Why Getting Your Own Criminal Defense Attorney Is Important

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

If you are facing serious criminal charges in Los Angeles, you should consider getting your own criminal defense attorney.

A defense attorney acts as the defendant's guide, defender, and confidant within the dynamic criminal justice system. (At least that's how it is meant to be.) Defense lawyers are typically divided into two camps: government-paid court-appointed attorneys and defendant-paid private criminal defense attorneys.

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California Public Defender vs. Private Criminal Defense Attorney

We have all seen a TV show in which a cop reads their Miranda Rights to a defendant. The cop claims the accused has the right to an attorney, and the state will pay for one for them if they can not afford one. Did you know, though, that the risk of spending prison time increases with a public defender vs. a private attorney? You want to mount the best possible defense, I'm sure. You would need a personal criminal defense attorney to do that. Let's analyze the pros and cons of a private attorney vs. a public defender.

A Public Defender's Pros and Cons

Next, we'll start with the most apparent pro; it's free for a public defender. The principle behind a public defender is to provide those who can not afford it with legal advice. The court will recommend a government salaried lawyer for your case if you are facing serious criminal charges. If you do have enough money, though, the state wants you to pay for your lawyer. Secondly, every day, public defenders consult with the same judges and prosecutors. When it is time for a plea bargain, the relationships public defenders have with judges and prosecutors may go against your defense.

For a public defender, their caseload is the greatest challenge. This is not their fault now. Our system of justice doesn't always work as expected. Therefore, the number of public defenders is much lower than it should be, forcing each prosecutor to take on a massive load of cases. On average, a public defender has 25 percent less time to commit to a criminal case than a thorough job is required. And when you go to trial, it is hard to get in contact with your court-appointed attorney.

Private Attorney's Pros and Disadvantages

Price is the only con to hiring a private attorney. You always get what you pay for in life, though. A personal criminal defense lawyer vs. a public defender varies wildly when it comes to cost. Your private attorney's expenses will depend on the kind of fees and the amount of work he/she plans to do.

The first prospect of employing a private criminal defense lawyer is their availability. Not only will a successful criminal defense attorney be available to you anytime you need them, but they will also have a team that will support you if they can not do it at any given time themselves. In your situation, having more tools at their disposal would also mean a better results.

Second, there is a much lower caseload for a private attorney. Lawyers are not going to take on more cases than they believe their workers can manage. It is their company that is, after all, on the line. A major difference between a California public defense attorney and a private attorney is reputation on their performance. No matter the results, a public defender gets more cases than they can handle.