Serious felony charges, including those pertaining to violent crimes, sex offenses, and drug trafficking, can derail your loved one’s life and upend your family’s stability. To prevent that from happening, your loved one needs the best criminal defense possible. If he or she meets certain income requirements, then he or she may qualify for public defender. But is that the best option?
The risks of public defender representation
Let us start by saying that there are a lot of public defenders out there who aggressively and successfully advocate for their clients. There are others, though, who may not provide your loved one with the kind of representation he or she deserves. Here are some of the risks of going with public defender representation:
- High caseloads: Public defenders are overworked and underpaid. Since they have to handle so many cases, they are often focused on managing their caseloads, which means that your loved one might be pushed to focus more on a plea deal rather than going to trial. That may not be in your loved one’s best interests.
- Limited time: Because public defenders are overworked they don’t have as much time to give to their individual clients. This means your questions may go unanswered and you might have a hard time getting in touch with your public defender when you need to. Also, the role that you play in building your criminal defense may be limited.
- Lack of experience: There are a lot of experienced public defenders, but there are also a lot that have little experience. Some of them are fresh out of law school. There’s certainly nothing wrong with having limited experience. After all, everyone has to start somewhere. However, being stuck with a public defender with limited experience may mean that your loved one’s attorney will be unable to use the rules of evidence, the statutes, and case law to the fullest advantage possible.
Help your loved one receive the representation they deserve
A public defender very well may be the best option for our loved one’s criminal defense, but it might not be. A private criminal defense attorney may be a better suit if you’re looking for individualized attention and custom-tailored, aggressive, and knowledgeable advocacy.