Public Defender vs. Private Lawyer

Posted by on Nov 4, 2014 in Criminal Defense | 0 comments

There is no real difference in the legal qualifications and aptitude between a public defender and a private lawyer generally speaking. Both had gone to law school and are licensed to practice in their state as attorneys. In fact, public defenders probably have more extensive experience in criminal defense than most lawyers because they handle a lot more cases. However, it is precisely because a public defender is given a heavy case load that a defendant may not be properly represented in their case, and why a private lawyer that can pick and choose their cases is the better option.

Private lawyers can specialize

The best criminal defense lawyers are those that do not necessarily have an extensive practice, but those that focus on specific types of cases. As pointed out on the website of the Flaherty Defense Firm, lawyers with expertise in handling particular crimes are peculiarly suited to protecting the rights and interests of the defendant to the full extent of the law. Public defenders are obliged to handle the cases that are handed to them, and this can turn them into a Jack of all trades but master of none.

Private lawyers can concentrate on their cases

A public defender could be juggling more than 20 cases at any one time. Because their case loads are typically not as heavy, private lawyers have more time to prepare for each case and focus on the finer points of the cases they handle that could spell the difference between a conviction and an acquittal.

Private lawyers have more resources

Public defenders use state resources to prepare their cases, and in most cases they have to make do with what the budget will allow them. Private lawyers have access to investigative, documentation, and expert services that can help them build a more thorough defense than a public defender can hope to with their limited resources.

Public defenders serve an important purpose; to represent defendants that do not have the financial means to retain a private lawyer. However, if you are charged with a crime and you have the means to pay for your defense, you will find that the results will be worth the expense of retaining the best possible criminal defense lawyer in your area that you can afford.

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