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Is a public defender right for your criminal defense?

On Behalf of | Aug 20, 2021 | Protect Your Rights |

There’s a lot at stake when you’re charged with a criminal offense. Therefore, you should do everything you can to try to protect yourself and your future. This means building a strong criminal defense. If you qualify for the assistance of a public defender, then you might think that you have all of the assistance you need in crafting an aggressive defense. You might be right. But there are some risks with being represented by appointed. Here are some of them:

  • Large caseload: Your public defender is probably going to be struggling to keep his or her head above water given the large caseload that he or she is carrying. On account of these massive caseloads, a lot of public defenders try to manage their caseload rather than individual cases. This can lead to forced plea bargains that aren’t in their clients’ best interests.
  • Lack of time: Since public defenders are oftentimes overworked, they tend to not have the time needed to give each case the best legal arguments possible under the facts. They also typically don’t have time to speak with their clients on a regular basis, which means that you might be left in the dark and unable to assist in building your criminal defense.
  • Lack of experience: There are a lot of strong public defenders out there. But there are also a lot of inexperienced ones. While being a new attorney has its advantages, it also has significant disadvantages, such as minimal litigation skills development. This means that your public defender might not have the skills necessary to address evidentiary issues that could have a profound impact on your case.
  • No Choice: The specific attorney appointed on your case is not up to you.  Once appointed, it can be difficult to get the court to appoint someone else.

Obtain the representation that you need and deserve

We’re not saying that all public defenders are bad. In fact, a public defender very well may be your best option when it comes to building your criminal defense.  Many of them are skilled advocates.  But it is important to know your options and the risks associated with those options. Only then can you make the criminal defense decisions that are right for you and your future.