When charged with a crime, especially a felony, having the best legal representation can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. You may be given the option of accepting a public defender or hiring your own attorney. Here are a few of the things to consider before you choose.
Public defenders may not have a lot of time to give your case the attention it needs.
A hired attorney is typically going to have more time on their hands to help you wade through the details of your case than a public defender, which can be really important when you are fighting a felony charge. Public defenders are assigned clients in large numbers, which means their time has to be divided among everyone and a lot of the casework has to be entrusted to a paralegal or other members of their team. You are more likely to get personalized attention from a hired attorney because these professionals only take on the cases they feel they have time to get to know.
Hired attorneys are going to charge for their services.
Unfortunately, it is this very difference that leads most people facing a felony charge to turn to a public defender for help. Hiring an attorney is always going to mean that you will be paying out of pocket for the legal representation. For an individual who has no funds to cover the cost, using a public defender can seem like the only option. However, many felony attorneys will work with you to split up their fees into more manageable payments so you can get the best representation in your case. Also, high-profile cases may be good situations to seek potential pro-bono offers, which essentially means the attorney offers their services for free.
Public defenders do not usually specialize in certain types of cases.
It is really rare for a public defender to specialize in a certain type of case because they have to work with so many different types of clients facing all kinds of different charges. Any time you are dealing with a more serious felony charge, it can be best if you have an attorney that is familiar with your type of case on a more specialized level. For example, a hired felony attorney may specialize in representing people who have been charged with violent crimes, so they will have more insight into how to defend someone facing these charges.
Reach out to felony attorneys in your area for more information.