Being arrested for a crime is a stressful situation. Having to pay for legal fees is an even more stressful situation. That is where having a public defender can come in handy. A public defender is an attorney that is provided to you at no out-of-pocket cost (funded by taxpayers), as granted by the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. A public defender will fight for your case and work as hard as they can for you; however, having a public defender does not increase your chances at getting released or receiving a fair verdict. We will go over the pros and cons of having each type of defense.
Pros and Cons of Hiring a Public Defender
The biggest advantage of hiring a public defender is the cost. Public defenders are funded by the government and are legally obliged to work as hard as they can on behalf of the person they are trying to defend. However, they are some of the most worked and lowest paid attorneys in the country and that can have negative implications when they are working on your case.
Pros and Cons of Hiring a Private Attorney
Private attorneys are paid much better and work far less than a public defender. The cost of hiring a private defender are much higher than a public defender as well. However, since they generally have fewer clients to represent, they can spend more time on each case and “go the extra mile” in order to find new evidence or find a loophole in a certain law, etc. For example, a public defender may only offer a plea deal for a client whereas a private attorney can intimidate a prosecutor and make them worried about extra work, extra evidence, etc. Private lawyers give individuals a higher probability of receiving lower sentences or even being exonerated than a public defender.
To conclude, private lawyers are generally better than public defenders when the overall outcome of the case is the main goal of the client. However, if cost I cannot afford the high cost of the private attorney, a public defender might be the better option when hiring a legal defense team. But, if the cost is not an issue, hiring a private attorney will be beneficial to your success in court.