If you’ve ever watched crime dramas on TV, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “if you can not afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you.”
This is one of the cornerstones of our justice system — everyone is entitled to a lawyer, regardless of their income or circumstances. That being said, not all lawyers are created equal.
When facing criminal charges, you have the choice between a public defender or hiring a private attorney. And when facing potentially serious consequences, it’s important to understand the difference between the two and which option is best for your situation.
Understanding the Difference Between a Public Defender and Private Attorney
The Downfall of Public Defenders
If you receive a court-appointed lawyer, you’re likely getting a public defender. While this lawyer will come at no cost to you, there are several reasons why this is not in your best interest:
- You have no say in who represents you. You’ll receive whichever public defender is assigned to you by the state, meaning you have no say in who is picked for the job.
- Switching public defenders is difficult. If you decide you do not like your public defender or feel they’re not representing you well, it’s nearly impossible to have them removed and to get another court-appointed lawyer.
- Public defenders are overworked. Just like you have no say in who defends you, public defenders can not turn down cases they’re assigned to by the state. This means your average public defender is working dozens of cases at the same time. With so many clients to care for, they may not have the necessary time to dedicate to your case.
- Your lawyer may be inexperienced. Though not always, many public defenders are young and only recently passed the bar exam. With little criminal court experience, they may not yet be capable of handling the complexities of your case or defending you to the level you deserve.
A Private Attorney Puts You in Control
From jail time to difficulty securing employment, a criminal conviction can have serious effects on the rest of your life. Don’t leave your future up to chance.
Unlike a public defender, private attorneys:
- Have control over their caseload. A private attorney never has to take a case. After an initial consultation, our lawyers look at their account load and only agree to take you on as a client if they have the time needed to provide you with the very best defense.
- Often specialize in one area. Since our founding in 2007, our attorneys have provided high-quality service in Denton County and the surrounding areas. Our team specializes in criminal defense matters, including DWIs, sex crimes, drug charges, robbery, and murder.
- Have more resources at their disposal. If you’re facing serious charges, you need more than just a good lawyer. At Marsala Law Group, we work as a team, which means you can be confident that we will keep your case files organized.
- Are more accessible. Because they’re working on so many cases, it may be difficult to contact your public defender when you have questions. However, our large team and resources means that someone will be available to help with your every need.
Have you been charged with a crime in Denton and surrounding areas? Marsala Law Group will take the time to get to know you and learn about your circumstances. Schedule a free consultation by calling us at (940) 386-6848 or contacting us online.
With over 20 years of combined experience, thousands of cases handled, and strategic approaches, we give you our word that we’ll provide nothing short of exceptional criminal defense in trial, and we will strive to get the case dismissed altogether if possible.