Criminal charges can be scary. After all, they threaten you with the very real possibility of jail or prison time and maybe even irreparable harm to your reputation. With so much on the line, you should really consider how best to defend yourself. While your income level may qualify you for the assistance of a public defender, you should ask yourself if one of these attorneys can provide you with the representation that you need and deserve.
Is a public defender right for you?
Not all public defenders are created equal. Yet, there are some troubling themes amongst the public defender profession that may give you pause if you’re considering taking one on as your attorney. Here are some of the risks that you might end up facing by being represented by one of these attorneys:
- Lack of attention: Public defenders are notoriously overworked and underpaid. This means that they are spread so thin that they might not be able to give you the personalized attention you want. They might not be as responsive as you hope, either. In other words, you may not play as active of a role in your criminal defense as you hope.
- Pressure: Attorneys can’t coerce their clients into acting a certain way, but because public defender have so many cases they often focus on pushes cases through the system so that they can more easily manage their caseloads. This could mean that your attorney ends up focusing more on negotiating a plea deal instead of looking for the best ways to litigate on your behalf.
- Inexperience: A lot of public defenders are fresh out of law school. While they might be great attorneys, a lot of them probably don’t have the experience and know-how needed to combat aggressive prosecutors. You might be rolling the dice by going with a public defender, hoping that you get appointed one who is experienced and adept at navigating the law.
Find legal representation that is right for you?
There are great public defenders out there, but if you want to take control of your criminal defense to ensure that your case receives the attention it deserves, then you might be better served by discussing your case with a private criminal defense attorney.