We have all seen a tv show in which a cop reads someone their Miranda Rights. The cop says that the accused has the right to an attorney and if they can not afford one, the state will pay for one for them. However, did you know that the probability of you serving jail time goes up with a public defender vs private attorney? I’m sure you want to mount the strongest defense possible. To do so, you’re going to need a private attorney. First, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of a public defender vs private attorney.
Pros and Cons of a Public Defender
First, we will start with the most obvious pro; a public defender is free. The idea behind a public defender is to provide legal counsel to those who can not afford it. If you are poor, the court will appoint a lawyer to your case. However, if you do have enough money, the state expects you to pay for your attorney. Secondly, public defenders work with the same judges and prosecutors every day. The relationships public defenders have with judges and prosecutors can come in handy when it comes time for a plea deal. However, if you are innocent and have no interest in pleading it could be a con.
The biggest problem with a public defender is their case load. Now, this isn’t their fault. Our justice system doesn’t always work as intended. The number of public defenders is much smaller than it should be, therefore requiring each attorney to take on a massive case load. On average a public defender has 25% less time to devote to a case than is necessary to do a thorough job. It ‘s hard to get in touch with your court appointed attorney except on the day of your trial.
Pros and Cons of a Private Attorney
The only con of hiring a private attorney is the cost. However, you often get what you pay for in life. A public defender vs private attorney varies wildly when it comes to cost. The cost of your private attorney will depend on the type of charges and the amount of work that he/she expects to undertake.
The first pro of hiring a private attorney is their availability. A good attorney will not only be available to you whenever you need them, but they will also have a staff that can help you if they aren’t able to do it themselves at any given moment. Having more resources at their disposal will often mean a better outcome in your case. Secondly, a private attorney has a much smaller caseload. Lawyers will not take on more cases than they think that their staff can handle. Afterall, it is their business that is on the line. A big difference between a public defender vs private attorney is the fact that if a lawyer does a poor job their business will suffer. A public defender gets more cases than they can handle no matter the outcomes.
Another benefit of a private lawyer is access to more defense possibilities. Because the defendant is paying for the legal services, a lawyer can use expert witnesses or private laboratories to help their case. These resources could make all the difference in a trial.
Public Defender vs Private Attorney – Statistics
There have been many studies dedicated to determining the difference between a public defender vs private attorney. Today we will take a look a study done on the Ohio state justice system. This study, which was conducted by Morriss Hoffman compiled data from over 5,200 cases in Ohio. Hoffman concluded that you are not only more likely to go to jail if you have a public defender but you are also more likely to serve a longer sentence. Someone that hires a private attorney receives on average a three year shorter sentence.
As you can see the difference between a public defender vs private attorney is vast. Having the right counsel could mean the difference between a guilty or not guilty verdict. If you are facing any serious criminal charges or have been falsely accused than your best bet is to hire an attorney. While the upfront cost may be much greater when hiring an attorney, the benefits will certainly outweigh the costs. Do not gamble with your freedom to save a few thousand dollars. Even if it means taking out a loan or asking friends and family to help, hiring a lawyer is the way to go. For a free consultation contact Top Rated Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer and Rhode Island DUI Lawyer Chad F Bank today at 401-229-5088 for a FREE CONSULTATION.