What Is The Difference Between a Public Defender and a Private Defense Attorney?
30th June 2022
If you’ve been charged with committing a crime, you might be weighing your options when it comes to your attorney. You could be wondering if you should go with a public defender, or choose a private defense attorney instead. Whether you’ve been charged with theft, or you’re looking at a federal drug charge, your decision is going to be one of the most important you’ve ever made in your life.
The criminal defense attorneys with Sand Law PLLC can’t make this decision for you. But we can promise that we will do everything we possibly can to either reduce the penalties you face or have your case dropped entirely. We have a great deal of experience defending our clients against criminal charges. And we’re ready to put that knowledge to work for you.
If you would like to schedule a free, no-obligation review of your case, reach out to us as soon as possible. Give us a call at 701-609-1510 or use our online contact form.
What is a Public Defender?
A public defender is an attorney appointed by the court to represent defendants facing a criminal charge. But you might be surprised to learn that you can’t just request a public defender. You have to show that you can’t afford to pay for private legal counsel.
Public defenders take cases the court assigns. They can tell you what charges you face, as well as the potential penalties if you’re found guilty. A public defender can also give you an idea of how the court system works in cases like yours.
Since they work for the court, they may oftentimes work in the court’s best interests. That means they will often try to find a resolution to the case without having to go to trial. That will not only save the court time, it will also save money.
What is a Private Defense Attorney?
Private attorneys, of course, are paid legal representatives. They will always work in your best interests. Not those of the court. Private legal representatives will make sure your rights are always protected and will take whatever action you prefer. For instance, your attorney can try to resolve your case before trial. Or, if it’s better for your case, they’ll fight your charges in a courtroom.
Is a Private Attorney Better than a Public Defender?
It’s important to reiterate that a private attorney will always fight to make sure your rights are observed at all times. You can’t count on a public defender doing the same thing. Not only do they typically have very little (if anything) invested in helping you. But they’re often overwhelmed as well. They may have to deal with so many cases that they can’t devote the time it takes to provide you with the very best representation possible.
Private attorneys, on the other hand, cost money. It may be money you might not have. The amount you’ll pay will depend on several factors. You might be paying a flat rate. Or you might pay by the hour. This will vary based on the attorney you hire.
However, many defendants eventually regret hiring a public defender based on money alone. They often find they actually wind up paying more in fees, fines and other costs when convicted. And these oftentimes add up to more than what a private attorney would have cost.
Should You Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney for Your Case?
These are just a few of the other reasons why you should hire a private defense attorney if possible.
- Communication. A private attorney will always keep you informed through every phase of your case. And they’ll be there when you have questions or concerns. If you’re wondering whether you should take a lie detector test, for example, a private attorney will provide a clear, well-thought out recommendation. You might be lucky if a public defender even returns your call, much less gives you helpful advice.
- You have the choice. Public defenders are court appointed. So you won’t be able to select your legal representative. While you could eventually decide to fire the public defender’s office and go with a paid attorney, you won’t be able to change the one assigned to your case. But with a private attorney, you have complete control. You can do your research and find out what kind of experience and track record they have in cases similar to yours.
- Better results. Public defenders typically can’t deliver the results that private attorneys can. A private attorney, on the other hand, will be incredibly motivated to win your case. The more cases they win, the more clients they will be able to obtain. And, yes, the more money they will make. Private attorneys will leave no stone unturned in order to prove a client’s innocence. If you’re charged with a DUI, for instance, a private attorney will see if any element of your arrest was unlawful. Public defenders, for the most part, simply won’t be that motivated to dig deep into your case.
Talk to a Criminal Defense Attorney About Your Options
Whether you’re facing years in prison or you’ve been charged with a relatively minor offense, your best bet will always be to go with a private defense attorney if at all possible. A private attorney will have the expertise, motivation, and time to help you achieve the best possible result in your case.
At Sand Law, we have years of producing positive results for our clients who have been charged with criminal offenses. We will never make any promises regarding how your case will turn out. However, we can guarantee you’ll never work with an attorney who will work harder on your behalf. We know how frightening a time this is in your life. We’ll do everything we can to help you put this chapter behind you in the most favorable manner possible.
If you would like to learn more about what we may be able to do for you, please get in touch with Sand Law as soon as you can. Contact us online or call 701-609-1510 for a free consultation with no strings attached.