Being charged with a crime is no joke. It can threaten to strip you of your freedom, damage your financial well-being, tarnish your reputation, and affect nearly every aspect of your life moving forward. With so much on the line, you have to do everything you can to develop the best criminal defense possible. For some, that means asking whether the services of a public defender are appropriate.
Risks associated with public defenders
There are a lot of good public defenders out there, but the sad truth of the matter is that there are many limitations on their ability to provide accused individuals with the aggressive representation they deserve. Here are some of them:
- Large caseloads: Public defenders often have more cases than they can realistically handle. As such, a lot of times their focus is on clearing cases and managing their caseloads, not necessarily fighting the best fight possible for their clients. This can lead to accused individuals feeling pressure to accept a plea deal that they may not think is in their best interests.
- Inexperience: There are a lot of experienced public defenders, but there are also a lot who take this position as their first legal job. This lack of experience, while not necessarily bad, can be limiting. Inexperienced attorneys often don’t have the strongest litigation skills and they might struggle to make and meet the objections that can be crucial to your case’s outcome.
- Lack of attention: Given that they’re overworked, public defenders don’t have much time to give their clients individual attention, let alone an individualized criminal defense.
Why risk your future?
Sure, the services of a public defender are cheap, if not free, if you qualify for one, but do you really want to take the risk that you’ll wind up with someone who can’t give you the best representation possible? You might be better served discussing your case with a private criminal defense attorney who can give you the advocacy you need and deserve.