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Should you be represented by a public defender?

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2021 | Criminal Defense

It’s frightening to face criminal charges. Aggressive prosecutors threaten to strip you of your freedom and leave you with a criminal record that can haunt you for years to come. There’s certainly a lot on the line, which is why you should develop the strongest criminal defense possible under the circumstances. If you qualify for the assistance of a public defender, then you might be asking yourself if that’s the right route to go.

The risks of public defender representation

While there are a lot of strong public defenders out there, going with this kind of representation isn’t without its risks. Here are some of those risks:

  • High caseload: It’s well known that public defenders have large caseloads. This means that they’re overworked and oftentimes are unable to give their clients the time that they need and deserve. It also means that your attorney could be more focused on managing his or her caseload rather than each individual case, which could cause your attorney to pursue a plea bargain more aggressively than building your case for trial.
  • Inexperience: A lot of public defenders are new attorneys. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s a factor that you have to consider. An inexperienced attorney may not be able to as effectively navigate the rules of evidence and trial procedure as an attorney who has been practicing for years. This could leave you at a disadvantage.
  • Lack of communication: Because public defenders are overworked, they usually don’t have as much time as they would like to reach out to their clients. As a result, you could be left in the dark as far as the progress of your case, and you might be shut out in developing your defense strategy.

Choose the representation that is right for you

We don’t want to throw public defenders under the bus. After all, there are several strong attorneys who work as public defenders. But do you want to risk your future by going with an attorney who is appointed to you without your input into who should by your side during your fight? If not, then you may want to consider looking into acquiring the assistance of a skilled private criminal defense attorney.