When you are facing a court date it can be intimidating to face off with a prosecutor without adequate representation looking out for your best interests. That is why everyone is entitled to the assistance of a public defender in court if needed. Unfortunately, while many public defendants are excellent lawyers and hard workers, due to the realities of our legal system they often cannot provide the same level of representation that a private criminal defense attorney can offer. If you are deciding between hiring a private attorney or relying on a court-appointed defense attorney for your court appearance, here are some important benefits to opting for a private attorney.
Focus is Important
The biggest disadvantage that public defendants face compared to a private criminal defense attorney has nothing to do with a lack of skill or desire on the part of public defenders. The unfortunate truth of our legal system is that most public defenders are extremely overworked, being asked to take on more cases than they would prefer in order to make sure that everyone in need has representation. While it is great that more representation is being given, this has a detrimental effect on the individual cases as there is less focus on your particular case.
With a private criminal defense attorney, you get representation with significantly fewer ongoing cases. This means your attorney can devote more of their time and attention to working on your case in order to position you for the best possible results at trial.
More Resources for Your Case
When making a decision on a court-appointed attorney vs. a private attorney, you should also consider the resources at the disposal of your attorney. Because public defenders offices are often being stretched thin by too many cases, that means that there is less to go around when working on each case. Less money to spend means less access to helpful aids and also the ability to pay for fewer working hours for assistants like paralegals and investigators who can play an absolutely vital role in a defense. They assist by helping your attorney to find new evidence as well as to thoroughly look through the evidence at hand to make sure nothing is missed. You don’t want to risk losing at trial because you missed something due to not having enough hours of labor devoted to your case.
Choose Your Representation
One of the most easily overlooked benefits of hiring a private criminal defense attorney is your option to choose your own counsel. While you are entitled to defense by a court-appointed defense attorney, you are not entitled to choose which public defender you receive, which means you are subject to the luck of the draw. While it’s possible you might get the best possible attorney from the available public defenders, it could also go the other way and leave you stuck with the worst of all options.
With private representation, you know exactly what you are getting before you hire your attorney. You can speak to references from prior clients as well as lookup reviews or ask for records of prior results in court. You don’t have to worry that you will get stuck with an attorney only to discover that they have no experience winning cases like yours.
Find a Specialist
When an attorney works as a public defender they find themselves facing a wide range of possible cases which vary from day to day. While this can be an excellent experience for the attorney, what it prohibits is the ability to specialize in a certain field of criminal defense, as the attorney must handle the cases put before them.
With a private criminal defense attorney, it is common to have a more focused approach to law, opting to take on cases which fall under the same areas of law. This means that the average private criminal defense attorney who specializes in your need will likely have faced significantly more cases like yours in their time practicing than a public defender with the same length of experience.
Meetings Are Easier
There’s nothing more frustrating than wanting to meet with your attorney to plan your defense only to learn that they have no availability for you coming up. With so many cases, requiring so many meetings and so many trials, public defenders can not always promise to meet up every time you would like to. With a private criminal defense attorney, the lighter caseload means more open schedules and an easier time scheduling your next face-to-face or phone call.
Better Plea Deals
Although the many popular courtroom dramas focus on intense back-and-forths in court, the reality is that many cases don’t even make it to trial. It is common in criminal law for plea deals to be struck with the prosecutors, with the defendant receiving a lesser punishment in exchange for a plea to some or all of the charges being faced. While the exact reasons for why can’t be conclusively proven, it has been found that a private criminal defense attorney is likely to receive better offers on average than a public defender. By opting for a private criminal defense attorney you thus maximize your chances of getting the best possible deal.
Schatz, Anderson & Associates Private Criminal Defense Attorneys
When it comes to protecting yourself in court against charges which can include time behind bars, you simply can not afford to turn down the best possible representation available. When you choose a private criminal defense attorney you get the focused attention that you need in order to ensure the best possible results for your case. Here at Schatz, Anderson & Associates, we have over 50 years of experience as private criminal defense attorneys in Utah. If you are in need of a defense lawyer, contact us today to see how we can help you.