Anyone charged with a criminal offense has the right to legal counsel. That means that if you are unable to afford to pay for a defense lawyer, the court will appoint one for you. Unlike some types of cases where not having a lawyer at all still poses little risk to the defendant, there are many areas of criminal cases where things can be worse than you imagined. No person charged with any criminal act should go into court without representation or with the intent to represent theirself.
A Matter of Expense
One of the biggest reasons that people opt for a public defender is their belief that they can’t afford to pay a private lawyer. When you hear of some of the prices that celebrities have paid for their defense, the prospect of financing your defense can be very daunting. But when you shop around and speak to a few local criminal lawyers about your case, you will find that there are some that are very reasonably priced. Walter K. Schreyer is one example of a criminal lawyer in New Jersey who charges reasonable rates and offers a free initial consultation. The consultation is the perfect opportunity to have your case evaluated and to learn the best options for your defense.
Getting the Option to Choose
The process for finding a private criminal lawyer that you are comfortable with and who you feel will fairly represent you is a big advantage. It is also one that you won’t have if you choose a public defender. Although there are some public defenders who are just as bad as they are reputed to be, there are also those who are eager to earn a name for themselves and who will fight to get the best outcome for your case. The problem is that you never know which one you will be assigned. You don’t get to choose who represents you when you take the option for a public defender. The outcome is just a flip of the coin.
Although you still have a chance of getting a public defender who is well-trained and compassionate, they are also likely to be over-booked. There are many people who must rely on a public defender to represent them and the increased workload may mean you don’t get the time and attention that your case requires. They will not have the time to provide you with an in-depth description of your options or communicate with you regularly throughout your case.
Getting the Best Outcome
Few people charged with a criminal act go to court with the hope of being found guilty and getting the maximum penalty. A private criminal lawyer will make sure he understands your case and he will take advantage of any opportunities to have evidence thrown out and, hopefully, the case against you as well. When it comes to getting a good criminal defense, the time invested will make a world of difference.