Being charged with a crime, regardless of the severity, is a life changing and very serious event. As I always say it is important to understand what the implications will be from what you are charged with. Therefore, it is important to have someone on your side that will protect your rights and freedom.
There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of hiring a private criminal attorney versus going with a public defender. A public defender is an attorney and is appointed to represent you in the situation where you cannot afford a private attorney. An individual who does go with a public defender will not have to pay attorney fee's. Just because the services provided by a public defender are free does not mean they are a lesser attorney. Most public defenders are truly great attorneys; This whole idea of the "public pretender" or that, because they are paid by the State, they are somehow less interested in fighting for their client's is ABSURD. Public defenders work hard for their clients. Further, public defenders, with their vast amount of caseloads everyday, month, and year have more experience than most private attorneys. They are incredibly skilled and should be treated a lot better than they are.
However, what the public defenders do is triage. They do the best they can with the time available. They have such enormous caseloads that they can not possibly spend as much time as they would like investigating each case, researching each legal issue, or discuss the matter with each client.
I am willing to bet that if you took a sampling of cases handled by public defenders and cases handled by private counsel you would find that a very high percentage of similar cases end up at a similar resolution no matter who is at the helm.That being said, there is value in time spent with a client and this is a luxury public defenders do not have. Sometimes, all the experience in the world does not help a client when an attorney cannot spend adequate time on the little details of the case and with the client. This is why hiring a private criminal attorney can be beneficial.
However, in my opinion the biggest value in hiring a private attorney is not necessary the end result of the case; It is in the personal attention you get from a private attorney. I have the time to sit down and answer all your questions, hand-hold through the court process, answer phone calls and emails.
I take getting to know a client and listening to their side of the story very seriously. I ask for the details needed to ensure I am fully equipped to represent someone and their future.
One on one meetings like that give an individual time to make sure who they have chosen to represent them is the right fit. You will be working with an attorney very closely and will be working to make sure you and your future can be as protected as possible from an indiscretion, no matter how small or large it may be. It will also be a stressful and trying time for you (and your family) when charged with a crime, therefore confidence and security in who you have on your side is incredibly important.
When you hire a private criminal attorney you get to choose who you have on your team. When going with public defender you do not have that luxury and therefore could run into a situation, based on the connection you have with that attorney, where you do not feel confident and secure. Furthermore, you do not get the option to step away from that public defender. That is the caveat with going with this option and often can greatly affect the outcome of someones case.
Never discount the power of connection with your attorney. Attorneys are here to fight for you, make sure you want to fight alongside them.
If you have found yourself charged with a crime call me and set up a time for a free consultation. We can discuss your case and you can get to know me. Be sure you know what you are up against when charged with a crime, do not try to take on the system by yourself.