When you are charged with a crime, you have many decisions to make and it can be quite overwhelming. One such decision is if you are going to hire an attorney or request that the court appoint you a public defender. In America, if you cannot hire your own attorney, the courts appoint one for you.
This article will go over the benefits of hiring a private attorney rather than using a public defender due to a few key factors, such as workload, preparedness, and familiarity with the type of case.
What is a Public Defender?
When you cannot hire your own attorney for your court case, the court will appoint you a licensed public defender at no cost to you. You, as the defendant, have no choice on who will be picked to represent you. Public defenders are employed by the court and paid for by the government to handle your case. The judge will normally handle the process of appointing the public defenders.
Difference Between Public and Private Attorney
A private attorney is a lawyer you choose personally and pay yourself. Hiring a private lawyer will give you more one-on-one time, as they are invested in your case and do not normally have a large workload as a public defender. Your private attorney will ensure you have focus, giving your case priority, especially when it is time to go to court.
A public defender is a government employee that is appointed for you when you cannot afford a private lawyer. This right is built into our justice system and is need-based. Public defenders often have a large number of cases on any given court date.
Advantages of a Private Attorney
Smaller Workload Equals More Focus
By using your own representation that you choose, you can work closely with the attorney and help build your case as you will have much more one-on-one time with a quality private attorney. Private attorneys have smaller workloads so they can focus on their clients’ (your) needs. When you need them, they are there for you because you are paying for their time and their knowledge.
Their Reputation and Career Rely on Winning Your Case
Because private attorney relies on their clients’ case wins for their reputation, they take each case on to ensure they will get the best outcome for you and their business as well. Their career depends on helping you win your case or obtaining you the best result possible.
More Hands on Deck
Also, when you hire a private attorney, they usually have a staff of professionals behind them and a home office helping them with the case. If necessary, they will work with labs, investigators, and witnesses to help with your case.
Studies Show Private Attorneys More Likely to Achieve Success for Their Clients
There have been many studies on the outcome of cases when looking at private vs public defenders and they have found that public defenders have less of a chance to win their case as well as showing the defendant getting more jail time with a public defender. One such study, which was conducted in 2002 by Morris Hoffman, showed just such results. In looking at over 5,200 cases in just Ohio alone, they found you are more likely to go to jail and serve a longer sentence when using a public defender. It also found that private attorneys obtained sentences for their clients with an average of three years less time than their public defender counterparts.
While having a public defender by no means you will lose your case, it is more likely you will have a better experience overall going with the representation you can choose yourself.
Get the Representation You Deserve with Brackin & Johnson
It’s incredibly stressful having to go to court, and the pressure you feel about hiring the right lawyer can make it even worse. It’s tempting to rush the process just to get it over with, but doing so could be a huge mistake. Instead, you need a lawyer who understands what you’re going through and will give you the best legal services possible.
At Brackin & Johnson, we are here to help. We understand the criminal justice process, how to work with each District Attorney and Assistant District Attorney, city prosecutor, or judge handling your criminal case, and the possibilities before ever entering the courtroom.
Our experience allows us to better inform our clients of what to expect before even entering the courtroom. We believe in integrity, justice, and honor. We know that going through the legal process is not easy and therefore aim to take as much off of your plate as possible. Contact us today, and let us fight for your future.