No one actually WANTS to use the services of a public defender, they just NEED to. When charged with a crime, defendants are often overcome with the fear of a conviction. Worries about losing one’s job or freedom can draining, leading to health problems and other issues.
Pursuant to the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution, all defendants have the right to be represented by an attorney during all phases of the criminal process. For defendants who cannot afford an attorney, one is usually appointed to them by the state’s public defender office.
So, a public defender is a lawyer who is paid by the state to defend people who cannot afford to pay for a private attorney. However, there are three fundamental reasons why criminal defendants avoid public defenders at all cost:
Like everything else in the world, you may have the best lawyer or a bad lawyer, and this is often a matter of choice. However, you don’t get to choose your public defender. When you elect to go with a public defender, you will typically be stuck with whoever is assigned to your case, from the beginning to the end.
Be assigned a bad public defender, and you may regret it for the rest of your life. On the other hand, you get to choose a private attorney based on who you believe will be committed to obtaining the best results possible for your particular situation. Having a choice in who defends you in a criminal matter is extremely important.
In most cases, a public defender doesn’t start working on your case until the first time you meet in court. He or she will be juggling several different cases and only have time to speak with you briefly before moving on with your case.
On the other hand, a private attorney will begin working, investigating, evaluating evidence, and speaking with witnesses from the moment he gets involved with your case, which may be long before your first court date. This is a huge benefit in terms of preserving evidence and making sure you have every advantage possible.
Public defenders are hard to reach. They often have major caseloads and are in court almost every day of the week. So, they simply won’t have the time to call you back, answer your emails and address all of your questions.
However, throughout your case, you will have a lot of stress and undoubtedly a lot of questions, and getting answers to these questions without having to wait days or weeks will make the process a lot less stressful for you and your family.
Private attorneys, generally decide their own caseloads and they will only take your case if they will have the time to be there for you every step of the way.
Realistically, there is no comparison between a public defender and private attorney.
If you are trying to decide between going with a public defender and hiring a private attorney, you should consult with a number of private attorneys before making your decision. You just may find that are not as expensive as you think.
Those in need of criminal defense services in Southern California can call (888) 250-2865 to obtain a free case evaluation with one of our Law Offices of Randy Collins criminal defense attorneys. We provide free case evaluations and our firm has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.