If you’re loved one has been charged with a serious criminal offense, then there’s a lot at stake. A conviction could lead to extensive incarceration and a criminal record that will haunt them for life. Fortunately, your loved one is entitled to an attorney. In instances where an individual has limited financial resources, an accused individual can choose to have a public defender appointed to represent them. While this representation might be extremely cheap, if not free, you and your loved one have to carefully consider whether representation by the public defender agency is really your best option.
The risks of working with the public defenders agency
There are a lot of good public defenders out there. Unfortunately, though, there are also a lot of public defenders out there who are incapable of providing your loved one with the aggressive representation they need. Here’s why:
- Public defenders are overworked: It’s no secret that public defenders have large caseloads that require them to work extensive hours. As a result, they often have little time to devote to each of their cases. This can lead to things being missed and your criminal defense being shoved into a cookie-cutter mold.
- Public defenders manage caseloads, not cases: Because they’re overworked, public defenders are often focused on managing their caseload instead individual cases. This means that your loved one might be pressured to accept a plea deal that isn’t the best outcome they can obtain.
- They often lack experience: Some public defenders are trial-proven, but a lot of them are fresh out of law school. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that your loved one’s case may fall into the hands of an attorney who isn’t as well-versed in the rules of evidence and litigation as a more experienced attorney. Your loved one needs and deserves the best, which means the experienced.
- They’re often unavailable: Given their workloads, public defenders are often unavailable to their clients. As a result, you might be kept in the dark as far as how your case is progressing and in building your case. If you have a question, it might go unanswered until it’s too late.
Secure the representation your loved one deserves
You don’t want to leave your loved one’s future in the hands of an overworked and inexperienced attorney. There’s simply too much at stake to roll the dice in hopes of ending up with a public defender who has the dedication, time, and experience to adequately represent your loved one’s interests. If you feel the same way, then it might be time to seek out a private criminal defense attorney who can meet your loved one’s needs.