top of page

Why Getting Your Own Criminal Defense Attorney Is Important

Updated: Dec 5, 2022

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 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 where 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? Y

ou 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 face serious criminal charges. If you do have enough money, though, the state wants you to pay for your lawyer. Secondly, public defenders consult with the same judges and prosecutors daily. When it is time for a plea bargain, public defenders' relationships 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.

Pros and Cons of Having a Private Attorney

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 regarding 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 better results.

Second, there is a much lower caseload for a private attorney. Lawyers will not 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 the reputation of 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

Many studies have been 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. On average, everyone who employs a private criminal defense attorney seeks a reduced term of three years. When choosing an attorney, don't put your rights at risk.

los angeles criminal defense lawyer

What's Does A Private California Criminal Defense Lawyer Do?

Private criminal defense lawyers look into the evidence against their clients and the case against them. They also try to reach deals with their competitors, the prosecutors. Such agreements may include reduced bail, lower fines, and reduced sentences. Due to things like political and public pressure, overcrowded jails, and full court schedules, making deals has become more important and is now necessary to get the criminal justice system back on track.

Criminal defense lawyers also interview witnesses, help prepare a plea, assess the prosecution's argument, determine the possible penalties (and the possibility of a specific judge granting such a sentence), study protocols for search and capture, question witnesses, and collect evidence. Defense counsel may also advise on the effects of immigration or other consequences of a plea, prosecution, or criminal record.

Defense lawyers also offer more personal assistance by providing a reality check to the defendant about the potential consequences and by encouraging the defendant to cope with the frustrations and concerns arising from being thrown into the criminal justice system. And if no plea bargain can be made, the prosecuting counsel represents the defendant at trial.

Legal Representation Cost

Private criminal defense lawyers charge either an hourly rate (expect to pay $150 an hour or more, depending on your case) or a set or fixed fee. If your freedom is at risk, requesting a payment plan is better if you are short on funds. You will have better chances of staying out of jail when working with an attorney who will spend more time and resources on your defense.

When you select your own criminal defense attorney, you can interview many and select the one you are comfortable with. The right to free representation does not imply a right to preference on the lawyer's part. Usually, a defendant who has been assigned public defender does not get to pick and choose.

Is a private counsel better than a court-appointed lawyer?

Defendants often assume that private lawyers have a distinct advantage over the overworked office or jury attorneys of the public defender paying a minimum fee. But can private lawyers have more robust services than government-paid legal counsel appointed by the court?

Data suggests that offenders' outcomes are better when working with a private criminal defense attorney, based on research comparing the effects of hiring a personal or court-appointed attorney. For instance, one study found that in conviction rates and sentencing, defendants represented by the private criminal defense attorney and public defenders were better or worse when working with a court-appointed attorney.

Ultimately, regardless of whether he or she is a public defender, or private criminal defense lawyer, the experience, expertise, and dedication of the individual attorney at hand are the best measure of the representation's consistency.

(Pro se) Self-Representation

What is apparent is that it is almost always the safest choice to be represented by a lawyer—nonetheless, several criminal suspects self-represent. Ultimately, the judge, not the defendant, decides as to whether a defendant should represent himself. The judge is expected to determine the competency of the defendant.

That is because, even though the defendant has the right to refuse the services of a court-appointed counsel, a defendant who does not offer a professional defense can not get a fair trial. A judge will weigh factors such as: when deciding whether a defendant should go pro se,

  • The severity of the offense.

  • The language skills of the defendant and schooling.

  • Whether the defendant knows the essence of the proceedings and whether

  • If the defendant gives up his/her right to counsel knowingly.

Find Pre-Screened Criminal Defense Attorneys.

Look for a pre-screened and reputable attorney who works exclusively with criminal defense cases and is familiar with the jurisdiction (city or county) where charges are pending. The judges and attorneys in that field would be acquainted with a local attorney.

How To Find a How A Criminal Defense Attorney in Los Angeles?

  1. You can submit a request online 24 hours a day. Free case review within 15 minutes.

  2. By chat, you'll be connected with a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney within 5 minutes.

  3. By calling the 24-hour lawyer referral hotline at 1-661-310-7999

Related articles:


Best Lawyers Near Los Angeles

California State Bar Certified Lawyer Referral And Information Service

Welcome to, a Lawyer Referral and Information Service certified and approved by the California State Bar.

"Our commitment is to provide you with unbiased and impartial lawyer referrals."


Unlike other services, we maintain complete independence from the lawyers receiving these referrals, ensuring transparency and fairness.

While we specialize in California employment law and personal injury claims, we offer our referral services for various other legal areas.


At, we aim to ensure you are connected with best California attorney near you who can provide comprehensive and exceptional representation for your specific legal needs.


We understand that every legal situation is unique and are dedicated to finding the best match for you.


With our extensive network of attorneys, we strive to deliver outstanding legal support and guidance tailored to your individual requirements.

At, we hold California attorneys to the highest standards of professional conduct.


Your satisfaction and confidence in the legal representation you receive are paramount to us.


Rest assured that when you engage in our services, you can expect nothing less than exceptional legal support and guidance.

Why Lawyer Referrals Matter


The California State Bar investigates on average 16,000 complaints of professional misconduct by attorneys annually.

We conduct due diligence by researching and recommending the best local attorney for your case. 


Our team of experts verifies that attorneys are in good standing and have the required experience in the type of law related to your legal issue. 

Learn more about attorney discipline here.


Our History 


Since 2005, we have been dedicated to helping individuals find reliable legal representation in California.


We understand the challenges people face when trying to locate reputable lawyers, especially when inundated with self-promoting advertisements and biased marketing from law firms.


At our service, we strive to cut through the noise and provide a trustworthy and unbiased platform for connecting individuals with reputable California lawyers.


Our clients receive quality legal representation without the frustration and uncertainty often associated with legal advertising.

How the LRS Works 

Anyone seeking competent and honest legal representation in California, can request a FREE lawyer referral. 

Once you submit your case details online, our legal 24-hour legal department will review your claim and reply via email. Most cases are reviewed and answered within 15 minutes. 


A free 30 minute consultation with the attorney will be offered to each referred client. 

A representative will follow up a few days later via email with the client after receiving a referral for quality management purposes, or to obtain the status of the case. 

About lawyers from our network

California lawyers in our network are insured, in good standing with the California State Bar, and have substantial experience in their practice area.


Attorneys are available in most areas of law throughout Southern California. Every lawyer in or network has been vetted for:

  • Credentials

  • Education

  • Communication skills

  • Performance

  • Client reviews

  • Fair legal fees

  • Continuing education

  • Professional affiliations

Additionally, we conduct criminal  background checks and attorneys are always monitored by our service.  

How to find the best lawyer for your legal case: 

1. The fastest way to have your legal issue reviewed by one of our attorneys is to send your details online.


Your information will go directly to our 24 hour legal department bypassing our call center. You will get a reply via email within 15 minutes. 

2. You may also inquire about your legal issue via email. We respond to email inquiries within 24 hours M-F. 

3. By calling our lawyer referral hotline 661-310-7999. However, our agents are not attorneys and cannot provide legal advice. Due to high call volumes, it's highly recommended that you use option # 1 above. 


Simple Retro Handyman Service Badge Logo-2.png
bottom of page