Choosing Between a Public Defender Or Private Attorney

Many people are unaware of what the difference between a private criminal lawyer and a public attorney is. The explanation is rather straightforward. A public defender is the legal representation that is provided to a person who is unable to afford one. The public defender is thus charged to protect the interests of the clients while being paid by the government. But before a public defender is awarded to the accused individual, an eligibility test is carried out involving an assessment of a person’s assets and income. Although public lawyers come freely, many people question the devotion and dedication that a client will get from such representation.

Public defenders are very effective as criminal lawyers. Like most lawyers they handle a wide range of cases during the day. Again, just like most attorneys, they tend to specialize in different areas. Some choose to specialize in attending to personal injury cases or they may opt instead to focus on drunk driving charges as found with DUI lawyers. Because of their close and frequent relationship with the court rooms, most public defenders develop an understanding and decent rapport with the local court and judges. This can be of great benefit to their clients.

However, despite all these benefits, hiring a private attorney is still a far better idea if this option is within a person’s ability. Private attorneys are far more likely to work harder at providing you with a credible defense. Although they are undoubtedly more expensive than publicly appointed representation, most people who hire private attorneys find that they end up having lighter fines or shorter jail sentences. This is because of the increased effort put into a person’s by private attorneys.

A better way to see the difference between being represented by a private lawyer and one provided by the government is to take a look at statistics that have been accumulated over the years. These results clearly show that amongst people being tried for similar crimes, majority of those who were represented by public attorneys ended up serving longer jail terms. For people who plan on pleading guilty and wish to receive a shorter or softer sentence, hiring a private attorney will provide a better guarantee of this.

There are many reasons behind the disparity in results found between public lawyers and private attorneys. By far the most obvious is the amount of work experienced by both. Because of their position in the government most public defenders attend to far more cases than private lawyers. As a result of this they tend to get overworked and are unable to focus as much attention on the case of their client as a private attorney would. In most instances, clients who have public representation find that they are unable to have regular meetings with their attorneys outside the periods shared in the courtrooms.

Another observation found amongst public defenders is their willingness to accept plea bargains because of the speedy resolution which it offers to a case. By forcing their clients to accept a plea bargain, they effectively deny them the full option of justice which a trial would have provided them. None of this is found amongst a private attorney. Whilst a plea bargain might also be used, a private attorney is more likely to push for firmer and better terms. Because of their more detailed investigation, they will also be able to better improve a client’s defense making the option of courtroom success far more likely.

Legal representation is extremely important if a person requires legal assistance or is being charged with a crime. For people who are unable to afford an attorney, seeking the counsel of a public defender creates a welcomed and effective idea. Such people will however be required to first qualify by passing a strict screening process. However, for those who are able to afford hiring a private attorney, resorting to this option will prove a far more effective choice.