WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PUBLIC DEFENDER AND A PRIVATE ATTORNEY?

At one point during pretrial, you’ll have to pick who will represent you. The typical choice is between a private attorney or a public defender. Who would represent you better? We’ll compare the two based on a few key criteria.

AFFORDABILITY 

When it comes to affordability, public attorneys are the clear winner. The court appoints a public defender to you for free, so cost is not an issue. However, they’re usually unavailable to people who can afford to hire private legal services.

On the other hand, you have to pay a private attorney. How much you pay depends on a range of factors, such as your criminal charge, the length of the trial, your income, and more. Either way, it costs anywhere between $2,500 and $30,000 to hire an attorney.

EXPERIENCE

Naturally, you’ll want an attorney that has experience defending people with your charges. As far as criminal charges go, public defenders tend to have more experience. That said, you don’t get to pick your state-assigned criminal defense attorney, so you don’t have any control over who represents you (you can technically represent yourself, but that’s bad for a number of reasons).

There are also private attorneys with experience in criminal law. However, you’d have to carefully pick an attorney that’s specialized in that. Law firms typically have attorneys with diverse specialties, so finding the one for you shouldn’t be too much of an issue. In addition, private attorneys are usually more experienced when it comes to trials. They often handle several cases at a time, whereas public defenders often get a couple of cases per year.

AVAILABILITY

If your priority is to have someone with whom to work out your defense strategy, private attorneys are the superior option. Law firms routinely offer plenty of in-person consultations. If you’re out on bail (either through certain kinds of bail bonds or paid for in cash), this is great. That means you’re free to visit your attorney and devise a legal plan.

In contrast, public defenders don’t provide such a personalized service. They’re often too busy to meet outside of the courtroom for legal advice. Moreover, their job doesn’t depend on referrals, so they don’t need to nurture client relationships. Rest assured, though, that they’re legally bound to protect your rights to their best ability.

FINAL THOUGHTS: WHO’S ACTUALLY BETTER?

There’s no straight answer to this question. No data shows that one is better in the courtroom than the other. On the one hand, a public defender is clearly the inexpensive alternative. On the other hand, you get to work more closely with a private one. As such, the best choice depends on your circumstances and options.

DELTA BAIL BONDS

Deciding whether to settle for a public defender or hire a private attorney is a tough decision, especially if you are stuck behind bars when choosing. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. Delta Bail Bonds will get you out of jail quickly, so you can make a more informative decision. You’ll be able to meet with a private attorney or conduct research on a public defender. We’re available 24/7 and work tirelessly to make this stressful situation easier for you. Contact us right away to receive affordable bail bonds!

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