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Should you accept representation from a public defender?

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

When you’re charged with a crime, the court is going to consider whether you qualify for the appointment of a public defender. This analysis will be based on your financial positioning, with lower income individuals qualifying for such representation. But you don’t have to accept appointment of a public defender just because you qualify. In fact, doing so could be against your best interests.

Why could a public defender be bad for your criminal case?

There are plenty of competent and effective public defenders out there. However, most of them are working within a system that makes it difficult for them to represent their clients effectively. When you choose to be represented by one of these attorneys, you put yourself at risk of the following:

  • Being represented by someone who lacks experience.
  • Being represented by a public defender who is overworked and can’t give your case the individualized attention it needs and deserves.
  • Being represented by someone who is so busy that they don’t have time to return your calls and make you an integral part of building your own defense strategy.
  • Being represented by an agency that doesn’t have the resources that may be needed to fully vet your arrest and its resulting charges.

Additionally, when you’re appointed a public defender, you have no say in which public defender you get. Therefore, you’re truly subjected to the luck of the draw when it comes to appointment of an attorney.

Secure the representation that’s right for you

You have a lot of options when it comes to choosing a legal advocate to help you with your criminal defense. By considering private counsel, you can alleviate the risks mentioned above. However, the decision is ultimately yours. It’s an important one, too, as your choice of attorney could make all the difference in your criminal case. So, be thorough, take your time, and choose the path that you know will protect your future the most.

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