Public Defenders v. Private Attorneys

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Public defenders and hired lawyers serve the same purpose: to defend and fight for their client in court. Their goal is to persuade the jury and the judge that their client is innocent of the charges against them. Although they serve the same purpose, both have pros and cons when defending a client.

  • Public Defender

    If a person cannot afford to hire a private attorney, the court will appoint a public defender to them. Therefore, the client does not have to pay for their public defender. The client cannot pick from a selection of public defenders; one is assigned to them. Public defenders are versed in a variety of cases and will be able to take on your case just fine.

However, public defenders do not make as much money as private attorneys, and they often have multiple cases to work on at the same time. Due to this, a public defender may have less time to meet with each client and go through materials. They must split their time across however many cases they have at once.

  • Private Attorney

    For many people, the main problem with hiring a private lawyer rather than a public defender is the cost. Private lawyers can be expensive, and they can be more expensive for serious or prolonged cases than short ones. Nonetheless, the services of a private lawyer are more beneficial than a public defender since the private lawyer will have more time to dedicate to their client. They will have more resources such as extra help from associates, and will likely be able to build a stronger case.

Additionally, lawyers may specialize in certain criminal cases, such as domestic abuse. This means that someone who is in the middle of a domestic abuse case can hire a lawyer who specializes in this, rather than a lawyer who specializes in an unrelated criminal matter. Since clients pay for a private lawyer they selected, the private lawyer is more inclined to perform at their best because their practice and reputation relies on satisfied clients.

If a family can afford a private lawyer, that is the best way to go. If not, hope is not lost. A public defender is ready and willing to take on the case and they will do as much as they can to help the family win.