A public defender is an attorney the court assigns to represent persons facing criminal charges who cannot pay for their attorney. If you are facing criminal charges and cannot afford an attorney, the court will assign you a public defender to represent you at no cost. While public defenders are highly trained and dedicated professionals, there are several reasons why you may want to hire your attorney over having a public defender to achieve the best possible outcome, as discussed below.
Public defenders often take on many cases and may not give each case their best input. In Los Angeles, 70% of public defenders reported that their current caseload is unmanageable, as stated in a February 2022 letter. Since most defendants opt for public defenders, their cases only end up being added to the workload that the understaffed public defenders have, unlike private attorneys who handle smaller caseloads. Typically, personal attorneys handle fewer cases, meaning your case will be thoroughly investigated and expedited.
Unlike a public defender with piles of cases that need quick addressing, a private attorney solely focuses on your case. A personal attorney can devote more time to your case, gathering all the essential details and evidence and building a solid defense strategy. In most cases, a public defender may only have a few hours to study your defense case, and you may enter into an unfavorable plea deal. In contrast, you could have had a better chance of your charges being reduced or entirely dismissed if you had hired a private attorney.
Effective communication between you and your attorney is critical to the success of your case. Hiring a private attorney can assist you in having frequent and open communication about your case and keep you in the loop about any developments that may arise. They can also be valuable in answering any questions you may have. Communication can minimize the stress and anxiety you may be experiencing, giving you a sense of control over your situation.
With a private attorney, you can choose who represents you. If you decide to have a public defender, you do not have the choice about who you would like assigned to your case, and if you are dissatisfied with the public defender assigned, you may not have the option to request a new one.
While public defenders are well-versed in criminal law, they may not have a high level of expertise in your case. When you hire your attorney, you can select one with expertise in laws relevant to your issue or who has previously handled similar cases. They can investigate your case and leverage the nuances of the law to your advantage. Although hiring your attorney will come at a fee, it could make the difference between walking out free or serving time in jail.
Access to Resources
Hiring your attorney means access to more resources, such as expert witnesses, forensic experts, and other professionals to assist in preparing your case. These resources can be invaluable in building a solid defense. Public defenders, on the other hand, are limited in accessing such resources due to budget constraints.
Interest in Outcome
Unlike a public defender, who will still get cases irrespective of the outcome of your case, a private attorney has a vested interest in achieving the best possible outcome for you. A public defender may want to resolve your matter quickly and move on to the next one ASAP, even if it means accepting a plea deal that is not in your best interest. A private attorney, on the other hand, can take the time to evaluate the evidence against you and work towards maximizing your chances of winning the case. Remember that a private attorney also has a reputation to maintain within the legal profession.
Contact the Experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you are facing criminal offense charges in California, do not hesitate to contact the experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer at the Kosnett Law Firm. We can help protect your rights and give you the legal representation you deserve. Contact us now for a free consultation to discuss the details of your case.