Should I hire a private attorney or use a public defender?

Man Standing in Front of Numerous Arrows and Question MarksYou will have to make many important decisions, such as whether to accept a plea bargain in your criminal case. Hiring a lawyer to represent can help achieve the best outcome possible. Here are four reasons you should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney rather than use a public defender, if you have a choice.

#1: Public Defenders Have High Caseloads

Public defenders are very knowledgeable in criminal defense law and are hardworking. However, they have high caseloads and are often overworked. Here is how it could affect their representation of you:

  • They would have less time to devote to your case and defending you.
  • They may make more mistakes in your case than a private lawyer.
  • They may be more likely to recommend you take a plea agreement to resolve your case and reduce their caseload.

#2: You Can Choose Which Private Attorney to Hire

You have a constitutional right to be represented by a lawyer in a criminal case, and the court would appoint someone to represent you if you cannot afford to hire one. You would have no say in the public defender they would choose. However, if you hire your own attorney, you could select the one you believe is experienced in criminal defense and will look out for your best interests when defending you.

#3: A Private Attorney Has More Time and Resources to Devote to Your Case

Private criminal defense lawyers often have a smaller caseload than public defenders. They can give them more time to investigate the prosecutor’s case against you and mount an aggressive defense strategy. They will also likely have other staff to assist them in your defense.

#4: You Are Likely to Achieve a Better Outcome

You are much more likely to achieve a better outcome in your criminal case if you hire a private lawyer. They will often fight harder to get the charges dismissed or reduced through a favorable plea agreement.

Our skilled criminal defense lawyers are here to defend you if you are facing criminal charges in the Virginia Beach or Norfolk areas. Fill out our convenient online form or call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 to schedule your free initial consultation today to learn more about how we can help you and what you can expect in your criminal case.