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.

criminal defense attorney los angeles

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.

Entry to more defense possibilities is another advantage of a private criminal defense lawyer. Because the defendant pays for the legal fees, a private criminal defense attorney may use trained witnesses or private labs to support their case. In a courtroom, these tools could make all the difference.

Statistics, Public Defender vs. Private California Criminal Defense Attorneys

There have been many studies devoted to identifying the difference between a public defender and a private lawyer. We focus on a report conducted on the state justice system in Ohio. This report, conducted by Morriss Hoffman, collected data from more than 5,200 Ohio cases.

Hoffman found that when you have a public defender, you are not only more likely to go to prison, but you are also more likely to complete a longer-term. Everyone who employs a private criminal defense attorney seeks a reduced term of three years on average. When choosing an attorney, don't put your rights at risk.