Law and Economics — 13 January 2019
Which Is Better: A Public Defender Or A Criminal Defense Lawyer?

When someone is facing criminal penalties the decision on whether to retain a criminal defense lawyer or a public defender can make or break a case. This is why many people facing criminal charges use a criminal defense law firm like Valiente Law, that has experience being a public defender as well as being a private lawyer. However, there are many things to consider when making this tough choice and a lot of it has to do with economics.

Thanks to the constitution, everyone who is being investigated for a criminal charge is entitled to representation. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed to you by the government. The good thing about using a public defender is that the government pays for their salary, making it a very affordable option. Public defenders have just as much experience as seasoned criminal defense lawyers as this is the only type of law that they practice and they work with the prosecuting attorneys on a routine basis. The problem is that everyone is entitled to representation which means the majority of public defenders are overloaded with cases. Since they are overloaded, the public defender may not be able to spend the time needed to be dedicated to your case. Also, if you do not like your public defender, getting a new one can be quite difficult.

The primary disadvantage of hiring a private criminal defense lawyer is simply the cost. Many people feel that their services are overpriced, however, they fail to take into account the advantages of having a lawyer solely dedicated to their case. Most attorneys will accept calls from their clients 24/7 and go over every nuance of the case. Even if they do not know the prosecuting attorney, they will have the time to find weaknesses in their case. Also, private criminal defense lawyers have more resources such as expert witnesses that can play a huge part should the case go to trial. In the event that the client does not like their private attorney, they can be fired at any time.

If facing criminal charges, the most important thing to recognize is the fact that you require representation. Although representing yourself is an option, working with someone who is experienced in the court process is paramount to getting a good outcome such as a plea deal, the case dismissed or a reduction of charges. The question that needs to be asked is how much are you willing to pay for a good outcome.

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Dolores Obrien

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