100 million Americans can’t afford a lawyer. That’s why public defenders exist – to provide quality legal representation to those who can’t afford it.
However, even without a lawyer, you can post a bail bond so you can be temporarily released from jail while waiting for your trial. If you can’t afford to pay, you need to contact a bail bondsman to do this.

Consequences Of A Lost Case

If the court finds you’re guilty of a criminal offense, the consequences can be serious. You may face jail time, penalties, and a criminal record that can follow you for the rest of your life. A criminal defense lawyer can help reduce your sentence or get your charges reduced. If you choose to represent yourself in court, you’re at a disadvantage – judges and prosecutors will often consider this when ruling on your case.

Pros And Cons of Public Defenders

Pros:

  • Public defenders are more likely to be experienced in criminal law.
  • Public defenders are more likely to be familiar with the local court system.
  • Public defenders are often more affordable than private lawyers.

Cons:

  • They may not have as much time to devote to your case.
  • They may be more likely to take on more cases than they can handle.
  • They may be less motivated to win your case if they feel like you can’t afford to pay them.

Pros And Cons of Private Lawyers

Pros:

  • Private lawyers are more likely to have experience with criminal law.
  • Private lawyers are more likely to be familiar with the local court system.
  • Private lawyers often provide a more personal service than public defenders.
  • They’re motivated to win your case because you pay them.
  • You can choose a legal counsel who specializes in the specific type of crime you’ve been charged with.

Cons: 

  • They may not be as experienced as public defenders.
  • They may be more likely to take on more cases than they can handle.
  • They may be less familiar with the local court system.
  • They’re more expensive than public defenders.
  • You’ll need to pay for their services yourself.

How To Deal With A Public Defender

If you’re assigned a public defender, you can do a few things to make the best of the situation.

  • Firstly, be sure to keep in contact with your lawyer and provide them with all the information they need.
  • Be cooperative with the authorities and don’t antagonize them.
  • Remember that you have the right to remain silent and that anything you say can be used against you in court.

How To Choose A Private Lawyer

If you decide to work with a private lawyer, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

  • First, make sure the lawyer is licensed to practice law in your state. You can check this on the National Association of State Bar Associations website.
  • Second, ask for referrals from friends or family members who have had a good experience with a private lawyer.
  • Take the time to interview and talk to a few attorneys and ask them about their experience with criminal law, fees, and what they plan to do to win your case.
  • Make sure you feel comfortable with the lawyer and that they’re someone you can trust.

The Bottom Line

Public defenders and private lawyers both have their pros and cons. In the end, it’s up to you to decide which is better for you. If you can’t afford a lawyer, the police must contact the Public Defender’s Office. If you can afford a private lawyer, the police will contact them directly. Always keep in mind that you have the right to remain silent and to an attorney.

Bail bond companies are also an option if you can’t afford to pay. Visit our website to learn more about how to post a bail bond if you don’t know what to do.

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